Russet mites are common houseplant pests that are terrible to have in your garden. They are known to attack the cannabis plant. This is why they are sometimes called “Hemp russet mites”. It can be very difficult to spot the russet mite insect due to its very tiny size.
Russet mites should not be confused with spider mites. They are two species of insects and russet mites do not produce webbings. But they both have piercing and sucking mouthparts. This allows them to feed on the sap of young plants.
What Is A Russet Mite?
The russet mite is a species of mites that comes from the Eriophyidae family. They are so small, it would be almost impossible to see them with the naked eye. This damage they cause on leaves is often the first sign of their presence.
Their small size also aids them in their movement. This is because they can attach themselves to other pests like whiteflies and aphids. They can also attach themselves to the clothes of humans to get into gardens and homes.
Russet mites feed on all parts of the plant. From its base to its leaves and even its flowers. And it is easy to mistake their damage to plants as a symptom of mosaic virus.
What Do Russet Mites Look Like?
Microscopes are your best tool for seeing a russet mite due to their size. Magnified russet mites have pale-colored skin that ranges from tan to yellow. They feature powerful piercing and sucking mouthparts. This allows them to feed on plants.
When compared to other mite species, the russet mite is fitted with 4 legs. And their bodies are cylindrical in shape. The damage the russets bug causes are the major way to spot an infestation.
Life Cycle of A russet Mite
The Adult female russet mites overwinter in the stems of plants they infest. There they lay about 2 dozen eggs which are translucent. Under the right temperature, it takes 2 days for russet mite eggs to hatch.
Once hatched, they go into the larva stage then 3 days later, they molt into nymphs. At this stage, they bear a close resemblance to adult russet mites. After 2 more days, nymphs grow into full adults. At this stage, the russet mite can live for a maximum of 3 weeks. Their life span is pretty short.
Signs Of Russet Mites Damage
Russet mites attack both indoor and outdoor plants. And the damage they cause starts from the base of the plant till they reach the top leaves. They feed on the chlorophyll of plants which can cause the yellowing of the leaves.
Because of the lack of nutrients, the leaves of the plant could curl and drop. And as the plant’s condition gets worse, its stem could also lose color too.
Flowering plants infested with russet mites might have a hard time producing flowers. The russet mite can suck all the sap in the flower and leave it weak. The russet mites’ damage on leaves and flowers can be devastating.
How To Get Rid Of Russet Mites Indoors
- You can keep all houseplants safe by taking out time to inspect new plants. Before bringing a potted plant home, do a thorough search for rust mites. S
- Keep all tools to be used indoors, within the indoor space. Hemp mites are quite small and can latch onto tools with ease. So keep them away by keeping all indoor tools away from the outdoor space.
- Amblysieus mites are great russet mites killers. You can introduce them into your grow space to take care of the infestation.
- You can also try reducing the temperature of the room. Russet mites don’t enjoy a cold space. So doing this can help stop them from reproducing.
- Neem oil is another great russet mite killer. It can be introduced as a russet mite spray to repel and kill them. Products with Pyrethrin are also great for russet mite control.
- Using micronized sulfur for russet mites can be very effective. You can mix it with water and spray it all over the affected plant. Ensure you cover every part of the plant.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, while they are known to live in the tissue of plants, they also reside in the potting soil of plants.
No, Russet mites live in plant tissue and soil. This grants them easy access to feed on infested plants.
Peppermint oil can kill mites through inhalation. They help in smothering mites leading to suffocation.
Without sufficient plants to feed on, russet mites could die off in weeks.
No, broad mites are different species of mites. They still qualify as common houseplant pests.