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Two-Spotted Spider Mites on hemp

Early detection is key to managing two-spotted spider mites. Learn how to recognize them and their damage.

Identification

  • Spider mites are small arachnids related to spiders, ticks, and scorpions.
  • Their appearance is oval-shaped, yellowish-green or reddish-brown with two dark spots on each side of their body.
  • Adult mites produce webbing to help adhere eggs to the leaf surface.
  • They overwinter in protected locations such as leaf litter or weedy areas.
  • A wide range of indoor and outdoor plants, fruits, and vegetables serve as hosts.

Damage

  • Spider mites feed on plant sap with piercing-sucking mouthparts.
  • Damage appears as discolored spots on the leaf surface.
  • Entire leaves may be discolored.
  • Heavy infestations can cause leaf loss or plant death.
  • Hot, dry weather or broad spectrum insecticide use that removes natural enemies can flair populations.

Management

  • Early detection is key. Use a hand lens to routinely scout several areas of the field or greenhouse.
  • Irrigation and proper moisture management can help control mites.
  • Natural enemies are effective for small populations.
  • Insecticide coverage is crucial.
  • Use the Farming Basics Mobile App to locate Alabama Extension personnel for any questions.

Peer ReviewKaylee Hirsch, Student Research Assistant, and Katelyn Kesheimer, Extension Specialist, Assistant Professor, both in Entomology and Plant Pathology, Auburn University

New July 2021, Two-Spotted Spider Mites in Hemp, ANR-2760

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