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Red spider mite

Vine pest (also fruit tree spider mite); see under mites

Richly shaped 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). In contrast to the other arachnids, which are mostly predatory, mites are mostly herbivores or live parasitically on plants or animals. Often they are also useful because they play an important role in soil formation by eating animal or plant residues. A distinction is made between two groups of gall mites (Tetrapodili, tiny at about 0.15 mm) and spider mites (Tetranychidae, up to about 0.5 mm). Among the most important pests on the vine are the four species of leaf gall mite or also smallpox mite (Eriophyes vitis), ruffle mite (Calepitrimerus vitis), red spider mite or also fruit tree spider mite (Panonychus ulmi) and common spider mite or also bean spider mite (Tetranychus urticae). They are also controlled 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 specifically exposed in the vineyard for pest control as part of biological plant protection.


The smallpox mite...

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