Broad mite [Polyphagotarsonemus latus] is a member of the tarsonemid mite family. They will attack and cause damage to a wide range of plants including ; Peppers and many types of ornamental plants including ; Azalea, Begonia, Cyclamen and Gerbera.
The life consists of eggs, larvae and adults. The eggs are laid on the underside of leaves and are generally transparent. The adults are oval shaped and about 0.2mm in length. Their colour is normally pale yellow but this colour can vary depending on what they are feeding on. Often the females will have awhite stripe on their back.
The damage and symptoms of their presence on plants can appear like a plant virus with distorted growing tips and curled up leaves. They suck out the contents of plant cells and secrete substances on to the leaves which are harmful to the plants. Leaves turn brown especially around the edges. Brown patches can also appear on plant stems. The mites prefer young growth such as growing tips , young leaves and even flower buds. In large numbers the broad mites can kill off growing tips and in severe cases cause plant death.
To control Broad mite , infested plants and leaves can be removed and reducing relative humidity will slow down their development. There are several predatory mites that will feed on Broad mite adults and eggs to offer a biological control of this pest. BROAD MITE KILLER is supplied as Amblyseius andersoni and can be released on plants indoors or outdoors for control of Broad mites. Other predators that will feed on Broad mite include; Amblyseius californicus , Amblyseius swirskii and Amblyseius cucumeris.