Why are my plants webbed??

     Many homeowners bring their patio plants indoors for the winter and may now be searching for the spider responsible for the webbing they see.  Chances are the webbed over leaves are the work of mites, however, not spiders.  

     Two-spotted spider mites are a common pest causing discoloration, and eventual loss of, foliage.  Because they are adversely affected by humid conditions, mites tend to thrive indoors where the air is normally drier than outside.  Mites can easily spread from one plant to another, therefore, unless sentimental value is involved, the best option is to discard any infected plant.

     If the plant can not be disposed of, remove infested leaves and thoroughly wet the top and bottom sides of small leaved plants in the sink.  For large leaved plants wipe the top and bottom of each leaf with a soft damp cloth.  This treatment will need to be repeated at one to two week intervals for all susceptible plants.  Application of a miticide soap or oil may be beneficial, however, carefully read and follow label directions.