Mites - pests of plants
Ticks are usually small (0.2 to 0.4 mm) arthropods of the arachnid class. This is the largest group in the class: currently about 50 thousand species are described. In this article we will talk about ticks that damage cultivated plants.
Dry air and high temperature, and in some cases excessive humidity, are favorable conditions for the development of ticks. They breed very quickly, from the laying of eggs to the appearance of an adult, only 7 days can pass. In the later stages of the lesion, there is nothing left but to get rid of the plant. Measures to combat all types of ticks are almost similar.
Let's look at some common ticks and how to deal with them.
Spider mites (Tetranychinae)
Spider mites are a family of ticks from the squad Acariformes. They are found in all regions, including Antarctica. More than 1270 species, 95 genera. Small mites, less than 1 mm long. The eye is two pairs, the legs are composed of 5 segments. Herbivores (including dangerous pests of cultivated plants) secrete a web. The most famous member of the family common spider mite (Tetranychus urticae) is ubiquitous.
Spider mite is a dangerous pest of fruit and berry crops. It harms the leaves of raspberries, strawberries, currants, gooseberries and other plants.
Mites are very small. The female is greenish in summer, orange and red in spring and autumn. Ball-shaped eggs, transparent, small. Settling on the underside of young leaves and covering them with cobwebs, mites suck out juices from them and cause browning, coagulation and drying out within 2-3 days.
Plants are completely entangled in cobwebs. In the presence of food and heat, ticks multiply until mid-September, especially strongly in dry and hot weather. Rains and coolness are depressing on the tick.
Control measures. In case of damage, spraying with acaricides is used: Sunmayt, Nissoran, Apollo, Agravertin, Akarin, Oberon. If the damage to the plant is small, you can try wiping the leaves and stems with a soap solution.
Flat ticks (Tenuipalpidae)
Flat ticks are very small ticks with a body length of 0.25 to 0.4 mm. The body of the tick is ovoid, yellow or brick. Most common Red flat tick (or orange flat tick) Brevipalpus obovatus, as well as Cactus flat tick Brevipalpus russulus. Cacti, citrus fruits, ficuses, aucubs and other indoor plants damage. These very small pests are very difficult to detect, in addition, they do not form cobwebs. A sign of the appearance of these pests is the slow withering of the leaves, and in the future - the death of the plant. Flat mites are also dangerous because at ordinary room temperature from 18 to 24 ° C they are able to breed throughout the whole year.
Do not confuse it with a red spider that does not form the cobwebs that eats the tick and its larvae.
Control measures. In case of damage, spraying with acaricides is used.
Famous representatives Cereal bryobia (Bryobia graminum), and Clover tick (Bryobia praetiosa) Grain bryobia is rather difficult to notice on the plant, although it is not so small: it has dimensions of about 0.8 - 1 mm in length. Her body is reddish, broadly oval, with long legs. Cereal bryobia is very mobile and quickly moves throughout the plant. She lays large orange eggs along the veins on the upper side of the leaf. Clover mite of smaller sizes - up to 0.6 mm, has an oval body of brown or green color. Lays spherical dark red eggs on leaves.
A sign of the appearance of these pests are white or yellowish spots-strokes that appear on the surface of the leaf. The peel on the leaves dies and cracks, the leaves are deformed and twisted. Damage caused by bryobia is very similar to thrips, but unlike the last bryobia, they leave eggs on the upper side of the leaf. Despite the fact that bryobia are not so common pests, they can still harm indoor plants by entering the house from the street or by hitting plants exposed to the garden for the summer.
Control measures. With severe damage, spraying with acaricides is used.
Root mites are more difficult to detect, since detection requires extracting a plant from the ground. Root ticks include several different species, which combines the fact that they damage the underground parts of plants. Among root ticks more common Bulbous root tick (Rhizoglyphus echinopus) and Bulb tick (Steneotarsonemus laticeps) These mites primarily harm bulbous plants (gladioli, hyacinths, tulips, orchids, etc.).
The bulbous root tick is approximately 0.5 - 1 mm, has a wide oval body of light yellow color, narrowed to the end, and four pairs of legs.
The bulbous tick is slightly larger - up to 1.5 mm long, has an oval body and four pairs of legs. They gnaw onion tissue, laying eggs in huge numbers there - about 300 eggs from one female onion root tick. At the same time, at the initial stage of the lesion, mites and passages of ticks are visible, however, ticks gradually gnaw through the entire bulb. A damaged bulb can easily fall apart in your hands or break, all internal tissues are eaten out, only white dust remains, and ticks are not visible with the naked eye.
Root mites actively multiply and develop in a wide temperature range - from 10 to 25 ° C and even higher, when the conditions change, they do not die, but fall into a state of diapause. Root mites reproduce especially strongly in high humidity. Therefore, one of the measures to prevent the appearance of root ticks is the storage of tubers, bulbs and root crops in a cool dry place, with a humidity of not more than 60%.
Control measures. Before planting, carefully inspect the bulbs. Promotes the appearance of root mites, as already noted, conditions of increased soil moisture. In this case, it is not necessary to water the plant less than it requires, it is only necessary to prevent stagnation of water in the roots, i.e. do good drainage and drain the water from the pan.
Affected bulbs and roots of plants are kept or watered with a solution of acaricide.
Cyclamen mites (Phytonemus pallidus) are microscopic mites that cannot be seen with the naked eye. The size of the adult female Cyclamen tick is on average 250µ (microns), and the eggs are not more than 150µ.
One female lays up to three eggs daily, the total number of eggs in the clutch is from 12 to 16. Eggs mature in three to seven days, another 3-4 days are required for larvae to develop before pupation, the mite spends no more than a week in the pupa, after which it is ready to reproduction.
The cyclamen tick is a pest of many ornamental flowers and shrubs, such as cyclamen, violets, begonias, gerberas, ivy, chrysanthemums, geraniums, fuchsias, delphinium, petunia, snapdragon, and others. It also affects strawberries. In this regard, it has a synonym - strawberry tick.
The cyclamen tick, as a rule, lives at the growth points of young shoots, and buds that are born. High humidity and warmth favors the development of cyclamen tick, reducing the development of new generations to two weeks.
External signs of damage. In the affected plant, growth stops, the edges of the leaves curl, the stems twist, the buds fade. This lesion contributes to increased humidity. A severely affected plant appears to be covered in a layer of dust.
Control measures. Plants affected by the pest must be isolated or the distance between adjacent pots increased. Cyclamen mites do not tolerate dry air, therefore, to combat them, it is necessary to suspend the spraying of leaves and reduce the number of waterings. All affected parts are removed from the plant; repeated spraying with avermectin group drugs can be used, as tick eggs are protected by a shell that is impervious to most chemicals. You can also conduct heat treatment. For this, the plant is immersed for 30 minutes in warm 43.5 ° C water.
How do you deal with these pests?