Spider Mites

Common names

Two-spotted spidermite, Carmine spidermite, Stawberry spidermite and Bean mite

Scientific names

Tetranychus urticae, Tetranychus cinnabarinus, Tetranychus Turkestani and Tetranychus ludeni

Nature of damage

The Spider Mite (Tetranychus urticae) lays its eggs on the underside of the leaves. The mobile stages (nymphs and adults) suck the cell contents from the leaves of the host plant cell by cell, leaving tiny, pale spots or scars where the green epidermal tissue has been destroyed. Although the individual lesions are very small, commensurate with the small size of the mites, the frequently-observed attack of hundreds or thousands of spider mites may cause thousands of lesions and thus can significantly reduce the photosynthetic capability of plants, greatly reducing their production of nutrients, sometimes even killing the plants. Although this way of feeding could potentially spread plant viruses and disease, this is considered of secondary importance in the case of Spider Mites. Greenhouse crops of high added value may suffer devastating damage either in hotspots (attack of spider mites typically starts in hotspots) or the entire crop.