Spider mites are tiny, spider-like pests that feed on the sap of plants. They are usually red, brown, green, or yellow in color and can be challenging to see with the naked eye. They are about the size of a grain of salt and have eight legs, like spiders.
Spider mites are particularly damaging to plants because they feed on the sap in the leaves, causing yellow or white spots to appear. Over time, the leaves can become discolored, curled, and may eventually fall off. They infest various plants, including flowers, vegetables, and fruit trees. They can quickly multiply and spread from plant to plant.
Spider mites reproduce very quickly, making them difficult to control once an infestation has taken hold. They are also known to develop resistance to certain insecticides, making it essential to use a combination of preventive measures and treatment methods to effectively manage an infestation.
CALL AN ARBORIST!
You must have an arborist inspect your yard if you have noticed spider mites because if left unchecked, spider mites can kill a tree relatively quickly, sometimes within a few months. However, the speed at which a tree dies from a spider mite infestation depends on several factors, including the species of the tree, the severity of the infestation, and environmental conditions. For example, trees already stressed or weakened may be more susceptible to death from spider mites. In contrast, healthier trees may be able to withstand the damage for a more extended time. Therefore, to prevent a tree from being killed by spider mites, it is important to monitor for infestations and take appropriate action to control the mites before they cause significant damage.
Here is a list of preventative steps until an arborist is available to evaluate and treat the tree.
Identify the problem: Before treating the infestation, you must ensure that the problem is indeed caused by spider mites. They are usually visible as tiny red, brown, or green dots on the leaves of plants.
Remove infested leaves: If you have a small infestation, remove any leaves covered in spider mites. This will reduce the number of pests and give your plants a chance to recover.
Use insecticidal soap: Insecticidal soap is a safe and effective way to get rid of spider mites. Mix a soap and water solution and spray it on the affected leaves. Repeat the treatment every three to seven days until the spider mites are gone.
Use neem oil: Neem oil is another natural remedy that can be used to get rid of spider mites. It acts as a deterrent and suffocates the mites. Apply the oil every three to seven days until the spider mites are gone.
Keep the environment clean: To prevent spider mites from returning, keep the environment clean and free of debris. Make sure that plants are spaced out so that there is adequate air circulation, and keep the humidity levels low.
In conclusion, dealing with spider mites requires a combination of proactive measures and effective treatment methods. Calling an arborist to handle them is going to be the safest bet. Hopefully, some of the ideas provided in this article will help your tree until it can be fully treated.