Strawberry spider mites

I guess I’m only going to be able to handle weekly posts at this rate …

One day I noticed that one of our strawberry plants was looking at a bit purple around the edges, in a dusty kind of way. Hide said it was nothing, so I left it at that for a couple more weeks. But the plant seemed to get unhealthier, and then I noticed fine filaments underneath the leaves. That’s when I was convinced that our plant had a fungus of some sort.

I couldn’t diagnose what was wrong with our plant, so I posted on the GardenWeb Forums, which is a place where people really seem to know what they’re talking about. Most of the time they’re quite over my head, unless it’s a topic I’ve already researched thoroughly.

The good people on GardenWeb Forums immediately replied, letting me know that I had spider mites. So it wasn’t a fungus after all. I wasn’t sure how to get rid of them, but I decided to go with simple and expedient. We washed the strawberry plants under the tap (they’re really little because we propagated them this summer) and then sprayed them lightly with the diluted dishsoap spray I use for the aphid problem.

This simple treatment seemed to work, but the spider mites were back after a few more weeks. We did the same thing again, and so far I haven’t seen any sign of more spider mites. If the population keeps recurring — which seems unlikely with temperatures dropping — I’ll probably do more research into ways of getting rid of spider mites. But for now the population seems under control.

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