Tarsomemid mites are microscopic mites which generally feed in buds, under leaf
sheaths and in the tips of young shoots. Plants can be badly damaged from mites
feeding on young tissues, causing reduced growth, distortion and even death of newly
formed leaves and flowers.
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Identifying tarsonemid mites
These mites are too small to be seen with the naked eye, typically 0.3mm long, and
they will be difficult to spot as they move quite slowly. They are therefore more
difficult to detect than the red spider mites, which feed openly on leaves. If you
have a powerful microscope ( x 400) you may be able to find the mites in the crevices
of the plant, but they are colourless or brown coloured and do not have the distinctive
dark blobs on either side by which one can identify the spider mite. The best way
to identify tarsonemid mite is to know your crop, and look out for the typical damage.
In cases of real problems, send a sample to a laboratory to be identified.