Skimmia: Spider mites

categories: Ornamentals Shrubs Skimmia Skimmia Insects

revision date: 2022-12-03 12:00

Citrus red mite damage on skimmia.
Citrus red mite damage on skimmia
Photo by: R.S. Byther

Biology

Spider mites vary in color from green to reddish to brown. They are extremely small and may be barely visible to the naked eye. Mites are commonly found on the underside of leaves and may be accompanied by strands of very fine webbing. Mite feeding on skimmia causes leaves to appear stippled or speckled with very small, yellowish dots. Heavy feeding may result in leaves appearing bronzed, sometimes with very little green tissue remaining. Spider mites are often worse in hot, 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!

  • Natural enemies such as ladybird beetles, lacewings, and predaceous mites help control spider mite populations. Avoid use of broad-spectrum insecticides which kill these beneficials. Insecticide use may result in spider mite population explosions.
  • Wash spider mites from plants with a strong stream of water.
  • Keep plants healthy to increase pest tolerance.
  • High levels of nitrogen in the foliage encourage spider mite reproduction. Switch to a low-nitrogen or slow-release fertilizer.

Chemical Management

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

  • Apply insecticide to underside of leaves when mobile mites are discovered.
  • A second application may be necessary about 7 days later.
  • If oils are used, apply during delayed dormant period (just prior to budswell).

Approved Pesticides

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