Thread Footed Mites

Thread footed mites are plant mites that damage several different kinds of plants. The most common species of threat footed mites that cause problems is the cyclamen mite and broad mite. They cause similar damage and are treated the same way. They are problematic in greenhouses, especially in winter. This page can help you indentify thread footed mites in your garden or greenhouse and will help you to get rid of these destructive mites.

For information about other kinds of mites, see our mites page, here.

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Thread Footed Mites Identification and Life Cycle

These mites are microscopic and cannot be seen without magnification. They are transparent or brown with a waxy appearance. The females have two threads on their back legs, which is how these mites get their name. Cyclamen mites have a 5 to 21 day life cycle and the females lay anywhere from 1 to 50 eggs. Broad mites have a 4 to 6 day life cycle and females lay around 20 eggs. 

Thread Footed Mite Habitat and Damage

Broad and cyclamen mites are often found in the folds of buds or sheltering in other folds of plants. Cyclamen and broad mites feed on similar plants, like African violets, ivy, chrysanthemum, begonia, vinca, petunia, strawberry, azalea, geranium, impatients, dahlia, gerbera, lantana, snap dragon, verbena, zinnia, peppers, hibiscus, marigold, beans, and tomatoes. The tell tale damage of these mites is puckering, curling, wilting, dwarfed, and thickened leaves. Bronzing and streaking an also occur. These damaging effects can often persist even after the mites have been eradicated. 

How to Get Rid of Thread Footed Mites

As with all mite infestations, frequent monitoring of plants and damage is important in controlling mite populations. Thread footed mites are easily transferred from hand to plant contact, so make sure you visit infected plants last when checking your garden or greenhouse. Discard infested plants if possible. High-volume applications of miticides, like Talstar, are sometimes necessary and effective. 

Information via experts, the University of California-Davis IPM, the University of Connecticut IPM, and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

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