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Order of tiny arachnids (Arachnida) in the phylum Arthropoda, with around 50,000 species in over 500 families, with cylindrical, spherical or disc-shaped bodies in many colours with three or usually four pairs of legs (ticks are also included). In contrast to other arachnids, which are mostly predators, mites are mostly herbivores or live parasitically on plants or animals. They are often also useful, as they play an important role in soil formation by eating animal or plant residues. A distinction is made between the two groups of gall mites (Tetrapodili, tiny at around 0.15 mm) and spider mites (Tetranychidae, up to around 0.5 mm).


The most significant and dangerous pests on vines include the four species of leaf gall mite or pox mite (Eriophyes vitis), curl mite (Calepitrimerus vitis), red spider mite or fruit tree spider mite (Panonychus ulmi) and common spider mite or bean spider mite (Tetranychus urticae). These insects can also be controlled with chemical acaricides (see under pesticides). The gall mites in particular are sensitive to sulphur. The mites have numerous natural enemies such as gall midges (certain species), lacewings, ladybirds and predatory mites. The latter are specifically released in the vineyard for pest control as part of biological plant protection.

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