Pesky Spring Pests and How to Treat Them

April 17th, 2018

What’s worse than seeing the landscape, that you worked so hard on and cared so well for, be attacked by mites and fungi? Although there are many elements of nature that could be harmful to plants, we tracked down some of the most common pests that are prevalent in early spring in Colorado. Spider mites, Clover mites, and Snow mold can all be a nuisance for your garden but there are ways they can be treated.

Spider Mites

Spider mites can be found on both indoor and outdoor plants. Hot, dry weather conditions can cause a rapid growth of spider mites. The female spider mite can lay up to 20 eggs a day and can live up to a month. The eggs can hatch in three days and become sexually mature in five. With the reproductive rate occurring so fast, spider mites can easily adapt to resist pesticides; making them ineffective.

To help control spider mites, Acaricides or pesticides can be applied to crops. Neem oil or insecticidal soap can be used but may kill predatory mites that are helpful in the control of spider mites. Many times adding irrigation, eliminating the dry conditions on which spider mites thrive is enough to cause them to move on.

Clover Mites

Clover mites are arachnids with long legs. They are reddish brown and will start to grow in the late spring. The population of clover mites are mostly females that live for around one month. Adult male clover mites can live for about two weeks if the weather is warm enough. Clover mites feed on lawns, clovers, flowers, etc. and are more prevalent in fertilized grass.

To rid your plants and home of clover mites, miticides are proven to be effective. 

Snow Mold

Snow mold is a type of fungus that effects and kills lawns after snow melt. Snow mold can have a gray or pinkish hue and can usually be found in circles, three to twelve inches in diameters. Gray snow is less damaging but can affect the tops of blades of grass. It can survive throughout the summer. Pink is more severe and can destroy the roots of grass. It can also survive the summer months and be found in plant debris. Snow mold is usually seen in the spring on areas that have had snow piled on the lawn for long periods of time without air movement.

Snow mold in a residential setting will kill the grass blades, but the roots will survive. The best course of action is to rake out the dead leaves as soon as possible and allow air movement as quickly as you can. Chemical fungicides can be used in extreme cases or to aid in the prevention of snow mold in spots that habitually have problems.

It’s a dangerous world out there for your plants, but if you take care of them and know what signs to watch out for, most pests can be prevented or treated if caught early on! Fossil Creek Nursery carries many insecticides and fungicides that can help, and don’t be afraid to do research and ask questions if you suspect your plants or grass may be suffering from these pests.