These Little Guys May Be Damaging Your Plants

Our Texas insect expert answers common questions about bugs.

By Laura RiceAugust 27, 2015 10:38 am, ,

Texas trees got some much-needed rain this spring. But now that the weather is hot and dry across much of the state, they’re feeling thirsty again. And to add insult to injury, some are under attack.

Wizzie Brown is a program specialist with the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Office.

What are spider mites?

“Spider mites are an arachnid related to spiders. They’re very tiny — a lot of times you can’t see them but I’ve definitely seen damage which looks like a speckled discoloration on the leaves — usually kind of a whitish or yellowish color. And the plants that we have outside of our office are actually covered with webbing. Usually the webbing is just on the underside of the leaf but when you have massive infestations of them they actually can cover the whole entire plant with webs.”

How can you get rid of them?

“You can do things like insecticidal soap to control those. You can use azadirachtin — which is neem — or you could do a Spinosad product — and all of those would manage those.”

What should you do exactly?

“So if they’re on the underside of the leaf and you catch it early, target your treatment there. If not, if they’re like the plants we have, you can treat the whole entire thing.”
For more on spider mites, listen to the full segment in the player above.