Spider mites (024)
Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds
- Worldwide distribution. In tropics and sub-tropics. On cassava, okra, papaya, sweetpotato, tomato, eggplant, beans, taro, bele, cucumber, squash, other cucurbits, and ornamentals
- Common on under surface of leaves of taro, eggplant, bele, cassava and many others, especially when dry.
- Mites have needle-like mouthparts and suck sap from leaves causing white speckling on top surfaces. Later, leaves turn yellow and die early. Webs occur.
- Mites spread in wind and on plant parts.
- Natural enemies: predatory mites, ladybird beetles, lacewing larvae, pirate bugs, big-eyed bugs and predatory thrips.
- Cultural control: preserve natural enemies by not using insecticides; spray underside of leaves with water; mulch plants to preserve water in droughts.
- Chemical control: soap, white or horticultural oils, wettable sulphur; abamectin; alternatively, difocol or synthetic pyrethroids, but they will kill natural enemies.
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