How to Manage Spider Mites in Soybeans

FBN Network

18 Sept 2023

Spider mites may seem insignificant, but they can cause serious damage to your soybean plants. These tiny arachnids feed on the sap of soybean plants, leading to discoloration, stunted growth, and reduced yields. Hot and dry conditions provide an ideal environment for spider mites to thrive, making it crucial to regularly monitor your crops for signs of infestation and take immediate action to prevent their spread.

Spider mites can weaken soybean plants' ability to photosynthesize and produce energy, resulting in reduced plant vigor, stunted growth, and lower yields. Severe infestations can cause premature leaf drop, further compromising plant health and pod production. Regular monitoring and immediate action are crucial to ensure optimal plant health and maximize crop yield.

Howard F. Schwartz, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org

Managing spider mites in soybeans requires proactive monitoring, early detection and appropriate control measures with products like Willowood Abamectin 0.7SC and GCS Bifenthrin 2EC

This guide will outline:

  • How to identify spider mites

  • Regions typically affected by spider mites

  • When spider mites usually affect crops

  • How to manage spider mites 

How to Identify Spider Mites

Identifying spider mites can be challenging due to their small size, but there are key characteristics to look out for. These pests are typically pale yellow or green and have eight legs, distinguishing them from other common pests. 

To effectively monitor and manage spider mites, inspect the undersides of leaves for signs of their presence, including: 

  • Tiny mites

  • Webbing

  • Yellow or white spots

  • Leaf discoloration

  • Leaf bronzing

  • Leaf stippling

Regions Affected by Spider Mites

Spider mites can be found in soybean-growing regions worldwide, but they are more prevalent in hot and dry climates. Regions like the Midwest in the United States, parts of Canada, and various countries in South America have experienced spider mite infestations. 

Gerald Holmes, Strawberry Center, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Bugwood.org

Timing of Spider Mite Presence

Spider mites are most commonly observed during the late season in soybeans, typically from mid-July to early September. However, early infestations can occur and quickly escalate if not addressed promptly. 

How to Manage Spider Mites

To manage spider mites in soybean fields, employ cultural practices like crop rotation, planting resistant varieties, and maintaining proper plant nutrition. Biological control methods, such as introducing predatory mites or other natural enemies, can also help keep spider mite populations in check. 

In some scenarios, these approaches may be insufficient to effectively control spider mite infestations; in those cases, chemical products like Willowood Abamectin 0.7SC, a group 6 insecticide containing abamectin, and GCS Bifenthrin 2EC**, a group 3A insecticide containing bifenthrin, are commonly used. Abamectin targets spider mites effectively while being relatively safe for beneficial insects, and bifenthrin provides broad-spectrum control of various pests, including spider mites. 

Spider Mite Crop Protection from FBN Direct®

Proactively scouting for and responding to pest presence in your fields will help reduce potential crop damage and improve yield.

FBN Direct has a wide variety of effective insecticides to help address pest pressures and keep your operation on track. With transparent pricing, straightforward online ordering, detailed product labels and fast direct-to-farm delivery, FBN Direct can help you get the products you need to protect your crops. 

Related Resources

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