Bryan Jensen, UW Extension, UW-Madison Integrated Pest Management Program
Some may think this article should fall in the category of “sleeping with the light on” but I am not so sure. We’ve had some relatively hot dry weather lately and I think spot checking for spider mites would be a good practice in the very near future if not now. Spider mites are not something you want to miss because populations can be hard to control once they get out of hand. Especially if dry weather continues.
Places I would concentrate scouting efforts on would be field areas where there are obvious symptoms of drought stress including sandy knolls as well as field edges. Look for plant symptoms called stippling and/or spider mites themselves. Although spider mites are hard to see use magnification (10X) and look on the undersides of leaves. Also, hold a white sheet of paper under leaves and tap leaves to dislodge the mites on to the white sheet of paper.