Broad mites (Polyphagotarsonemus latus) are a dangerous and difficult-to-detect adversary to deal with. Even at magnifications of up to 20 times, they’re minuscule and famously difficult to spot. 0.2-mm length female wide mites and much smaller males.
Due to their elusive nature, mites make it even more difficult to find and remove them from the plant. Female wide mites may pupate in the soil and wait for the right host to come along before they begin feeding.
The eggs of broad mites are likewise unusual, making them easier to identify. Oval-shaped, translucent eggs that have white dots on the surface are the distinguishing trait of this species. There are occasions when you can find the eggs higher up on the leaf than on the bottom.
It is common for wide mites to cause extensive harm to plants before they can be identified as the culprit. Curled leaves and gnarled, hard-looking foliage could be signs of broad-mite infestation. Stunting the growth of delicate tissue is another possibility. Flower distortion and distorted, cork-like scabs caused by wide mites have been detected in extreme cases on some crops.
A poison is injected into plant tissue by the nearly colorless wide mite as it feeds, causing tissue to change color, cup, and even die. Since other variables such as excessive soluble salt levels or the environment might create identical symptoms, it is critical to make a correct diagnosis before beginning treatment.
Larger-than-expected for their size, broad mites eat a wide variety of plants. Included in the host plant list are azaleas and a wide variety of other flowering plants such as gerbera daisies and bedding impatiens, as well as ageratum and ivy.
Broad-spectrum mite control is best achieved using translaminar systemic miticides. Translaminar miticides penetrate the leaf and migrate from the top to the bottom of the tissue. Avid, Kontos, Pylon, Savate, and Sirocco are a few of the foliar spray possibilities. In terms of translaminar systemics, Akari and Sanmite aren’t ideal, but their contact spray activity makes them useful in any spray rotation scheme.
Plant growers who already employ a systemic application of Kontos as an early soil drench reap the benefits of both spider and wide mite prevention. Plant roots absorb the active component and distribute it to different parts of the plant; this type of insecticide is known as a “systemic insecticide.”
There are various advantages to a systemic drench over foliar sprays. The advantages include a greater number of pests under control and an increase in residual control. While foliar sprays have a limited effect, a Kontos drench might last for weeks at a time.
Last but not least, many products can be applied as a drench and have shortened re-entry intervals (REI) if label conditions are met. If you use pesticides, you should carefully read the label and abide by any limits or advice that may be included on the label. A variety of products are safe and effective, including ones not on this list.
What Are Broad Mites?
The term “mites” encompasses a vast array of diverse species. The majority of them are about the size of a pin head, at or below one millimeter in length. The tiniest mites are wide mites, which are about half the size of the largest mites.
As a result, photosynthesis is disrupted as the plant’s leaves are depleted of nutrients, causing an infection. As the plant’s leaves dry out, the plant’s growth slows down significantly. Often limiting new growth, broad mites carry both fluids and excrements.
The Tarsonemidae family includes broad mites, which are commonly observed on cannabis plants. Their speed and small size make it tough to find them, but they’re also exceedingly dangerous.
Broad mite damage is difficult to detect. They only feed on developing and young leaf tissue, which is why they’re so difficult to eradicate. A lack of nutrients is often caused by broad mites injecting a growth regulator into the plants. Since wide mites need to be recognized correctly and promptly, which is why it’s so important to get the process started.
If broad mite damage goes unnoticed, the consequences might be dire. Aside from marijuana, broad mites feed on a wide range of other plants including peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, and tomatoes. Begonias, cyclamens, azaleas, and gerberas are among the plants that attract wide mites. Because wide mites cannot survive the winter in temperate climates, outdoor plants, even when planted there, are usually unaffected. Broad mites can decimate a plant if they aren’t caught in time.
Identifying Broad Mites
Adult broad mites have a dark green to amber color, a shiny sheen, and an oval shape. Compared to a human hair, they are as thin as a sheet of paper. Eggs, larvae, nymphs, and male and female adults are all stages of this pest. It is possible for a female to produce as many as 40 eggs throughout her two-week lifespan. As a rule, you’ll find these pests congregating in groups.
Observe the blooms and leaves for the eggs. Broad mites prey on plant cells and the skin of leaves by sucking and piercing their mouthparts. They are so small that the human eye can’t see them. For accurate identification, a magnifying lens with a 60x magnification is required. Only egg clusters, a big infestation, and the indications of broad mite damage may be seen by the naked eye.
The anatomy and appearance of broad mites are similar to those of larger species when viewed under a microscope. There is a wide range of colors, with the most frequent being a pale yellow or clear dewdrop. The thorax and head of broad mites are merged together, resulting in an enormous body. There are two sets of front legs: one up front and one in back.
Only one set of back legs may be seen. The smaller males have more prominent back legs. The mandible structure is clearly evident on the medium-sized head. White dots appear to be tiny white spots on the translucent mite eggs. These are hair tuffs. They are about 0.08 mm in diameter.
Broad Mites Life Cycle
The mite’s life cycle begins with the egg and continues through the larvae and adult stages. The pest has three sets of legs when it is a larva. Adults can have as many as four sets of these. Females and males have a distinct set of legs at the end of their bodies. These limbs have never walked before. One to two days after hatching, the larvae emerge from the cuticle.
Another name for this level is “falsetto” or “fourth stage,” depending on how you want to categorize it. During the nymphal stage, males use their fourth set of legs to carry their slumbering nymphs. The mating process begins as soon as a female mite emerges from the cuticle. Mites of the tarsonemid genus lack eyes. Most of the eggs are laid by female mites on the fruit’s surface or on the underside of the leaf.
The eggs are oval in shape and firmly attached to the surface. The eggs are about 0.07mm in diameter, compared to the other life cycles. The white dots on the eggs are all that can be seen, and they are absolutely translucent.
What Does Broad Mite Damage Look Like?
Broad mites can cause a wide range of problems, including:
- Drooping or twisted, the new growth often has a moist appearance.
- The edges of the plant’s leaves are often ruffled.
- Growth that is distorted and deformed
- The damage is not uniform, with the worst parts being infested areas.
- Squishy or shrivelled leaves
- Deadly buds that seem ill throughout the flowering period
A virus can often be mistaken for broad mite harm. Damage above the soil’s surface is often the result of deformed and misshapen growth. The broad mite prefers to eat young plant tissue, such as flower buds, new leaves, and the tops of plants. The cause of plant deformation is still a mystery to scientists.
Most experts believe mites produce an enzyme that inhibits plant growth while sucking out the cells. Feeding is concentrated primarily on the leaf’s underside. The leaves will normally curl and become brown as a result of this. Mites may be present if the plant’s immature leaves show dark brown margins.
It’s common to see dark patches or stripes on the leaves of plants that have been infested with lesser infestations. A network is formed by the striations. The network is quite dense if the infestation is severe. There will be no longer be any evidence of the green plant tissue. In general, mites avoid the plant’s primary vascular systems.
This causes the veins to seem green against the brown background. On the main stems and leaf stalks, keep an eye out for brown, corky spots. The afflicted plants will have distorted growth tips. The brown coloring caused by the cork formation makes the leaves appear twisted and deformed. If the mite infestation is severe, the growing tips may be killed.
Eventually, the plant’s growth will halt, culminating in its demise. Fruit can also show signs of the development of corky tissues. Corky and distorted patches are prevalent once the punctured cells die. The deformed fruit will then split open at the spot where it was deformed. Depending on the degree of the attack, the blossoms become discolored or malformed.
A few number of wide mites is all that is required to do significant damage to plants. Even if the younger leaves are severely damaged, the lower leaves are usually undamaged. On the undersides of newly growing leaves, a large number of wide mites congregate. After the mites have been removed or eliminated, the symptoms of the attack will remain apparent for several weeks.
Symptoms Caused By Broad Mites
A broad mite has been explained to you now. You might be wondering why wide mites would infest my plants. Because wide mites are so minute, it’s difficult to tell if they’re on your plants.
You’ll notice these signs if your plants are afflicted by wide mites:
- fresh plant growth might be twisted or curved
- Blistered or wet-looking leaves are possible outcomes.
- Its bud will be weak and finally perish during the flowering period.
- leaves with rounded edges
- The leaves may turn yellow and wither.
- scars on the fruit’s surface
To recognize broad mite infections on plants, they don’t leave any bite marks. There are always wide mites lurking in the leaves of your plants.
Symptoms like these are often misunderstood by gardeners. It’s reasonable to presume that wide mites are present if your plant’s leaves droop, turn yellow, appear damp, and develop more blisters.
How To Get Rid Of Broad Mites?
Getting rid of wide mites can be accomplished in a variety of ways.
#1 Immediately remove the infected part of the plant
However, if the plant’s tissues have been injured, the buds cannot be saved. It is imperative that you keep the illness at bay as long as possible.
#2 Treat often
If the infection is serious, you may wish to treat it every week or perhaps every day. To avoid harming your plants, make sure you’re using a mild chemical.
#3 Spray before lights go off
Do your spraying before the lights go out so that your plants don’t get scorched by the chemicals.
#4 Repeat treatments after it’s gone at least five weeks more
The afflicted plants should be treated every week, even if the mites have been wiped out. Your wide mites will be less likely to return, and they’ll be more resistant to whatever treatments you might apply.
Remedies Or Treatments For Broad Mites
So, what are your options for eradicating these pesky insects? To help your sick plants, here is a list of remedies:
Miticides for wide mites include Akari, Sanmite, Judo, and Pylon. Consider the safety of the miticide you plan to use before deciding whether or not to use it.
Don’t use it on a regular basis without checking the ingredients first; otherwise, it could harm your plants. This could alter its flavor and make it unsafe for consumption if you use a miticide on the buds or during blossoming.
Organic miticides are also on the market; pick what works best for you and meet your requirements.
Broad mites, as I have already stated, are highly sensitive to heat. The mites dislike temperatures above 90°F (32°C).
To get rid of wide mites, some gardeners would clone a little plant and submerge it in hot water for 10-20 minutes. There are many who would raise the temperature of their growing area to 115°F for an hour.
If you follow these steps, you should be able to resolve your issue. You could also damage your plants if you overdo it.
Predatory mites like Neoseiulus, released into the garden to feed on broad mites, are common among gardeners. Reduce the quantity of wide mites that attack your crops by using this product.
However, it’s not enough to get rid of every single one. Using miticides on predatory mites would likely kill them. Predatory mites in your garden are preferable to a cure if you want to keep pests at bay.
Plant farmers find having a pest in their gardens extremely upsetting. In order to keep your plants healthy and pest-free, you’ll need to spend money on a variety of different items.
As long as it’s safe, there are still low-cost options out there that can be used. You’ll have a better crop if you stick to what’s best for your plants and don’t give up. Hope this information has helped you to get rid of wide mites for good!