Spider mites may be having negative effects on your outdoor vegetable garden. Very small and likely to go unnoticed, these critters are not beneficial to your plant life. A spider mite may kill an entire plant if left to its own devices even a plant as sturdy as the dieffenbachia may be at risk, so just imagine how much damage such this spider can do to your tender garden seedlings.
To be able to identify these spiders, you will need to know exactly what they look like, and exactly what kind of evidence they leave behind to tip you off to their presence. Unfortunately, they are so small that you may need a magnifying glass to find them. Many people find that they are easier to see on the undersides of plant leaves perhaps because this side of the leaf tends to be lighter in color.
Check your garden plants for signs of mites: look to see if any mottling has appeared in the leaves. Mottling may occur because these spiders enjoy sucking the sap out of the plant tissue and leaving behind the dead plant tissue. If it appears that random leaves are dying for no apparent reason, this may be a sign of the spiders’ presence. Of course, it is not always easy to see the tiny clumps of dead tissue they are leaving behind, but there are other signs. The mites make their own sort of webs, so if you notice any fine webbing they may be present. An infestation will cause leaves to dry up in clumps; these leaves will eventually fall off the plant.
These critters are attracted to dry, hot climates and in this prime environment, they may live out their entire life cycle within 10 days. This means that within 10 days, each female will have laid between 100 and 200 eggs. The eggs create an entirely new problem, because the spiders generally lay them in the soil beneath the plants. Obviously, it is better to discover an infestation early on.
To prevent an infestation, work to keep soil and atmosphere surrounding your garden relatively moist and shaded. These bugs are known to affect houseplants as well, so before you bring home a new plant check it carefully to ensure that there are no signs of them. Keep new plants away from your other plants until you have determined that they are not acting as hosts to spiders and their eggs. Mites can move from one houseplant to another extremely quickly. If one plant is affected, take immediate action to ensure the mites do not spread. Ladybugs can be purchased to combat this problem because ladybugs will eat the mites and their eggs in the soil. Another option is organic insecticidal soap, which can be used to destroy the bugs as well. Do not hesitate to take action against these bugs; your garden needs stability, and an overriding population of spider mites will tip the balances in their own favor.