Jul 12, 2021
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.

Identification

  • 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 on hemp leaf
Spider mites on hemp leaf. Photos: Alabama Cooperative Extension System

Damage

  • 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.
spider mite damage on hemp
Spider mite damage on hemp.

Management

  • 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




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