Azalea: Spider mites

categories: Azalea Azalea Insects Ornamentals Shrubs

revision date: 2024-06-05 08:28

Spider mite webbing on branch tips shown on black background.
Spider mite webbing
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli


Spider mites cause mild to severe stippling (little specks or dots) on leaves. Usually yellowish or bronzish, stippling can, in severe cases, cause leaves to turn brown and drop. Fine webbing is often present, especially on the underside of leaves. Mites may be found on the underside or both sides of leaves.

Management Options

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Keep plant healthy to reduce pest problems and increase damage tolerance.
  • Switch to slow-release or lower-nitrogen fertilizers. High levels of nitrogen in the leaves can increase spider mite reproduction rates.
  • Spider mites may be washed from the plant with a strong stream of water or soapy water.
  • Predaceous mites and insect predators such as ladybird beetles may naturally control spider mite levels.
  • Avoid use of broad-spectrum pesticides that kill natural predators of spider mites. Spider mite population explosions can result.

Chemical Management

IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.

  • Apply when first noticed or when damage becomes evident.
  • Test for sensitivity on azalea before applying insecticidal soaps.
  • Be sure to apply to the underside of leaves.

Approved Pesticides

Listed below are examples of pesticides that are legal in Washington. Always read and follow all label directions.

Additional Images