Where Do Spider Mites Come From? Why Are They Found On Plants?

Anusuya Mukherjee
Oct 12, 2023 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Nov 15, 2021
Spider mite on a leaf.

Nature is full of surprises and there is always something to be learnt every day.

Spider mites are left by eight-legged tiny spiders that live in your house or gardens. It's interesting how not every spider mite is of the size and thickness.

There are 1000 species of spiders and each one of them has different kinds of spider mites, which leaves us with over 1,200 or more kinds of spider mites. They can found on your indoor plants or hanging down the corners of your house.

There are plenty of reasons as to why spiders make or weave spider mites Spider mites have a lot of different purposes when it comes to the life cycle of a spider.

The spider mites that you see on a plant may serve differently than the ones that you see on the corners of your house. There are a lot of prevention methods that you can use to stop spider mites ruining your house.

Spider mites are one of the most feared things when it comes to gardening. These mites are from the Acari family, coming from the Tetranychidae clan.

There are around 1000 plus species of these mites. There are home spiders and then there are plant spiders, which start their life as eggs, feeding on the leaves.

Plant spiders are generally called spider mites when they are very young. They essentially feed on the plants by puncturing or causing damage to the plant cell.

Once a plant is infested with these mites, proper prevention needs to be taken, such as pesticides. A spider mite is also considered a predatory mite and they almost infect 100 plus types of plants. Spider mites are almost invisible when seen by the naked eye, they appear as small granular spider-like beings.

These mites got their name due to their habit of silk webbing. The spider-like habit of spinning silk webbing across the plant they live on is very useful when it comes to protecting their colony from predators.

A spider mite life cycle is reliable on the climatic conditions in which it lives. If the plant is situated in a hot and dry climate, it is vulnerable to these spider mites.

There are a lot of techniques and methods to control these spider mites in warm dry conditions. Overusing the same type of chemical can cause them to grow resistant towards it after a period of time.

Spider mite infestations also occur on indoor houseplants. Before buying population control or terminating tools such as pest control for these pests, it's important to understand them first.

Spider mites are scale insects, the females in this species are diploid and the adult males are haploid. The fertilized eggs of these pests produce a large scale of diploid females, the eggs which are left unfertilized emerge as males.

If you enjoyed this article, why not also read about are all spiders venomous and are spiders bugs here on Kidadl!

Where do red spider mites come from?

Garden pests come from all over! Some pests are preventable if you spray them with chemicals or with oil. To make sure they do not return, there are a number of categories of preventable methods that need to be used regularly.

Some kind of pests affect can affect plants, both outdoors and indoors. If your notice that the leaves of your plants are have some insects on them or are slowly drying, chances are you need to grab a magnifying glass and start with your mite control journey.

No one likes insects that feed on the beautiful leaves of their indoor houseplants or their other garden plants. Spider mites are one such species that target both plants.

They directly destroy the plant cells of your plant and are commonly known as predatory mites.

They stand out from every other kind of gardening pests because of how difficult it might be to get rid of spider mites. There are several organic natural ways that people believe are healthy for a plant and also kill the mites that have infested your plant.

Spider mites generally don't happen during the winter season. They can be seen on healthy plant leaves when there is a lot of humidity.

Many people believe that spider mites are a species of insect or bugs, but they aren't tiny, true insects. They are a type of arachnid and are closely related to many species of spiders that make webs.

Spider mites are eight-legged and closely resemble spiders and ticks. These spider mites are extremely tiny and often target the underside of plants, causing the plants to look yellow.

They generally make the infested leaf appear dull, which in reality is just the mites on the underside. Almost all adult spider mites lay eggs and they begin to eat and thrive on plant cells as soon as they hatch.

The most common type of spider mites is the two-spotted spider mite and the red spider mite. All the adults have eight legs and take three weeks to grow into full adults.

Adult spider mites can begin laying their eggs just after a period of three weeks. They can grow their population to a large extent, as they regularly lay eggs.

What are spider mites and where do they come from?

Spider mites are garden pests and they affect your plants. They can affect both indoor and outdoor plants.

Spider mites live on the leaf of a plant and lay hundreds of eggs in hot climates. They are generally not seen during winter seasons.

There are a number of natural ways through which you can regularly keep a check on the plants in your room or your gardening plants. Both organic and chemical methods are known to control an infestation from further spreading.

The most common spider mites are of two kinds, red spider mites and spotted spider mites. They are pests and it is pretty common that they eat your plant for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

Before we go into the methods of how to stop them, it's important to know which species of spider mites you might be dealing with. Red spider mites are further divided into two species, which are European red spider mites and southern red spider mites.

Southern spider mites are more flexible with which plant they choose to infest, while a European spider mite cannot survive on just any plant.

There are several species of plants that are well protected from these pests as these spider mites cannot live on them.

However, when it comes to apple trees, you might want to look out for European spider mites. They can also thrive on tomato plants, making the leaves yellow and eventually killing your plant.

Can spider mites come from the soil?

Many people confuse soil mites with spider mites. Both species are two different kinds and damage your plants in different ways. Different kinds of pests require different methods of pest control.

You are more likely to have spider mites than soil mites, as soil mites can only spread to your plant if you use recycled soil. Soil mites are also harmless to your plants.

When it comes to spider mites, the story is very different.

They often target large plants, as they provide them with a large eating space. They prefer plants that produce more nitrogen, meaning plants with a greater amount of nitrogen and phosphorous are vulnerable to these pests.

They are so small that you might not notice them on your plant at all.

The first sign of having a spider mite infestation is yellow dead leaves with dark brown spots, which eventually kill the leaf as they feed on it. A spider mite might just have come to your garden through your pet or through you if you recently visited the woods or went on a hike.

They are so small that they cannot even be seen, which makes it easier for them to spread. A spider mite can come from anywhere, even you or your pet can bring them into your house or to your garden by coming into contact with plants that are infested with these mites.

By the time you realize that your plant is infested with this pest, they have already damaged a lot of leaves.

Because they are so tiny, you see the damage first and the pest second. Seeing webs is also a sign of an infestation, but generally most people realize they have a spider mite infestation after seeing the damaged leaves.

What plants do spider mites come from?

If you live in a hot and humid climate, there are more chances that you will be infested by these pests. Spider mites however look for large plants with large leaves, plants with excess nitrogen, carbohydrates, and enough plant protein.

You can get a mite infestation just as easily as getting ticks. These species are very similar to spiders and ticks and are much smaller in size.

Their small size is also the reason why they don't get caught easily. There are multiple reasons as to how they spread and how they can reach your garden. Due to their webbing behavior, they often escape from predators easily.

There are several ways through which you can get rid of spider mites in case of infestation. You can choose either organic or chemical methods, whichever is best for you plant.

Chemical methods involve anti-pest soap and various pesticides which can kill these pests. The sprays are also very potent. Giving your plant a good spray two times a day can help get rid of these mites which feed on the leaves.

Neem oil is another very organic method. If the spray damages your plant, the best option, in that case, is neem oil.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for where do spider mites come from then why not take a look at are wolf spiders poisonous, or spider facts.

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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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