Like spiders, predatory mites are a kind of arthropod. However, these pests are much smaller, measuring about .5mm on average. Predatory mites, unlike other mites, do not feed on plants. Instead, they feed on other mites like the plant-eating two-spotted spider mite. They also feed on other insects that may infest your garden.

Predatory mites are beneficial pests that thrive best in areas with humid temperatures or controlled environments, for instance, greenhouses. They may also be seen in gardens, farms, and across various landscapes depending on the species.

How to Identify Predatory Mites

There are many species of the predatory mite but the most common of these is the Phytoseiulus persimilus. These mites are easy to identify due to their small, almost spider-like bodies and red, pear-shaped bodies.

predatory mite

A predatory mite having a feast

Unlike other mites, predatory mites also have longer legs and are able to move more actively along leaves and soil as they search for prey. Also, you will be able to identify them based on the fact that they do not have wings, segmented bodies or antennae.

The Life Cycle of the Predatory Mites

Female predatory mites can lay up to 50 eggs during their short life cycle. These mites grow quickly and experience five distinct stages: egg, larvae, protonymph, deutonymph, and adult. As an egg, the predatory mite is clear in color with an oval shape. The mite remains in this stage for 2-3 days before hatching into a larval mite. At this point, the predatory mite will begin to feed on other insects and eggs produced, spider mites, and other prey. It uses its 6 legs to crawl along leaves and feed ferociously – an appetite which will continue throughout its life.

As a nymph, predatory mites grow two addition legs and, as can be expected, will increase in size. The nymph stages last for a few days before the mite will develop into adulthood. Female adult mites eat much more than their male counterparts and continue to lay eggs. In total, predatory mites take about 2 weeks to develop from egg to adult.

Special Characteristics of Predatory Mites

The predatory mite’s special characteristic is its ability to consume large populations of spider mites. Spider mites can be very harmful to gardens since they damage leaves and plant tissue, resulting in smaller growth patterns within your garden or farm.

Since female predatory mites can consume several spider mites per day for about 6 weeks, they can

Adult and egg of the predatory mite

Adult and egg of the predatory mite

really help to protect your plants from spider mite damage. They have specialized mouthparts which enable them to pierce their prey then suck them dry. Various predatory mite species prey on pests that include the following: McDaniel spider mites, thrips, Prunus rust mites, apple and pear rust mites, and blister mites.

Signs of a Predatory Mites Infestation

Signs of predatory mite infestation include the reduction of other mite populations. You may also notice their little red or clear-colored bodies crawling along leaves, bark or soil. During the winter when they seek for shelter, they can often be seen hiding among plant debris or within other protected areas.

Rarely will homeowners find them indoors. However, if they do make their way into your home, you won’t need to worry that they’ll attack you as predatory mites do not bite humans.

Removal and Preventative Procedures

Predatory mites do not usually cause adverse impact on homes or gardens. Even in cases where they consume entire prey populations, they will not damage plants or attack humans. Instead, they usually resort to eating pollen or eventually move to other sites in search for prey.

Some species are reported to have died on their own when food runs out. In cases where you fear that predatory mite populations within your garden or surroundings are too high, the best solution may be to seek professional help, first and foremost. These pest control experts will be able to verify whether or not the pests infesting your home or surrounding are actually predatory mites.

Instore or Chemical

In terms of chemicals or pesticides for the removal of predatory mites, broad-spectrum agents are not recommended as most of these have an adverse impact on garden habitats since they kill beneficial insects. Get advice from a professional before using any pest control chemicals.


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