Mites are hardly visible to the eye. Webbing is the telltale sign of infestation of spider mites. Mites feed on most indoor plants, apple and peach trees, evergreens and strawberries, causing yellowing, first along the veins and then over the entire leaf surface. Fruit trees with severe mite damage will have small, poorly colored fruit and early drop. Leaves dry, curl slightly upward; a bronze color develops on the bottom of the leaf.
Mites are not common on unsprayed fruit trees, as many naturally occurring predators feed on all mite species. Mites only become a problem when insecticides are repeatedly used during summer months, wiping out the beneficial insects. Green Lacewings are good predators of mites. Insecticidal soap also does a good job of controlling mites. And horticultural oil will smother mite eggs without eliminating natural predators; apply late in the dormant period—at bud break—when eggs are most vulnerable. We recommend Plant Guardian Houseplant Insecticidal Soap and Oil-Away Supreme Insecticidal Spray.