If you’ve been following my blogs, you’ve noticed that I’ve been reporting about an increase in pest problems this year due to our mild winter. Because of current hot, dry weather, spider mites are showing up practically everywhere. They attack numerous plants, especially many annual varieties (marigolds in particular). Symptoms to look for include mottled leaves (upper leaf surface appears washed out and somewhat speckled); tiny moving dots on the undersides of leaves; and spider like webs linking leaves, stems, and even flower buds.
Because they multiply rapidly, (2 mites can multiply to over a million in less than 2 weeks), you need to spray the infected plants ASAP. Use insecticidal soap or other approved product. You can check solutionsforyourlife.com website for specifics.
Remember, when treating, to spray the entire plant, including upper and lower leaf surface, stems and flower buds. Do this preferably early in the morning or the cool of the evening, when they are more congregated and least active. Do not apply if temperatures are 90° or higher, or if rain is expected within 3 hours.
Because spider mites multiply so fast, monitor infected plants daily and repeat as needed.