Spider mites: how to recognise damage?
A spider mite infection can cause considerable damage to your plants in a short time. Damage is first visible in the form of white or silvery spots. Next, you’ll see yellow spots that may eventually take over the entire leaf. At the last stage, the plant is covered in a white web. The mites themselves are usually found on the bottom of the damaged leaves, where they feed. Since mites suck the nutrients out of the plant, it won’t be able to grow anymore.
How to prevent (further) damage?
An easy way to prevent mites is to place a clove of garlic next to your plant. The plant will absorb some of the garlic’s smell. This keeps the mites away. Mites are also not keen on a high humidity or a low temperature.
Mites measure between 0.2 and 0.5 millimetres and are difficult to see without a magnifying glass. Unlike most insects, mites have eight legs that point either forwards or backwards. The body is usually pear-shaped and yellowy-green, brownish or red. Mites prefer warm, dry conditions and therefore tend to attack plants that have been weakened by a lack of water.