Is it red spider mites???? - Knowledgebase Question

Aiea, Ha
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Question by lkn_50
October 16, 2010
I am trying to grow eggplants. I know about the red spider mites but I'm now noticing that my plants' leaves have some type of disease that look like

Answer from NGA
October 16, 2010
Spidermite feeding can have a stippling effect on the leaves. They don't leave veins the way you describe but their feeding can cause an off=color; almost silvery appearance on the surface of the leaves. Spidermites usually leave tiny webs so look closely at the leaf where it joins the stem. If you find no webbing, you probably don't have a spider mite infestation. If you are finding squiggly white lines in the leaves and they are on the insides of the leaves, your plant is playing host to leaf miners. A flying insect lays an egg inside the leaf by making a tiny hole and depositing her eggs. The eggs hatch into larvae which feed on the inside tissues of the leaf. Since they are protected between the upper and lower surfaces of the leaves they are difficult to control. When they have fed long enough they make a little exit hole and spin a web to take them down to ground level. They pupate in the soil, then turn into adults to start the process all over again. The feeding looks unattractive but it doesn't really harm the plant and the eggplants are still edible. Leaf miners are nearly impossible to control but you might try cultivating the soil beneath the plant to expose any pupating insects to the elements and to predacious beetles or birds. Good luck with your eggplants.

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