Spider mites (Tetranychus spp.)
Eggs of red spider mites are round, white or pink and of size about 0.1 mm. Eggs are usually laid on the under-surface of leaves. They hatch into six-legged larvae, light green in colour, which become reddish coloured adults. The adults are about 0.25 -0.6 mm long. They have eight legs, and produce a fine silk webbing that protects them predators and pesticide sprays. Infested leaves are spotted, yellowish or silvery as a result of feeding by red spider mites. Infested capsules exhibit white speckling. The red spider mites are dispersed by wind and human activity on clothes while working in infested fields. Their development is favoured by warm weather and insufficient rains.
- Field hygiene is important as an old crop or weeds infested with mites can cause infestation of any new crop grown nearby, particularly, if it is downwind of the old crop.
- Interplanting with garlic, basil or onion is said to give some protection due to their strong smell.
- Encourage natural enemies. This can be achieved by planting flowering plants around the field
- Spray preparations made of Garlic click here, Neem click here or Soap click here
- Use a preparation of flour: 2 cups of fine, white flour, add 5-10 l water, mix well, spray infected plants early in the morning. The pests will drop off with the crust during the day. For more information on Flour spray click here. For more information on Natural enemies click here