Symptoms and damage
Tiny (less than 1/50 inch) eight-legged mites are found most
commonly on the undersides of leaves. Eggs, cast skins and silken webs are also
signs of mites. Mites feed with piercing-sucking mouthparts, causing the upper
sides of leaves to exhibit a stippled or bronzed appearance. Common mite pests
of pittosporum include both southern red mites and two-spotted spider mites.
Two-spotted spider mites have dark spots on both sides of the abdomen. Southern
red mites are named for their bright red color.
COMMENTS on disease
Southern red mites are most
prevalent in cool, moist, conditions, whereas two-spotted spider mites prefer
hot, dry weather. Management recommendations
Use a white piece of paper
to monitor for mites. Check for predaceous mites as well, which are larger and
move more quickly. Insecticidal soaps, horticultural oils, or approved
miticides may be used to control mites when necessary.