Continue reading to learn more about spider mites, how to identify the signs of invasion, and what you can do to help infested trees.
Detecting Spider Mites
Spider mites are small, oval, and black. As mentioned, they are about the size of a black pepper flake, and even resemble black pepper on a leaf. In fact, this is one way to identify a spider mite infestation. Simply turn over the leaves to see if you see specks of black. Another way to see of your tree has spider mites is to snap off a small twig and shake it over a white piece of paper or napkin. If a lot of black moving specks fall off onto the paper, you have found your spider mites. One of the first signs of spider mite infestation is tree health decline. You will see this in its canopy and leaves. Leaves will discolor in patches across the canopy, and overtime, will eventually cause complete crown die-back.
Spider Mite Solutions
If you have spider mites in your evergreen trees, you can try a few do-it-yourself solutions first. But if the infestations are too large, or your trees are too sick, you may need to skip over the DIY approach and go directly to professional tree care service. For small or early spider mite problems, spray the tree foliage with a garden hose. Do this every day for one week, and then do an inspection to see if spider mites still exist. Be sure to not wet the trunk of the tree too much. This can attract more pests.
If a spider mite infestation is beyond your control, you will need a licensed arborist to provide professional tree disease and pest control service. They have the proper training and resources necessary to treat tree pests, responsibly and efficiently.