Coniferous spider mite: characteristic features of the pest.
Coniferous spider mite is a microscopic (about 0.45 mm long) insect, with an elliptical or ovoid body and a convex upper and flat lower body. Its color varies from light brown to brick red. Head with a blunt, short proboscis on which the organs of nutrition are located. The mite has 8 legs with a large number of hairy appendages, with which it attaches to the plant.
Females lay fertilized and unfertilized, round, white, transparent or yellowish eggs at the same time. From which young females and males are born (and the latter hatch exclusively from unfertilized eggs).
Their ripening time primarily depends on the average daily air temperature. The higher it is, the faster transparent, greenish-brown larvae appear with 3 pairs of legs and large, dark spots on the sides. Thus, the development of the embryo occurs in 2-15 days.
After the first moult (3-15 days after birth), the larva of the mite becomes a nymph and it grows another pair of legs. Under favorable conditions, in a few days the nymph becomes an adult, mature insect, quite ready for reproduction.
Coniferous spider mite: what is dangerous?
However, the main danger posed by coniferous spider mite is its fertility and speed of development. Under favorable conditions, it completely completes its life cycle. From egg to egg in just 7-10 days. Which can be considered a kind of record among pests. Thus, in a season only a dozen insects can turn into a colony of many thousands, which literally occupies several dozen trees.
Coniferous spider mite: signs of appearance.
Coniferous spider mite is very small. It is simply impossible to see it with the naked eye. However, its appearance on the plant still will not go unnoticed. In the course of its life, this insect creates a whole mantle on a tree or shrub with a dense, white web. This cover complicates the normal air exchange of the plant, as well as complicates photosynthesis, which adversely affects the condition of the needles.
Also signs of spider mite are:
- whitish spots on the needles, in places where insects feed;
- discoloration, drying and death of needles;
- reddish, mottled plaque on branches and needles, which is formed in places of accumulation of the pest.
Coniferous spider mite: where it lives and what it eats.
Coniferous spider mite is a very common parasite. It is often found on wild and ornamental trees and shrubs in the temperate and subtropical climate of the Northern Hemisphere. And the further south the plant grows, the more chances to meet this pest.
The spider mite feeds on the juices of conifers such as thuja, pine, fir, spruce and juniper.
Coniferous spider mite: methods of control.
Due to the very short life cycle, the spider mite can capture just huge areas of conifers. Therefore, it is necessary to fight it at the first signs of its appearance. For this purpose it is necessary to carry out careful processing of a plant by an acaricidal preparation (“Aktellik”, “Vermitek”). At the same time it is necessary to remember:
- the drug acts only in contact with the insect. Therefore, spraying should be carried out with a fine spray and in any case not to leave untreated areas;
- change the drug regularly, as after 2-3 treatments insects develop immunity to it;
- carry out several sprays per season at intervals of 7 days. To destroy not only adult insects but also their eggs and larvae.
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