Spider mites on plants are one plant pest many homeowners have on their indoor palms and houseplants but are not aware of them because of the mites size.
You may need a magnifying glass to see them. Red spider mites are only about 1/50 of an inch.
Like scale insects, aphids and the sap sucker mealybug, spider mites have piercing/sucking mouth parts.
Mites indoors love the dry, warm environment.
How To Tell If You Have Spider Mites on Indoor Plants?
Look for damage on the undersides of leaves. You may see tiny, rust-colored specks and spider webs on plants.
Plants with red spider mite or two-spotted spider mite damage have a sickly appearance, possibly, yellowing of the leaves and overall lack vigor.
The plants may also appear “dusty”.
The spruce spider mite is known as the most dangerous species for your house plants. Unlike the two-spotted mites and red mites that love dry conditions, the spruce mite likes it cold. As cool season pests, the eggs overwinter on twigs. They cause the foliage to appear mottled as they suck the sap from the needles and shoots of the plant.
Simple Spider Mites Detection Method
If you think you have spider mites but just can’t tell, try this simple detection method. Early detection is necessary so you can quickly implement spider mite control and save your houseplants.
Hold a piece of white paper under the leaf, and give the leaf a good hard tap. If tiny, rust-colored specks fall on the paper, your plant has the common red spider mite.
The mites (which are about the size of fine sand) are very easy to see on a white background as they try to run for cover and crawl around.
Spider mites are so small trying to wash them off with a hose or spray will most likely be unsuccessful.
There are organic spider mite control options or biological control such as making use of predatory mites, introducing beneficial insects, other predators, horticultural oil, organic insecticides, and pesticides to solve the spider mite infestation.