A multiform order with about 17,000 species of tiny arachnids (Arachnida) with cylindrical, spherical or disc-shaped bodies in many colours with three or mostly four pairs of legs (ticks are also included). Unlike the other arachnids, which are mostly predatory, mites are mostly herbivores or live parasitically on plants or animals. They are often also beneficial, playing an important role in soil formation by eating animal or plant debris. They are divided into two groups: gall mites (Tetrapodili, tiny at about 0.15 mm) and spider mites (Tetranychidae, up to about 0.5 mm). The most important pests on the vine are the four species of leaf gall mite or pox mite (Eriophyes vitis), curly leaf mite (Calepitrimerus vitis), red spider mite or fruit tree spider mite (Panonychus ulmi) and common spider mite or bean spider mite (Tetranychus urticae). Control is also possible with acaricides. Especially the gall mites are sensitive to sulphur. The mites have numerous natural enemies such as gall midges (certain species), lacewings, ladybirds and predatory mites. The latter are deliberately released in the vineyard for pest control as part of biological plant protection.
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