SPIDER MITES Here at Edenz Hydro we know that your room must be as clean as an operating room in a hospital. That's the first thing anyone should be sure of before putting any plants in their room. Avoid any visitors to your room, because any problems they have will be your problem. Any bugs or other contaminants that are on them could be transfered to your plants just by them being in your room, even if only for a second. The key thing in treating your plants is consistency. If you have a problem the first thing you need to do is figure out who and what has contaminated your plants. In this article we will provide descriptions and treatments for Spider Mites. Spider mites are members of the Acari (mite) family Tetranychidae, which includes about 1,200 species. They generally live on the under sides of leaves of plants, where they may spin protective silk webs, and they can cause damage by puncturing the plant cells to feed. Spider mites are known to feed on several hundred species of plant. Spider mites are less than 1 millimetre (0.04 in) in size and vary in colour. They lay small, spherical, initially transparent eggs and many species spin silk webbing to help protect the colony from predators; they get the 'spider' part of their common name from this webbing. Hot, dry conditions are often associated with population build-up of spider mites. Under optimal conditions (approximately 80°F or 27°C), the two-spotted spider mite can hatch in as little as 3 days, and become sexually mature in as little as 5 days. One female can lay up to 20 eggs per day and can live for 2 to 4 weeks, laying hundreds of eggs. A single mature female can spawn a population of a million mites in a month or less. This accelerated reproductive rate allows spider mite populations to adapt quickly to resist pesticides, so chemical control methods can become somewhat ineffectual when the same pesticide is used over a prolonged period. Spider mites, like hymenopterans and some homopterous insects, are arrhenotochous: females are diploid and males are haploid. When mated, females avoid the fecundation of some eggs to produce males. Fertilized eggs produce diploid females. Unmated, unfertilized females still lay eggs, that originate exclusively haploid males. The best known member of the group is Tetranychus urticae, which has a cosmopolitan distribution, and attacks a wide range of plants, including cannabis, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, beans, corn, strawberries. Other species which can be important pests of commercial plants include Panonychus ulmi (fruit tree red spider mite) and Panonychus citri (citrus red mite). COUNTERMEASURES Here at Edenz we have a wide selection of Pest Control products. There is no store in the entire country that has the selection that we do. Stop by either of our stores (for locations go to www.edenzhydro.com/contact) or go to www.edenzonline.com and check out our selection of products that will fit in to any budget. Chemical control of spider mites generally involves pesticides that are specifically developed for spider mite control (miticides or acaricides). Few insecticides are effective for spider mites and many even aggravate problems. Furthermore, most spider mites become resistant to new pesticides within two to four years, making control difficult. Because most miticides do not affect eggs, a repeat application at an approximately 10- to 14-day interval is usually needed for control. Since an egg can develop into a mature spider mite able to lay eggs of its own in as little as 9 days, more frequent application may be required in hot, dry conditions. Neem oil may provide control, when combined with a suitable surfactant and diluted with water. As with chemical control, repeated applications are required. Various insects and predatory mites feed on spider mites and provide a high level of natural control. One group of small, dark-coloured lady beetles (Stethorus species) are specialised predators of spider mites. Minute pirate bugs (Orius; family Anthocoridae), big-eyed bugs (Geocoris species), and predatory thrips can be important natural enemies. Many mites in the family Phytoseiidae are predators of spider mites. In addition to those that occur naturally, some of these are produced in commercial insectaries for release as biological controls. Among those most commonly sold via mail order are Galendromus occidentalis, Phytoseiulus persimilis, Mesoseiulus longipes, Amblyseius fallicus, and Neoseiulus californicus. Predatory mites eat adult mites, their eggs, and all developmental stages between. Predatory mites can consume as many as 5 adult spider mites per day, or 20 eggs per day.