Mites and Cool Spring Weather

The almost invisible cyclamen mite is a common pest on greenhouse plants when it’s been a cool spring so you may be seeing a few problems that you can’t identify until the weather warms up considerably.
These mites hide in darker, damper areas of the plant (leaf axils etc) They actually inject a toxin into the plant as they feed so you’ll begin to see
While not restricting themselves, Cyclamen mites do prefer cyclamen, dahlia, gloxinia, ivy, snapdragons, vinca, chrysanthemum, geranium, fuchsia, begonia and petunia.
And they’ll eat mostly buds or young leaves. The leaves curl inward developing a puckered appearance. Leaves may become brittle or appear streaked. Flowers may shrivel up, be discolored or the buds may not open.
Broad mites prefer to feed on ageratum, begonia, cyclamen, dahlia, gerbera, gloxinia, hibiscus, ivy, jasmine, impatiens, New Guinea impatiens, lantana, marigold, snapdragon, verbena and zinnia as well as beans, peppers and tomatoes.
Broad mites feed on the underside of leaves and leaves twist and distort with bronzed lower surfaces and they frequently turn downwards. Younger buds can be killed.
You won’t see them unless you have a microscope – all you’ll see is the damage symptoms.
Get out the insecticidal soap and start following the label’s spray directions for continued coverage. And as I said, once the heat increases, damage should subside.

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