How to Identify Two-Spotted Spider Mites in Hemp
Early detection is key to managing two-spotted spider mites in hemp. Auburn University researchers share how to recognize them and their damage.
- Spider mites are small arachnids related to spiders, ticks, and scorpions.
- Their appearance is oval-shaped, yellowish-green or reddish-brown with two dark spots on each side of their body.
- Adult mites produce webbing to help adhere eggs to the leaf surface.
- They overwinter in protected locations such as leaf litter or weedy areas.
- A wide range of indoor and outdoor plants, fruits, and vegetables serve as hosts.
- Spider mites feed on plant sap with piercing-sucking mouthparts.
- Damage appears as discolored spots on the leaf surface.
- Entire leaves may be discolored.
- Heavy infestations can cause leaf loss or plant death.
- Hot, dry weather or broad spectrum insecticide use that removes natural enemies can flair populations.
- Early detection is key. Use a hand lens to routinely scout several areas of the field or greenhouse.
- Irrigation and proper moisture management can help control mites.
- Natural enemies are effective for small populations.
- Insecticide coverage is crucial.
Use the Farming Basics Mobile App to locate Alabama Extension personnel for any questions.
Source: Kaylee Hirsch and Katelyn Kesheimer, Auburn University