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Red Spider Mite

Red spider mites (RSM) are small mites of the spider family that are approximately 0.7mm long when adult. They are generally an olive green colour with two grey spots on their backs. Adults generally turn a red colour in the autumn as they prepare to hibernate and are this colour when they emerge in the spring.

RSM feed upon plant cell sap by piercing the plant with their mouthparts, in doing so they cause damage, the plant tissue is prone to dehydration and damage may appear as numerous white speckles and in cases of extreme attack can appear to be bleached. The damaged leaves eventually dying.

When conditions are hot and dry RSM may be seen at the top of the plant going about their daily routine. RSM like long day lengths and hot and dry conditions.

RSM adult females lay eggs on the underside of the leaves, the eggs being translucent white in colour 0.1mm in diameter and perfectly round.


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