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Red Spider Mite

Garden Pests

Red Spider Mite

The red spider mite is a common sap-feeding pest which causes mottled leaves on greenhouse plants, houseplants as well as garden plants. Common victims are, vines, peach, nectarines, cucumbers, tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, poinsettias, orchids and Impatiens.


These red spider mites love warm, dry conditions, and so will thrive in a greenhouse throughout the year. Outdoor, problems occur in late summer especially when the weather is hot and dry.

Prevention is the best action with these pests, so remain vigilant and spot them early before they take hold.


How to spotRed Spider Mite

Despite their common name they are yellowish-green with a pair of darker markings and are therefore sometimes called the glasshouse two-spotted spider mite. They only become orange-red in the autumn and winter resting period.

The mites are small, up to 1mm (less than 1/16in) long, and are only just visible to the naked eye when found in large numbers.  You may need a magnifying glass to see them. Look on the lower leaf surface and you’ll find their spherical eggs. To see them more clearly you can hold a piece of paper under the plant leaf, shake it and the mites will fall onto the paper.

Heavy infestations are easier to spot, as you will see a fine silk webbing on the plants, then leaves lose their green colour, dry up and fall off.


Red Spider Mite



How to treat

These little mites breed very quickly when the conditions are warm and dry. Mist your foliage regularly to create a cool moist environment to help reduce their numbers. However, don’t overdo it as you may have a case of fungal disease on your plants instead

Try refined plant oils, such as those derived from rapeseed and sunflower. These work by blocking the breathing pores of small insects and mites, such as aphids, whitefly, and red spider mites.


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