Red Spider Mite Infestation

Red Spider Mite Infestation

There is a morning glory growing along the fence on the west side of my backyard. It was a volunteer that came up late in the season and never did particularly well.

Recently, the vine has been looking less healthy than usual. I glanced over to see how it was fairing and noticed a rather odd brownish growth on the top. How very odd. Looks almost like a fungus or mold.

Red Spider Mite Infestation

Closer inspection revealed that, in fact, the machine has the worst infestation of Red Spider Mites I have ever witnessed.

That “growth” is a solid mass of mites. There has to be millions on the plant, with a couple of other vertical spikes covered in swarms almost as thick.

Now wonder the plant is just incredibly unhealthy! About the only thing keeping it alive is that morning glories are pretty much very fast growing weeds.

Click through to see a detail shot of the primary mass of bugs. I think I’m going to spray the plant with water or something and then rip it out. But sticking my hands on a plant that heavily covered with web and mites gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Red Spider Mite Infestation

17 Responses to “Red Spider Mite Infestation”

  1. John C. Randolph says:

    Borax.  Sprinkle it over the carpets, wait a day, and vacuum it up.  Kills all kinds of itty-bitty arthropods.


  2. John C. Randolph says:

    Oops, thought you meant you had them in the house.


  3. Daniel Jalkut says:

    That’s insane. I got the heebie jeebies here on the other side of the continent 😉

  4. Amie says:

    Why did I look at the big pic? I am going to give myself nightmares over this! (I am severely bug-phobic)

  5. Allan Gabston-Howell says:

    Hit it with Malathion Plus then, after the malathion biodegrades, introduce predator mites.

    Otherwise, you’ll likely find these things on every plant in your yard.

  6. Rosie says:

    Malathion does not biodegrade very quickly, in fact it hardly does, and it takes a very long time. Not only will it kill the mites, but also every positive insect in the area. Thus, when the mites recover from the spraying, you may have taken out all of the checks that nature has placed on them. Malathion is literally poison, and has been known to kill humans in strangely small dosages. It builds up in your body the more times you come into contact with it, and one day it becomes deadly because you already have so much in your system. Once sprayed it seeps through the groundwater into the nearest river/lake to wreak more havoc on those ecosystems. I would advise against using it unless you have no other solution. Just removing the infested plant would probably do just as well. Introducing predator mites is a very good idea, though, if you are sure that they will not cause further ecological imbalance. 🙂

  7. bbum says:

    For the record, I don’t use poisons on any plants in my yard or garden. Never. If a plant dies from an infestation like this, it is because it was the wrong plant in the wrong spot.

    For example, I noticed that my lemon tree had a section infested with some nasties.


    Because a tree near it had grown a branch that was shading the lemon. Cut off the branch, lemon tree is now perfectly fine and, likely, slightly tougher for having had the experience.

  8. DoryO says:

    I think a woodchuck just dug up a huge number of these mites’ eggs in our back yard. Uh-oh. I don’t want that mess on my morning glories this year.

    Don’t forget…the right plant might be in exactly the right place, but still be vulnerable to attack by *invasive* species that did not evolve with native plants. We don’t mind getting chemically tough with these invaders.

  9. josee says:

    do you have a picture of one only one if you do send it to me
    please the quickly possible please please ( please

  10. Patty says:

    I am so glad that I found this information.
    Now I need to know how to get rid of them naturally.
    Any help?

  11. Jeff says:

    Wow that’s disturbing! Very cool picture though.

  12. bbum says:

    Once an infestation has gotten that bad, there is little you can do but destroy the plant. It is likely a lost cause anyway.

    However, lacewings and ladybugs will eat spider mites all day long. You can usually pick up several hundred ladybugs for a few bucks at any decent nursery or hardware store.

  13. phindaly says:

    I read somewhere today that spraying the plant with a mixture (2/3rds water 1/3 rubbing alcohol) will kill the mites on contact. I haven’t tried it yet, but I do see them around the outside of my house in Nashville.

  14. Louise says:

    I like those tiny spiders, used to play with them when we were kids. Never seen that many at once though. Usually just one at a time on a leaf. lol

  15. R Miller says:

    My gosh. And I thought I had problems with spider mites. Now I see I don’t. I would probably pour gas on that plant and set it on fire.

  16. r. anderson says:

    I have a wonderful selection of Tropical house plants as well carnivorous plants . In the winter I will on occasion get house spider mites on my plants. I make up a concoction of insecticidal soap for the tropical plants. You may have to check up on the status & try more than once to get rid of the buggers. recipe: liquid rotenone-pyrethrins, Ajax liquid soap and water. For the carnivorous plants like my nepenthes recipe: damp cotton swab and alcohol rub down each leaf. or area which is infested. May your garden always be green and flowing with the beauty of Nature.


  17. Nice Nature photos « Photo and pics says:

    […] […]

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