UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA

Monthly Tip

Spider Mites

Tip description

Spider mite damage on a potato plant, UC, by Jack Kelly Clark
This tiny pest attacks a wide variety of ornamental and edible plants. Stippling of the leaves is the first symptom. Spider mites are closely related to spiders. They look like small white or light brown dots, uniformly spread. If you look closely, webbing may be visible. The color of the plant will start to fade and eventually leaves may drop. They suck out plant juices from leaves, flowers, and the blossom end of the fruit. Dry hotter temperatures and dusty conditions encourage them, so water is an important management tool. Be sure to water the plants sufficiently, and also wash off the leaves with water to knock off a lot of the dust and spider mites. If treatment is necessary, spider mites can be controlled with insecticidal soap, horticultural oil, or neem oil. 

More information is available in the UC Quick Tips on Spider Mites.

Months applicable
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • 3. Pests and Diseases

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