The Q&A Archives: Insects On Citrus Plant

Question: I've had my small potted citrus plant (about 3ft. tall) for close to 12 years. Now it has these tiny, tiny yellowish bugs on it. They form a web between branches, and though the tree is alive, I want to get rid of them! I tried warm water and soap once, and that did nothing.

Answer: Because of the webbing and the tiny size, I think it could be spider mites, a common problem on a variety of plants. Check the undersides of the affected leaves for a "dirty" or "rusty" appearance. This is evidence of these tiny insects. Try to look under a magnifying glass. If you can see them moving around, it's probably mites. Spray them off with a forceful spray of water, or a soapy water solution. You may need to do this every few days to get them under control. Be sure to spray underneath leaves. If the problem is bad, you may need to treat with insecticidal soap. Spider mites prefer dusty plants, so it helps to periodically hose off foliage to provide an inhospitable environment for them.

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