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. You can even import them like mail order brides!
  • 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