breaking news

Springfield schools expands $6.3M tech program to youngest students

Spotting two-spotted spider mite damage on your plants


Two-spotted spider mites are rearing their ugly heads and reproducing like mad in this hot weather.

A couple of weeks ago, I was checking out my Baptisia and noticed that it was showing symptoms of two-spotted spider mite damage. Unfortunately, I was hitting the road for a conference for a week and couldn’t do anything about it.

While I was gone, the population of two-spotted spider mites on this plant not only exploded but spread to my eight other plants in the bed.

I shouldn’t really be surprised because these mites love it hot and dry. This type of weather leads to massive populations; these mites can complete a life cycle in five to seven days.

In addition, the lack of rain also has been a positive factor for their development. One of the recommended management techniques is to use a good spray of water to knock some of them off.

I haven’t had any significant rain in my gardens for the entire summer, so the rain hasn’t helped in washing them off.

The symptoms of two-spotted spider mite damage include stippling of the leaves. Stippling simply means tiny yellowish spots on the leaf surface.

In this case, they insert their piercing-sucking mouthparts into the leaf and feed. This results in the stippling symptom.

In addition to the stippling, the leaf turns a bit off-color and in the case of heaving feeding, you may notice a bronze coloration of the leaf surface.

Underneath the leaf you may find webbing (in heavy populations) and you will find the nymphs and adults feeding. They move rather quickly but you can see them with a hand lens.

The adult is about 1/60” long and ranges from pale yellow in color to orange, green and brown. There are two distinct black spots on what appears to be the back; these dark spots are actually the contents of the gut showing through the body wall.

When populations are high and damage is significant, leaf drop eventually occurs. Most of the time, people don’t notice two-spotted spider mite damage until leaves fall.

The back of the leaf surface also feels sort of gritty.

Control in the early stages in necessary. As mentioned, a hard spray of water will knock a good many from the plant.

In addition, sprays of horticultural summer oils and insectidical soaps work great. You need to make sure you contact the lower leaf surface to kill the mites. You may also have to repeat.

Traditional miticides have a tendency to send their reproduction ability into overdrive. These are not recommended.

I tend to leave them alone and let the natural predatory mites do their work. At this point, my leaves are too damaged to warrant spraying.

I have heard from others that they are on numerous species of perennials and annuals, so I would suggest that you take a look at the underside leaves of these plants.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Home Garden

25 Dayton-area galas and charity events to put on your calendar in 2018
25 Dayton-area galas and charity events to put on your calendar in 2018

This is a rare opportunity to dine with Dayton’s Mayor Nan Whaley and other esteemed guests from My Project USA. Proceeds from the evening will be used to protect and empower Dayton’s needy and underserved families.  WHEN: 5:30 p.m. Saturday, January 20 WHERE: The Golf Club at Yankee Trace, 10000 Yankee St., Centerville ...
5 things to know if you’re trying to conceive

If you are trying to conceive, you may first want to make sure your diet is conception-promoting. Research suggests a connection between certain foods and nutrients and the probability of conception. And, it is not just women who have to watch what they eat — but also men. For men, different foods and nutrients can effect sperm count and production...
D.L. STEWART: Tired of the daily grind? Talk to your gadget!

Because walking across a room or tapping on a keyboard requires way too much energy, technology is providing exciting new solutions to rescue us from the brink of our daily exhaustion — digital assistants. As the Associated Press reported this week, “From your couch you, you can now ask the Echo’s Alexa assistant to play your favorite...
Here are the big coupon deals of the week
Here are the big coupon deals of the week

Coupon availability and coupon values may vary within different regions or neighborhoods. Colgate Toothbrush This week at Walgreens, select varieties of Colgate toothbrushes are on sale for $2.99 each. Use the $1 off one Colgate 360 or floss tip toothbrush coupon found in the January 7 SmartSource inserts. Visit www.walgreens.com/coupons and you can...
Parenting with Dr. Ramey: Mental disorder or normal childhood problem?

“I’m feeling exhausted, hopeless, and I don’t enjoy the things I once loved,” declares a 12-year-old girl in the romantic comedy “Home Again.” Her younger sister remarks that her older sibling heard those words from “a Zoloft commercial … obviously!” It’s not only a funny conversation between...
More Stories