Mites

Mites

What are plant mites

Plant mites are arthropods, i.e. invertebrate animals with four pairs of legs. Their dimensions are microscopic. Imagine that the maximum dimensions are just two millimeters, so they are hardly visible to the naked eye. Actually they belong to the Arachnids (Arachnida) and not to insects as they are forts with four pairs of legs instead of three. There are various types of mites that can parasitize animals or plants. Through their buccal appendages they create malformations on the leaves which significantly damage the buds. The mites are both male and female and the latter lay eggs. From the eggs the larvae develop quickly and often reach the maturation of adult mites in an instantaneous manner.


How to recognize mites

It is important to be able to recognize the presence of spider mites, they are so small that it is difficult to distinguish them with the naked eye. However, there are several systems that allow us to identify them without a shadow of a doubt. We will notice, for example, that yellowish spots or silver or bronze reflections are created on the surface of the leaves. In some cases we will find a white spider web on the plant, this is not always found, it must be emphasized. An important test is that of the white sheet, through which, by shaking the leaf, we should be able to verify their presence. The most common are red spider mites, but there are mites of different colors, including white and yellow. It will certainly have happened to everyone to have noticed them mistaking them for common spiders.


Natural remedies against plant mites

How to eradicate these annoying little creatures? First, it is necessary to clean the leaves of the plants regularly. Just use a sponge soaked in water, or a spray bottle. You can add a dish detergent or a mild soap to the water, Marseille soap is particularly suitable for this type of cleaning. Even a classic isopropyl alcohol works to eradicate this infestation. Again, use a cloth to remove the mites. Spray the plants frequently with a classic garden pump. The jet of water will remove the spider mites from the leaves. Eliminating the leaves and the part of the shrub that is infested is another tip to follow. A final indication is to encourage predatory insects such as ladybugs which are greedy for plant mites.


Mites: The chemical remedies

If you don't have the desire or the patience to use natural remedies you can fall back on chemical acaricides. Use a solution of water and insecticidal soap with a sprayer, it will manage infestations very effectively. The main acaricides are pesticides that act through different systems: by contact, by ingestion or by asphyxiation. Some chemicals are also effective against mite eggs. There are specific products in the main gardening shops such as dicofol or bromopropylate, be careful to follow the manufacturer's instructions and not to carry out more than three interventions on the plants per year, you would risk seriously damaging it! In winter, sulfur is also very effective in its various formulations, both the wettable one and the more traditional powder.


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