Spider mites summary

Spider mites

The banana spider mite (Tetranychus lambi) and the two-spotted mite (Tetranychus urticae) which are both commonly referred to as ‘spider mites’ or ‘red spider’, can cause significant damage to banana leaves and even fruit when present at high levels. They are a common pest of bananas, especially over the warmer spring and summer months. Mites feed mainly on the underside of plant leaves, consuming the contents of plant cells. This permanently damages the leaf and reduces its functionality. With moderate to severe mite damage, fruit development can be delayed and occasionally fruit can be marked with a reddish discolouration towards the cushion end. 

Adult spider mite with eggs
Adult spider mite with eggs

Early detection and the adoption of practices to help minimise spider mite populations will greatly assist in managing this pest. Click below for more information on management options.

More information

This information has been updated as part of the National Banana Development and Extension Program (BA19004) which is funded by Hort Innovation, using the banana industry research and development levies and contributions from the Australian Government. Hort Innovation is the grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for Australian horticulture. The Queensland Government has also co-funded the project through the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.