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Lesson Nine

Biological Pest Control 9-5


Red Spider Mites

Red Spider Mites are a pest of nearly all horticultural crops, both in green-
houses and outdoors. Their tremendous reproductive capacity means that 
these mites are capable of rapidly destroying plants. The larvae, nymphs
and adult mites all cause damage to the plant by feeding on plant tissue.

Spider Mites

Red Spider Mites are about the size of a pin head, inhabit the undersides of
plant leaves and can be seen scurrying around. Their eggs can be seen with a magnifier, scat-
tered at random and ranging in color from clear to tan. With large infestations, a fine webbing 
can be seen covering the plant top. Red Spider Mites prefer lower humidity levels and normally 
go dormant in winter.

Biological Control:

Phytoseiulus persimilis

This predatory mite feeds on eggs, nymphs and adults of 
a number of species of red spider mite. Phytoseiulus
responds to specific chemical cues when lo-
cating it's prey" This makes it effective in locating new
Red Spider Mite colonies.

Phytoseiulus persimilis