Spider mite web on capsicum seedling

I noticed these yesterday and the web has grown fast. The mites themselves are too small for the naked eye, though little dots can be seen in the web that protects them as they suck the life-juice from the unlucky plant. They need to be dealt with quickly before the dastardly males seek out new territories. If I had a microscope I would be able to see these have extra long hind legs, which are used for picking up newly emerged females and carrying them off to fresh foliage ‘in a frenzy’. Oh dear.

This time my answer will be careful disposal. Chemical treatments are out for me and the few papers I’ve glanced through online indicate they are likely to increase the problem anyway – and introduce new ones – by also wiping out any of the few effective controls: natural predators. They are plan B: Esther has an excellent advert.

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