Spider Mite On Indoor Plants: Photo, Description, What Is Dangerous, Effective Means Of Control

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Spider Mite On Indoor Plants: Photo, Description, What Is Dangerous, Effective Means Of Control
Spider Mite On Indoor Plants: Photo, Description, What Is Dangerous, Effective Means Of Control
Video: Spider Mite On Indoor Plants: Photo, Description, What Is Dangerous, Effective Means Of Control
Video: Interesting Facts about Spider Mites🕷 How to Rid of Them in Description 2023, February
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Content

  • Who are ticks
  • Tick ​​development cycle
  • Spider mites
  • Flat heifers
  • Spider mite - how to deal
  • How to deal with spider mites on orchids
  • Folk remedies for tick control

Who are ticks

Herbivorous mites belong to several families (Eriophyidae, Tetranychidae) of the order Acariformes mites, class Arachnids Arachnida.

You need to understand that arachnids, and therefore ticks too, are not insects, they are arthropods. Upon closer examination, you can see how they look like spiders: also divided into large sections of the body (cephalothorax and abdomen), and 4 or 2 pairs of limbs (sometimes 1-2 pairs of legs on the abdomen are reduced). Moreover, the legs of herbivorous mites have a complex claw apparatus, with the help of which they are held firmly on the leaves. The integument of the body is thin, leathery, usually covered with fine bristles, of various colors, usually light brown, dark brown, or brick red. The mouth organs are also adapted for piercing the epidermis and sucking juice.

Tick ​​development cycle

The developmental cycle of spider mites includes the phases of the egg, prelarva, larva, protonymph, and the nymph stage in the breeding phase. This process is called metamorphosis. In many species of ticks, some developmental phases are missing. For example, in the formation of a male individual, some species of ticks have only one nymph stage. Each phase occurs with a change in the cuticular layer, in other words, molting.

It is interesting that many herbivorous ticks belong to the superorder of acariform ticks; they are characterized by the completion of body segments during development to the adult stage. For example, larvae have only six legs, an adult tick has eight.

From the point of view of a florist, the anatomy of ticks, pests of flowers, is not so important and interesting - their bodies are too small, usually no more than 1 mm in length (on average 0.2 - 0.45 mm), to consider and try to distinguish one species tick from another. Therefore, we will not describe the structure of the setae and genitals, especially since many hundreds of species differ greatly in the shape of the body, the length of the legs, etc. Let's dwell on more useful information.

spider mite
spider mite

At good magnification, a colony of mites is visible on the back of the leaf.

spider mite
spider mite

When the plant dies, ticks can be seen even with the naked eye, but there is no one to save.

spider mite
spider mite

Pinpoint punctures are visible in the lumen of the leaf - the places where the mites suck the juices from the plant.

There are several types of herbivorous mites to focus on.

The most common are the superfamily of Tetranychoid ticks Tetranychoidea. These include the Tetranychidae Spider Mites and Tenuipalpidae Squid Mites. The frequency of their reproduction differs, it depends on the time of metamorphosis, but in general, this process is ongoing. The duration of metamorphosis (periods between molts) depends primarily on the temperature and humidity of the air. Thus, tropical species of herbivorous ticks develop almost without interruption, forming about 15-20 generations per year. In temperate climates (or, for example, when growing plants with winter dormancy in cool conditions), ticks have time to form only a few generations. During the cold period, eggs, or fertilized females, overwinter in a state of diapause.

Among spider mites and flat beetles there are polyphages - they feed on the sap of a wide variety of plants and leaf, and conifers, and cacti; monophages who prefer one genus of plants; and oligophages, which, like gourmets, feed selectively on certain plant species.

Spider mites

Tetranychus telarius form a cobweb, but the grower cannot always see it right away. Sometimes it is so small and thin that it is clearly visible only when there is a huge accumulation of mites, or when the plant is already completely dry. Therefore, if you find suspicious spots on the leaves, do not seek to look for cobwebs, look for the skins that remain from the molts - they are usually gray or almost white, you can see them on the back of the leaf, they look like fine dandruff. This is due to the fact that the common spider mite lives mainly on the back of the leaf, and weaves a cobweb between the veins, if you look closely, you can see it with a magnifying glass along the central vein. But if nothing was found, this does not mean that there are no ticks.

Spider mite
Spider mite

Common spider mite under a microscope.

Spider mite
Spider mite

The web is visible between the leaf plate and the central vein.

Spider mite
Spider mite

The skins on the back of the sheet are white.

Typical signs of damage: point punctures, whitish or yellowish, are visible in the lumen of the leaf. At first there are few of them, but gradually they merge into spots. The leaves turn pale, acquire a grayish or pale yellow tint. Then the leaves dry out, completely lose color. This is a typical picture, but in some cases, the leaves turn red or take on a bronze tint. In some plants, the leaves do not change shape even when the spots are large, in other cases they are strongly deformed, curled.

Continue to inspect the plant every day, as ticks multiply rapidly under favorable conditions. The female lays over 150-200 eggs during two to three weeks of life under favorable conditions. The duration of generation is 2-3 weeks, at the same time all stages of development are present on the plant: eggs, larvae, nymphs, females and males. The entire path of metamorphosis (from larva to adult tick) at an average temperature of 20-24 ° C, usually takes no more than 10 days, at temperatures above 32 ° C, the rate of regeneration is reduced to a week. The rate of "ripening" of a tick egg is 1-3 days.

Sexually mature individuals have a greenish color, are hardly noticeable on the leaves. With a decrease in daylight hours (from August), in dry hot weather, females appear, preparing for winter. They stop feeding on plant sap, acquire a reddish-brownish color, and look for more discreet places where they can hide (in the upper layers of the soil, under fallen leaves, in cracks in the bark). At the same time, the females secrete a large amount of cobwebs, this is especially noticeable on garden roses - in a few days they become entwined with cocoons of cobwebs. If the temperature does not drop below 10-12 ° C, then the spider mites will not hibernate, but will continue to actively reproduce (this is the minimum temperature at which the vital activity of the mites is still ongoing). Sadly, even prolonged freezing does not kill spider mites.Mite eggs can survive in soil or other secluded places (for example, in straw, compost heap, window frame crevices) for years.

Spider mite
Spider mite

On plants with dense leaves (citrus), only vague yellow spots are visible on the outside.

Spider mite
Spider mite

On plants with more delicate leaves (balsam in the photo), the leaf is translucent, tick marks are visible through and through.

Spider mite
Spider mite

Roses are especially loved by ticks, we can say that the concept of "rose" and "tick" are inseparable. There is nothing to treat here.

Six-legged ticks

Phytoptipalpus paradoxus, another subfamily of tetranychid ticks, differs in that they have only three pairs of walking legs. These species of herbivorous mites were formed in the course of evolution. The fact is that the formation of the cuticle and hatching from the egg in ticks occurs at a time when the fourth pair of legs is not yet developed in the embryo. A six-legged larva with a shortened abdomen hatches - the last segments and genital valves are underdeveloped. As a result of mutations in the process of evolution, in some adults, the abdomen developed normally, but the last pair of legs did not develop. As a result, the trait was fixed, and a subfamily of six-legged spider mites was formed. All three pairs of legs they have are very short, and the body is much wider than that of an ordinary spider mite, almost round.Six-legged ticks lack the prelarva stage in their life cycle.

Flat heifers

Squat beetles Tenuipalpidae - or false spider mites (by name not to be confused with the flat beetle Cucujidae), the genus Brevipalpus Brevipalpus and Tenipalpus Tenuipalpus. In size and shape, they are very similar to spider mites, they also sit on the underside of the leaves, and move slowly. Their dimensions are very small, from 0.1 to 0.4 mm.

If these images are not enough for you, you can look at another spider mite photo.

In many species, colonies are made up of only females that hatch from unfertilized eggs. Development takes place in three stages: larva, protonymph and deutonymph. Ripening from egg to adult tick is 12 to 24 days. The eggs of some types of flat beetles can be seen with the naked eye and appear as reddish orange clusters. The larvae of flat beetles are six-legged, orange-red, translucent, nymphs are opaque, dark spots appear on the body. Adult mites are brown, eight-legged with a flattened body. Adult females live for 5 to 6 weeks, producing 6-10 generations per season. Many flat beetles have a pause (dormancy) of 1-2 days between molts, at this time they do not feed, they remain motionless on the leaves.

spider mite
spider mite

Squat beetles are brown, but very small, similar to brown grains.

spider mite
spider mite

Puncture points where flat beetles stick are dark dots.

spider mite
spider mite

Cobwebs do not form flat heifers. They do not suffer from high humidity.

Plants affected by flat plants differ in the nature of the spots. The fact is that most flat beetles have toxic saliva, which, when it enters the plant tissue, causes necrosis. Therefore, brown or gray-brown spots appear on the upper side of the leaf. First, small, punctate, 1-2 mm, then increasing in size. The leaves are often deformed, and in plants with dense fleshy leaves (Saintpaulia, Gloxinia), the edges of the leaves begin to tuck inward.

Worst of all, flat beetles are the main vectors of viruses (mosaic and annular spotting). But even worse is that the ideal conditions for the reproduction of flat beetles are a temperature range of 25-30 ° C and a fairly high air humidity, at least at 70-80% of air humidity they feel comfortable, while spider mites with such humidity inhibit development …

Temperature dependence of the tick metamorphosis rate:

  • at an ambient temperature of 15 ° C: eggs ripen for about 2 weeks, about a week more for each subsequent stage: larvae, pronymphs and deutonymphs, only 33-36 days from egg to adult.
  • at an ambient temperature of 20 ° C: eggs ripen for about a week, about 3 more days for each subsequent stage: larvae, pronymphs and deutonymphs, only 2 weeks from egg to adult.
  • at an ambient temperature of 30 ° C: eggs ripen for about 3 days, about 1.5 more days for each subsequent stage: larvae, pronymphs and deutonymphs, just a week from egg to adult.

Spider mites on orchids and cacti

spider mite how to deal
spider mite how to deal

Flat mites are common pests of cacti.

spider mite
spider mite

Without treatment, cacti die.

spider mite
spider mite

And again the mite - characteristic spots at the bottom of the stem and on the crown.

Among flat beetles and spider mites, there are specific species that harm indoor plants of certain families, especially cacti and orchids - these are the cactus flat beetle Brevipalpus russilus, the greenhouse flat beetle Brevipalpus obovatus, the oncidium flat mite Brevipalpalpus oncidus. But these same mites are happy to eat other indoor plants, especially citrus fruits, ferns, fuchsias, roses, Saintpaulias.

Spider mite - how to deal

If you have already found a tick on indoor flowers, do not rush to run for chemistry. This is because ticks are incredibly resistant to chemicals. With the tremendous speed of generational change, after a month, repeated treatments will not bring success. And it makes no sense to apply the same pesticide more than twice. This is especially true of flowers newly purchased in the store (they are often processed at the base).

What to do? Firstly, the decisive factor for the rate of reproduction of mites is the microclimate, or rather the temperature and humidity of the air. Spider mites love when it's warm and dry. On hot days in summer, they multiply at a breakneck speed. Therefore, our task is to increase air humidity. Unfortunately, spraying, even twice or thrice a day, does not make things easier. The moisture evaporates quickly from the leaves. Imagine how much water you splash on the leaves, half a glass at most (more will simply drain to the ground) and these half a glass will dry in 15 minutes. The only way out in the case of spider mites is a humidifier, wide trays of water, tabletop fountains and hanging the batteries in winter with wet sheets. But increasing humidity by these methods will not kill the mites, but will only slow down the rate of their development.

Therefore, if allowed, plants need to arrange a hot shower. Most of the plants on our windowsills can easily tolerate hot showers if they are short-lived. But the shower washes the mites off the leaves and scalds them, including the flat beetle. The shower temperature can be around 45-48 ° C (at temperatures above 40 ° C, the development of mites stops). In this case, one must try to ensure that the jets of water fall not only from above, but also to the back side of the leaves. If the plants are planted in loose soil with drainage and holes in the bottom of the pot, then they are not afraid of moisture from the shower, just leave the pots without trays so that the water glass. And before the next watering, touch the ground with your finger and make sure that it is dry in the upper third of the pot (or completely dry if the pots are in the room at temperatures below 16 ° C). Watering time is approximately 2-5 minutes.Some plants tolerate hot showers very well, even with temperatures up to 52 ° C, for example, monstera, ficus benjamin, hibiscus.

There are plants that cannot be wetted on the leaf, for example Saintpaulias (and other Gesneriaceae), some other plants. These are mainly indoor flowers with thin delicate leaves, easily prone to decay at the slightest dampness. But they can also be worn in the bathroom, not under the shower, but in the steam room. In this case, you turn on a very hot shower (maximum possible), but do not direct it at the flowers, but leave it pouring into the bathroom. After 10 minutes, the bathroom will be filled with thick steam, and it is advisable to leave the shower for 15 minutes. Do not open the door to the bathroom until the wet steam has evaporated. Then you can repeat the procedure. And so to continue, as long as financial considerations and a water meter allow.

You need to repeat a hot shower every 3-5 days. You can do without chemicals altogether if you rinse the plants under the shower about 3-4 times weekly, and then once every 3-4 weeks. You can increase the effectiveness of a hot shower if you first wash the leaves with soapy foam. Suitable detergents include green soap, tar soap, laundry soap and, at worst, regular shampoo. Green or tar soap should be applied to the leaves with foam and left for 5 minutes. Then rinse. Shampoos can be washed off immediately. However, do not forget that ticks are extremely tenacious and hot showers are not a panacea! It's just a safe way to try first.

spider mite how to deal
spider mite how to deal

If you have plants infected with a mite that cannot be transferred to the shower (very large tubular specimens), there is no shower, or the plants do not tolerate hot water, we have to fight spider mites with chemical remedies.

Remember that drugs that kill ticks are not called insecticides, but acaricides - they are drugs against arthropods. In extreme cases, there are drugs that work against insect pests (thrips, aphids) and against ticks. They are called insectoacaricides (for example, phytoverm). Each drug must have an instruction, indicating the consumption rates. If a mite is not mentioned among the indicated pests, then this drug will not help, do not even try, just breathe in toxic substances once again. Very often they try to kill the tick with a common actara - this drug does not work on the tick. If it seemed to you that after spraying there were fewer ticks, then the point is not in the preparation, but in the very fact of spraying with water.

Some drugs, acaricides are described separately, with detailed instructions and consumption rates, see Acaricides, see Insectoacaricides.

When using acaricides, pay attention to the hazard class (not everything can be used in the apartment), and, if indicated, at what stages of the tick this drug acts. For example, biologicals usually kill only adults, but do not affect eggs and larvae. In addition, many intestinal acaricides become simply useless at the moment when the mite is in the resting stage before the next molt and does not feed on plant sap. In this case, it is better to repeat the reprocessing after 3-4 days, when the undetermined larvae pass into the nymph stage, but do not yet form adults to lay new larvae.

You can alternate spraying with acaricide and hot showers. By the way, when it comes to spraying, the wettability of the leaves should be as good as possible. Therefore, for some plants, for example, ficus benjamin varieties with curly and twisted leaves, it is better not to spray, but to immerse the crown in a solution with acaricide for 1-2 minutes (in a bucket with a solution)

With a large lesion by ticks, it makes sense to alternate drugs from different chemical groups. For example, Apollo (clofentezine) and Bi-58 (dimethoate), or neoron (bromopropylate) and actellic (pyrimiphos-methyl).

Remember that ticks are carried at a distance by a breath of wind, the slightest movement of air, so if a tick appears on one plant, all plants on the windowsill, and possibly in the apartment, must be processed. Plants in another room may not necessarily be infected, but prevention will not hurt. I have had cases when mites appeared on only two plants standing on a balcony completely covered with flowers. It is incredible, but nevertheless, if you isolate the infected in time (at the slightest yellow spot), then you can avoid long tedious procedures.

Onion infusion for ticks
Onion infusion for ticks

Also, do not forget that ticks may end up on frames, window sill surfaces, pot walls and other surfaces. Therefore, while the plants are being processed, the window or shelf must also be wiped clean. Preferably soapy, and then alcoholic solution (boric alcohol is sold at the pharmacy).

When transplanting plants, it is better to desenify the earth. The best way is in the microwave for 10 minutes (slightly moisten the ground). True, there will be a smell of rotten earth throughout the apartment. And this does not guarantee that the mite will not appear during the spring-summer season during airing. By the way, ticks fly to the high floor (even 14 or 16).

How to deal with spider mites on orchids

Orchids differ in that they cannot be soaked for a long time in any solutions, sometimes it is impossible to allow water to enter or retain in the leaf axils. Very often, after treatment for a tick, orchids get sick with rot - from waterlogging of the soil, leaves, and the root zone. But oddly enough, orchids are resistant to chemicals, phytotoxicity is not expressed. Therefore, if you deal with ticks on orchids, then develop a method that allows you to get rid of pests at one time. The easiest way is to prepare a solution of acaricide and completely immerse the orchid in it together with a block or pot for 2-3 minutes. Then let the solution drain, thoroughly dry all the sinuses of the leaves, with a piece of toilet paper folded in a cone (it absorbs moisture better than cotton swabs). If the orchid is in the bark, the pot may smell for a while. Do not rush to rinse the bark,ticks could hide inside. Place the orchid in a draft-free area (even a window in the warm season). In the next watering, add phytosporin-m to the water: 5 g of powder per 500 ml of water.

Orchids tolerate treatment from a tick with such agents as actellic, neoron, apollo, envidor, orthus. These funds are most effective, unlike other acaricides (fitoverm).

Folk remedies for tick control

The most common way to fight leafy plants is with onion infusion. One of the members of the forum (YaSolnce) prepares it like this: she cuts half a medium onion, pours warm tap water into a half-liter jar, covers it with a lid and insists for 5-7 hours, filters and sprinkles the flowers. Here you need to add that if the water in your area is hard, then the infusion should be done only in boiled water. In addition, one large onion can be used for half a liter of water, this is a more concentrated solution, but it will not get worse.

An even easier way to get rid of a tick is with garlic water. 1 clove of garlic needs to be crushed, preferably in a mortar or finely grated, pour a glass of hot water and strain. Spray plant leaves with fresh solution immediately.

Acetone and alcohol against mites

Victor Serbin recommends this method of disinfecting cacti: 2 parts of 97% alcohol and 1 part of acetone.

In the spring transplant, the plant is cleaned of the old substrate with a thin stick, then immersed in a solution of alcohol and acetone for 5 seconds. Then it is laid out on the newspaper to dry. The plants dry out very quickly, due to the volatility of the components (for this reason, you cannot change alcohol for vodka or moonshine, and acetone for a nitro solvent).

This solution kills eggs, larvae, and adult pests, any insects at any stage of development, regardless of structure and species (also an alcohol-acetone solution is effective against scale insects and worms). No addiction arises. Burns of the roots and body of the cactus - too. Even seedlings can be dipped in the solution.

In general, an alcoholic solution, even without acetone, can be effective for wiping the leaves of some plants. First of all, those who have leathery wide leaves (monstera and other philoderndrons, adeniums, alocasia and other aroids, calatheas and other arrowroots with hairless leaves). But alcohol cleans the leaves from pests only in the place where you wiped them. And ticks, as you know, hide in secluded places, for example, in the axils of leaves, where it is difficult to reach even with a brush. Therefore, a simple rubbing of the leaves with alcohol cannot guarantee a 100% result, as in the case of dipping the entire plant in a solution, as in Viktor Serbin's.

In addition to pure alcohol, some growers are trying to use various tinctures, for example, calendula infusion. This is all well and good and the alcohol solution works, but it leaves a sticky film on the surface of the leaf. Firstly, it clogs the stomata, which makes it difficult for plants to breathe, and secondly, soot or other fungi easily settle on sticky surfaces. Therefore, such infusions must be washed off, a day or two after spraying.

Natalia Rusinova

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