Cotoneaster: Spider mites

categories: Cotoneaster Cotoneaster Insects Ornamentals Shrubs

revision date: 2024-06-05 08:28

Spider mites under microscope.
Spider mites under microscope
Photo by: L.K. Tanigoshi


Spider mites are tiny, eight-legged, and of various colors from yellowish to dark to red. They may be found on the upper or lower surface of leaves and often produce a fine webbing on the leaf surface or between leaf and stem. Spider mite feeding results in a very fine yellowish speckling or stippling on the leaves. Severe infestations may cause leaf yellowing and weaken plants. Spider mite infestations are often worse during dry, dusty conditions.

Management Options

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

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Hose mites from plants with a strong stream of water.
  • Conserve natural predators such as ladybird beetles, lacewings, and predatory mites. Avoid use of broad-spectrum insecticides which kill these beneficial predators.
  • High levels of nitrogen in the foliage encourage spider mite reproduction. Switch to a slow-release or low-nitrogen fertilizer.
  • Provide proper culture for plants. Healthy plants are more tolerant of damage, while drought-stressed plants are more susceptible.

Chemical Management

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

  • Apply early spring when mites are present.
  • Soaps may need to be applied several times.
  • Homeowners should not make foliar applications to trees over 10 ft tall.
  • Safer Brand Insect Killing Soap ConConsult a commercial pesticide applicator for treatment of trees and shrubs over 10 ft. tall.

Approved Pesticides

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

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