Spider mites (Tetranychus spp.)
Spider mites suck the sap of the plants, causing mottling of the upper leaf surface. Infested leaves first show a white to yellowing speckling, and then eventually turn bronze and fall off as the infestation becomes heavy. Spider mites prefer the lower surface of the leaves, but in severe infestations occur on both leaf surfaces as well as on stems and fruits. High infestations cause defoliation.
- Field hygiene is important for the management of spider mites. Old crops or weeds infested with mites can cause infestation of any new crop.
- Natural enemies such as predatory mites are important for control of spider mites.