WSU Extension


Caption: Bamboo spider mite damage
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli
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Bamboo : Bamboo spider mite
(revision date: 3/10/2017)

The bamboo spider mite is a tiny, eight-legged mite that feeds on the underside of leaves. The mites typically produce flat sheets of fine webbing. Mite feeding results in yellow to brownish stippling (tiny dots) on the leaves. Heavy spider mite infestations can reduce plant growth. Infestations are often worse during dry, dusty conditions.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Avoid use of broad-spectrum insecticides that kill natural predators such as ladybird beetles and predatory mites.
  • Wash spider mites from plants with a strong stream of water.
  • Provide proper culture to maintain plant health. Healthy plants are more tolerant of insect damage.
  • Provide proper nutrition. High levels of nitrogen in the foliage encourage spider mite reproduction. Switch to a slow-release or low-nitrogen fertilizer.
  • Inspect plants closely for presence of the pest prior to purchasing or transplanting.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

If spider mites are numerous or damage is apparent and there is no evidence of natural controls present, and listed nonchemical methods are inappropriate, apply a chemical control method listed below. Direct applications to undersides of leaves. Homeowners should not make foliar applications to trees over 10 ft tall. Consult a commercial pesticide applicator for treatment of trees and shrubs over 10 ft. tall.

Listed below are examples of pesticides that are legal in Washington. Always read and follow all label directions.
  • Safer Brand Insect Killing Soap Conc II [Organic]
    Active ingredient: potassium laurate  |  EPA reg no: 42697-60
  • This list may not include all products registered for this use.
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Caption: Bamboo spider mite damage
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli