Scientific Name: Eriophyidae
Scientific Type: Gall Making Insects & Mites
Eriophyid mites are tiny, microscopic pests that can cause significant damage to plants. They belong to the family Eriophyidae, which contains more than 2,000 species. These mites are very small in size, ranging from 0.2-0.5mm in length, and have a pear-shaped body and two pairs of legs. They are usually found on the undersides of leaves, where they feed on plant tissues, causing a variety of symptoms such as leaf curling, distortion, and discoloration. Eriophyid mites feed on the sap of plants and can cause stunted growth, reduced yield, and in severe cases, plant death. They are also known to transmit plant viruses, which can exacerbate their damage. In addition to the damage they cause to plants, Eriophyid mites are also difficult to control due to their small size and tendency to hide in plant tissues. They have a high reproductive rate and can quickly build up populations in areas with favorable conditions. To manage Eriophyid mites, cultural practices such as maintaining healthy plants and removing infested debris can be helpful. In addition, natural predators such as ladybugs and minute pirate bugs can help control populations. Chemical controls such as insecticidal soaps and oils can also be effective, but care must be taken to avoid damaging non-target species. Overall, it is important to be vigilant in monitoring for Eriophyid mite infestations and to implement appropriate control measures as soon as possible to minimize their damage.