Identifying Broad Mites and Russet Mites

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Broad Mites & Russet Mites are quite similar in the matter of treatment and damage symptoms. Both are too small to figure out with naked eyes even under a microscope also. They are difficult to control due to the near invisibility. Russet mites are under the ‘eriophyid’ family. They are translucent, tapered and wedge-shaped cylinder with two pairs of legs. The tomato attacking mites are the most dangerous among them. Broad mites belong to ‘thread footed’ family and pale white in color. The hind legs give them the thread like appearance.

Both the mites affect the bottom part of the plant first and then move upwards. The main symptom is the newly growing leaves are curly and twisted. They reduce the plant’s overall health, vigor, and new growth. These tiny mites quickly spread and sap the whole plant if not controlled properly.

Unfortunately, these mites are very difficult to control because they are almost invisible and lay eggs in the inner part of the plant which makes tough to kill them. Here are some useful tips that may help –

  • Neem oil is very effective against these bugs
  • Essentria IC3, a mixer of Horticulture oils are marked as a bug But it is only effective for 8 hours, so you have to apply these daily.
  • Insecticidal soaps are proved beneficial for your garden to kill the mites.

Don’t stop treatment after two or three days even if you think the mites are gone. Treat plants at least for five weeks because if you don’t finish them completely, they will come back again.

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