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Mites

Two spotted spider mite. Photo: Brian Bushe

Two spotted spider mite
Photo: Brian Bushe, CTAHR

Problem

The leaves on your plants have many tiny white or yellow dots. You may also see webbing on the leaves. Leaves may look bronzed or tan.

Description

Mites are very tiny and difficult to see. In some cases, you may be able to see tiny moving dots on a leaf if there are a lot of mites clustered together. You know you have a mite problem if you see stippling on the leaves, lots of tiny yellow or white dots. These are caused by the mites’ sucking mouth parts. You may also see silky webbing which the mites use to sail from one plant to another. Severe infestations will cause bronzing of leaves or defoliation.

Information

Natural predators such as lady beetle, predacious mites and predatory thrips can help keep mites under control. Use selective pesticides so that you don’t kill the good guys.

Kendal Lyon, Hawaii Island Master Gardeners