Hi, my name is:

Two-spotted Mite (or Red Spider mite to my friends)

Describe yourself: Well, my closest relations are spiders, but don’t let that put you off! I’m TINY (about .5mm), greenish-yellow and look good in spots (two big black ones on my back). I change things a little in autumn when I look good in red – in line with the season.
Hobbies: Man, I suck… and suck, and suck! I enjoy spinning webs, and hanging out on the underside of leaves in a big group.
Likes: Heaps of fruit trees (I go crazy for apple and peach trees), veggies (especially cucumbers, capsicums, tomatoes and beans), and I adore roses, berries, azaleas and marigolds. Hot, dry weather, with low humidity really gets me laying eggs! And violet patches are a good spot for taking my winter break.
Dislikes: Predatory mites, green and brown lacewings, predatory thrips, spiders and parasitic wasps. I despise home made veggie oil soap mixes or store bought alternatives.
You’ll know you’ve met me when: Your leaves look mottled or bronze – especially on the top. If I have been around for a while, and breeding up a storm, the leaves might even fall off! If you look underneath the leaves, it’s a bit of a mess – we’re an untidy bunch! Have a look for my webs, so you don’t confuse me with thrips!

Breaking up ain’t hard to do… if:

  • Evict me with predatory mites… they’re easy to attract, especially if you use compost, manures or mulch your soil! They love this stuff.
  • Drench me with a forceful jet of water in the early morning for 3 consecutive days.
  • Suck me off the leaves – using a vacuum on low suction. Yep, some people actually do this!
  • Spray me with a home made garlic or chilli soap. Or use a store bought insecticidal soap and target the undersides of the affected plant leaves where I usually like to shelter.


Pic 1: www.mumsanddahlias.com
Pic 2: www.thewaterwisegarden.com
Pic 3: www.ces.ncsu.edu Desc: Typical Mite damage on foliage