Spider mites (Tetranychus spp.)
The plant's leaves and growth tips are susceptible to mites (very small, sucking arthropods) that result in twisted growth and low productivity.
Generally, spider mites feeding may cause reduction in plant growth, flowering, number and length of berries, and number of seeds per berry. Damage is most severe when mites attack young plants. Mite damage may be particularly severe during the dry season.
- Avoid planting next to infested fields.
- Avoid use of broad-spectrum pesticides, in particular pyrethroids; this may lead to spider mite outbreaks.
- Use overhead irrigation or wash plants with a strong jet of water to knock off mites and destroy their webs. Be sure to spray the underneath of the leaves. However, this should be done early in the day to allow the foliage to dry. Wetness of the foliage for an extended period is conducive to development of fungal diseases.