Answer: The webbing you describe makes me believe a population of spider mites has taken over your houseplant collection. Spider mites are among the most serious houseplant pests. Left untreated they can multiply rapidly, causing injury, defoliation and plant death. They?re not true insects, but are more closely related to spiders and ticks.
These mites are oval shaped; yellowish or greenish in color. They?re difficult to see clearly with the naked eye, measuring only 1/50th of an inch. Magnification can reveal amber-colored mite eggs, whitish cast skins, and black fecal specks. To verify spider mite presence, place a sheet of white paper under discolored leaves. Tap the leaves, then watch for tiny moving creatures on the paper.
Spider mites thrive in dry, warm conditions. They make their way indoors in summer and sometimes as hidden guests on Christmas trees and greenery in December.
Mites first feed on the undersides of leaves, then expand their territory as populations increase, moving from stem to stem and onto nearby plants by means of fine webbing. People can also spread them accidentally on their hands, clothing, and watering cans. Always wash your hands and any tools you?ve used after working with infested plants.
Spider mites damage plants by piercing leaf tissue with needle-like mouthparts, feeding on sap. Usually the first sign of spider mites is a mottled or pin-prick yellow discoloration on the undersides of leaves.
To rid your plants of spidermites, choose a houseplant insecticide that lists spider mites on the label.
Best wishes with your plants!
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