Fight small red mini spiders on plants

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There are several small red mini-spiders, and all are spider mites, once we bring order to the little animals. Then it's about gentle methods of control and finally prevention, so you will never be visited again by mini-spider masses:
Little Red Mini Spiders are not spiders
Little red mini-spiders? That is not very precise; Among the more than 100,000 arachnids described (arachnids, certainly not all) there are some that have acquired an orange-red, bright red, dark red, red and black spotted, red and white striped, etc. robe; is just handy if you live on some red plants. Although the "little red spiders on plants" belong to an order of these arachnids, they are not "spiders in the narrower sense", but rather mites, of which, however, there are still tens of thousands.
But half of them live in the ground (where they make humus from plant remains); the other half is trying to be an animal parasite and stock pest, freshwater or marine creature, and some of them are also nibbling on plants (or sitting in your bed as a dust mite).
These few "more human" mites should not panic either, plants survive a spider mite attack quite well, mites do not bite and sting, house dust mite allergy is cured today with immunotherapy, and spider phobics just have to remember that the " Little Red "is not a real spider at all.
These mite species could be encountered on your plants:
Fruit tree spider mite "Panonychus ulmi" and the life cycle of a spider mite
Panonychus ulmi, the fruit tree spider mite, is the most well-known red spider; By their example, you will get to know the exciting life cycle of a spider mite:
She lives in the fruit tree in the garden or in a grapevine, first of all to so few specimens that she is not noticed. These specimens go through six stages of development until they have made it from the egg to males and females mating, but in the record-breaking rapid procedure:
As spring approaches, the first spider mite larvae hatch from their eggs, eating away at the undersides of the leaves, along with the station-rich development of the mature adult. With perfect timing, the males are a bit faster than the females finished and lurk from this point on, as soon as a female fully developed enters the sexual maturity, a male plunges on her and... the female lays eggs after about 2 days, the The fastest among them already in May, and then lives only a few days.
When the weather is nice and warm, a mite can easily manage the entire reproductive cycle in 10 days; in cold weather it takes about three weeks; mites can be "born" for up to 8 generations in one season, each time 20 - 40 offspring per mite. Between the end of July and August they have become conspicuously many, if they were not eaten or otherwise decimated. Arithmetic (with an average of 20 surviving offspring, the weather allows reproduction in 5 generations): 20 wintered mite eggs start spring, 1st generation 20 x 20 = 400, 2nd generation 400 x 20 = 8,000, 3rd generation 8,000 x 20 = 160,000, 4th generation 160,000 x 20 = 3,200,000, 5th generation 3,200,000 x 20 = 64 million mites, puuhh...
If the mites have managed such an undisturbed development, they have become a bit much for a plant, but also there is an mite strategy: When it gets tight, they start with the so-called "ballooning": masses of mites climb on paper - or shoot tips, stand on the hind legs and spin a silk thread, which is captured by the wind and carried away and takes along the entire mite... which lands on the neighboring plants, without the leaves of the plants must overlap (the possibility of emigration "on foot "but also gladly used).
The reds among these mites are the females, 0.5 mm in size and brick red, the last generation of them places winter eggs on the bark of the tree (and, in the case of overpopulation, also in the fruit goblets).
Common spider mites "Tetranychus urticae"
The common spider mite can also show up early in the year, not the eggs, but small red winter females hibernate here. The care for the next generation, warm dry weather in the spring favors the development of the first light to brown-green, on the sides dark spotted, around 0.3 mm large mites. Red mini-spiders they are only in late summer, until next spring the hibernating females are orange-red to vermilion.
Strawberry mite "Tarsonemus pallidus"
The strawberry mites are slightly smaller than 1 mm and light (male) and slightly larger than 1 mm and orange-brownish (female, goes through with much imagination as a red mini-spider).
The infestation with strawberry mites is usually noticeable a little later in the year, when newly-emerging strawberry heart leaves suddenly ripple.
Red velvet mite "Trombidium holosericeum"
The red velvet mite is colloquially also called "red spider" and therefore mentioned here. Mainly because, so you do not harm her, she does a lot for her environment: She lives on the edge of the forest, on dry grasslands and walls and now and then in the garden, where she sucks the eggs of other insects or hunt other small soil animals and so on whose populations are in check.
The red velvet mite is well distinguishable from the other featured mites, because it is a mighty 4 mm in size. A really characteristic appearance, which is almost worth the walk with a magnifying glass: dense light crimson velvet hair, bright red stalk eyes, scissor-shaped pine claws like a lobster (only a few numbers smaller), long bristly touch organs: /i/2011/084/1/a/mighty_mite_by_lord_creeper-d3ch09o.jpg (can be clicked even larger).
Now they have become acquainted with the most important Red Mini Spiders and the typical life cycle of a mite. It may not have been all the mites that walk around in our gardens or greenhouses, or get lost in your apartment, but they'll find out that they can at least pretty much balance the mini mites.
Damage caused by small red mini-spiders


Fruit tree spider mites eat (fruits) on leaves and other plant parts of fruit trees, they certainly like grapevines, apples, pears, plums, gooseberries and currants, but in case of doubt hunger would still drive a few other leaves.
Common spider mites are less choosy, they are even the spider mites with the greatest economic importance. In Germany, they infest about 90 crops, beans, peas, strawberries, cucumbers, hops, potatoes, fruit trees, sunflowers, wine; over 200 host plants are affected worldwide, eg B. such important crops as cotton, cassava and soya.
The strawberry mite especially likes strawberries, what else, no one has yet explored - as far as we know, eat and damage all these species similar and often share a plant, an attempt to distinguish the bite tracks would probably need an extremely patient Scientist.
The larvae and mites sting the leaves at up to 20 punctures per minute, causing different stains on the leaves, depending on the plant species. Then they suck out the leaves, after not too long the plant cells collapse, the plant responds to the "fakir leaves" with increased water absorption, which in turn leads to even more water loss, severely affected leaves dry up slowly. With the vegetable juice, the animals also suck the green pigment chlorophyll, the leaf spots are only light, then on the way to drying up mostly brownish. In low plants such as strawberries, the mites like to go to the young leaves, which then curl strong and then brown and crippled. In the case of strawberries, the fruit set often suffers, especially in late maturing varieties. You can often see fine webs on the plants, mostly on the undersides of the leaves, sometimes also on the shoots.
If a few mites or their larvae over a plant hermachen, put it loose (if it is healthy and strong). If you celebrate the mites happily wedding without any resistance, so that they bring it up to the numbers calculated above, fruit tree spider mites can already do some damage.
Combat Red Mini Spiders, the current mite infestation
If you see "too much red" on a plant because a little red miniature spider is eating around, this miniature spider is usually well on the way to becoming a million people. The further the season progresses and the "redder" or spotted the plant, the faster you should act; the sixth generation in the above calculation would consist of 1,280 million mites... Such numbers are utter nonsense? With 30,000 to 800,000 leaves per tree ( and a thousand mites on one leaf (, bottom is mostly more "inhabited") no major problem that parts of exploding populations on neighboring plants "float", was already described.
So you have reason to act, you have the following options:
1. Safe spider mites?
If you see something like the picture you just linked, the question does not arise.
But if you just see any stains on the leaves, the
  • a) not (only) from the mites, but from the weather (hail, for example) or from an unusually dry spring
  • b) come from a whole range of other pests, diseases, viruses.
If you B. just come from vacation, definitely worth a short request to the neighbors, as the weather was; In addition, in case of doubt, it should be clarified by calling the local phytosanitary department whether the affected plant species is currently being visited by diseases / viruses.
But most of the time you've seen little red mini-spiders or larvae, and they can usually be prevented from mass-propagating with normal infestation:
2. Home remedies
Simple, non-toxic, inexpensive, fast:
  • Reduce the spider mite population by mechanical removal to a plant compatible level
  • For indoor plants / greenhouse plants by sweeping / showering
  • In the garden with the garden hose, with the hardest ray that the respective plant can tolerate
  • They can also spray field horsetail broth, they should not like spider mites
  • The next step is cropping, simply cutting away affected leaves and shoots
  • Grow strawberries in mixed culture, with garlic or onions as neighbors.
  • More frequent cleaning of infected strawberry plants worsens the living conditions for mites
  • Cut away leaves from infested strawberry plants after harvest and mow them
  • For houseplants trimming is often difficult because of disfiguring the plant, mites are already looking for the most beautiful shoot
  • You can set the plant individually and try it with regular showers
  • At some point, however, only radical pruning helps, to the point of being naked, showering, repotting
  • If the houseplants can not tolerate this, disposal is probably more enjoyable than wading in mites at some point...
  • Never take offspring from sick mother plants
3. Predatory mites
If you only see red, predatory mites can be brought to the rescue next. Typhlodromus pyri has proven to be a mite eater, Amblyseius californicus also, only Phytoseiulus persimilis should not always prevail against spider mites.
You can buy these predatory mites, eg. For example, at Katz Biotech AG (, they come by post and stay with you as long as spider mites abound, then move on and look for the next dense population.
In the garden that works fine, in the room not so, predatory mites live in very high humidity and enter the interior often. Only Amblyseius californicus should tolerate high temperatures and low humidity and even be suitable for use in indoor greenery. In the greenhouse, the use of both robbers may be useful.
4. Chemical-synthetic pesticides
The use of chemical pesticides can not be recommended for home gardens today against the background of increasing environmental diseases.
However, if you have the misfortune of living right next to a commercial producer whose spider mites spew on you in bulk (more than 80% of the eyes on the lumber are covered with red eggs), perhaps a chemical use is conceivable. In case of such extreme infestation, you should then seek advice from experts (local phytosanitary department) to avoid self-injury and resistance in spider mites.
The pesticides are complicated to use at a certain time (control must be given if the mites hatch from the winter eggs and the first mite generation has not yet laid down any summer eggs) and in a maximum number of treatments per crop / year, at a certain distance and a certain way, possibly with waiting time. But you should really use pesticides only in extreme emergency, they also harm the predatory mites, and that can already ensure even more red spiders...
For indoor plants, the use of chemical pesticides is certainly not recommended, it often harms the plant more than the mites.
Prevent infestations with red mini-spiders in the garden
If it was a bad "red haunting", you certainly do not want to see it again. How to prevent:
1. More nature for the garden
The main enemy of the spider mites is the predatory mite "Typhlodromus pyri", but some native predatory mites like to eat spider mites, perhaps they can not be sent as well by mail. In addition, lacewings, ladybirds, raub bugs like to grab once... the more natural you manage your garden, with Totholzecken, mulch, compost, etc., the greater the chances that these robbers populate your garden abundantly. Including organic fertilizer instead of abundant nitrogen fertilization in spring, the spider mites love it.
2. Ever nature for the garden?
If you have just taken over your garden from "pure chemistry management", you will first need a soil remediation and then an ecological transformation. You could then just let spider mites be spider mites and hope with this richly set table on the immigration of many natural enemies, that is already a piece of ecological transformation.
3. Robust plants
If your garden is full of fragile exotic animals that are nearly consumed by spider mites and other pests every year, it should be enough for you and you should plant robust native plants in the garden.
4. Nice neighbors
Plant onions and leeks next to last year's spider mite victims who are supposed to drive out spider mites.
5. Hungry robbers
Amblyseius californicus is a highly undemanding predatory mite that can endure several weeks of hunger and therefore can also be prophylactically placed in the garden.
Spider mites on houseplants again and again?
Our indoor plants are not necessarily plants that can survive well indoors. For a long life, they were never intended, the first houseplants came in the age of discoveries from the "new countries" to us, exotics and coveted status symbols.
As always with status symbols, everyone wanted to have one, if possible even more exotic than that of the neighbor, regardless of whether the plant can actually live in a living room; the new profession of "plant hunters" brought everything that could be sold as "green gold". If a plant soon faltered, that did not matter much, status symbols need to be bought more often anyway.
Houseplants thus come from foreign countries, ranging from tropical rainforest with 90% humidity and average temperature 24 - 28 degrees over dry areas with tropical climate to subtropical areas, with season changing day lengths and colder winters. More sensitive houseplants have a chance in our homes from the outset only if you explore the conditions under which they grew in their home country, some hardliners grow almost everywhere and are satisfied with almost any care; but all have in common that they thrive in the German living room under the most precarious light conditions.
The chance of indoor plants weakening is thus quite good; and who weakens, like to be attacked once by pests, z. B. of small red mini-spiders. The more sensitive a houseplant is, the more important special attention is; in indoor plants the best prevention against the "red danger". Check "strangers" regularly for pest infestation, as soon as you see "a little twitch", the houseplant should be subjected to the treatment described above. If you have many indoor plants, in quarantine, if spider mites or other pests keep coming back, then you should first control all housing conditions. If that does not help, the houseplants can get a new location next, and if that does not work, you can either experiment with plant light or opt for more robust indoor plants.
Conclusion: Small red mini-spiders can keep you pretty well on your plants without endangering yourself with pesticides. In the garden, the crawling small animals fight more easily than in the living environment, but for a repeatedly infested houseplant anyway applies at some point: "Are they too strong, you are too weak."

Video Board: How to control spider mites in your garden - Tomato & Eggplant Spider Mite Control.

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