Winter Pests: Red Spider Mites
Most pests hide away for the winter, but that doesn’t mean that your trees and landscape are safe. Hiding within trees is one of the most common survival tactics of insects. This can cause serious harm to your trees and plants.
One pest to be concerned with during the winter months are red spider mites. These insects are very active in the spring and fall and during the cold months, they hide near the tree trunks where they can stay warm.
A spider mite is related to spiders and is an arachnid but is smaller and has only one body section unlike spiders that have two. Unfortunately, red spider mites look like tiny red dots and spotting them can be challenging as they only measure up to 0.4 mm long.
Red spider mites damage plants by feeding on plant cells from leaves. A few bugs biting into plant leaves won’t cause much damage. But red spider mite numbers can multiply quickly and affect plant growth. The first signs of red spider mite damage are light dots on leaves. Leaves then turn yellow and drop off.
When it comes to these pests, you could have an infestation brewing without even knowing. There are ways you can prevent an infestation of red spider mites and other pests. It is recommended to weed and prune in the fall to eliminate easy nesting areas. In addition, there are winter washes you can use before the season hits. These washes are safe for pets and children and can be safely applied to your tree. In the winter, however, a pest specialist should have no troubles getting rid of them.
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