Spider mites feed on the leaves and flowers of many field, fruit and vegetable crops, and ornamental plants. Spider mites feed by sucking cell sap (juice) from leaves and succulent twigs. The symptoms of feeding damage caused by spider mites include mottled and speckled appearances of leaves, yellowing and eventually drying of leaves and twigs. While feeding, both adults and nymphs of spider mites also produce webbing that reduces aesthetic value of many ornamental plants. Speckling of leaves also affects the process of photosynthesis in which plants make their own food by using sunlight energy to produce glucose from carbon dioxide and water. The most common host crops included Bean, canola, cotton, citrus, cucumber, eggplant, melon, peanut, pepper, strawberries, potato, soybean, tomato, azalea, camellia, hollies, ligustrum, roses and viburnum.
Adults: Adult mites are about 1/20 inch long, oval shaped with four pairs of legs and two red spots. Depending upon the species, spider mites can be brown, green, red or yellow in color.
Eggs: Spider mite eggs are translucent and spherical in shape.
Nymphs: Spider mite larvae resemble to their parents but they are comparatively small with only three pairs of legs. Unlike larval stages, nymphs are larger than larval stages and smaller than adult stages and develop through two nymphal stages; the first stage is called protonymph and second stage is called deutonymph. Both these stages are with four pairs of legs.
Life cycle of spider mites consist of four stages such as eggs, larvae, nymphs and adults. The spider mites generally overwinter as mated females under the tree bark and/or in previous crop debris. Early in the spring, mated females generally lay hundreds of eggs on the leaves of host plants. Eggs hatch within 2-3 days into small larvae that molt into first nymphal stage called protonymph within 2 days. Then they molt into second nymphal stage called deutonymph within 1-3 days. The deutonymphs then molt into adult stages within 2 day. Under favorable conditions, spider mites can complete their life cycle within 5- 20 days.