What do they look like?
Aloe mites come in the category of spider relatives and they are not in the insect’s category.
The common name of the pest is aloe mite and the scientific name is Aceria aloinis. The family and order of the aloe mite is Eriophyidae and Acari.
There are different stages of their life cycle. Such as egg stage, larva/Nymph stage and adult stage. The length of egg is 1 mm and it is very tiny with white to clear colored. We can not see them in naked eye.
The larva is 130 microns in size and a small one. Adults’ aloe mites are less than 0.25mm in length and worm-like pests. The color of the adult stage can be changed from white color to purple color.
Aloe mites is also known as Gall Mite, Gall Wart, Wart Mite and Witch’s broom.
They are very small pests so; we can see them only using a microscope. Aloe mites are worm-like pests that have 2 pairs of legs.
They live in the aloe tissue and the end of the leaf surface. Because of that, it is hard to remove or kill the aloe mites. Otherwise, they are poor crawlers. It is difficult to identify the these mites but we can identify them after they start to feed
Are Aloe Mites bad for succulents?
The plants like succulents, have the ability to be susceptible to pest infestations.
The pests can be seen sometimes, but other times it can be difficult to see, but damage of pests is clear. Due to overwatering, most bacterial and fungal diseases can be caused on aloes which are growing as houseplants. Aloe mites causes sever damage to some aloes.
Aloe mites are crawling around the plants of aloes but you cannot see this condition with your human eye. But, finally the damage of the leaves you can see.
How they attacks the plant
The mites carry on a chemical that affects the plant on a cellular basis as they feed on the plant tissue. Informal growths, scarring, distort growth, and grotesque mutants of the stem, leaf, and flower are the results of these mites causing.
These mites caused deformations on the aloe plants called cancers (galls). Aloe cancers are caused due to aloe mites and it is difficult to cure (irreversible) and sometimes results in the plant’s death.
Aloe cancer is a good name because when feeding, the mites secrete a chemical agent that disrupts the natural growth cycle of the tissues, allowing them to develop haphazardly and strangely, similar to how many cancers of humans and animals do.
This chemical acts as a growth hormone regulator. When the aloe mites feed, it helps to form a gall around them, which protects them from the threats about the outside world. They also lay their eggs inside the gall. The actual damage done to the plant by the mites’ feeding is minimal, and even the gall formation itself rarely kills the plant.
Aloe Mites infestation Symptoms and signs
There are several symptoms including,
- Deformed flowers
- Bubbly fringe on leaf margins
- Orange and green growths where leaves touch stems
- Warty and disfigured growth of plants
- On branches, roots, and flowering stalks, there are warty, tumorous growths.
How do you get rid of Aloe Mite on succulents?
Identifying the infected plant
By inspecting each one carefully you can find the symptoms . Using a magnifying glass, look over the leaves and within the closely wrapped crown for tiny aloe mites.
Before controlling or killing them naturally or chemically, separate the infested plants from the healthy ones.
Many people recommend the physical removal of aloe mites which is a very easy way to get rid ofthem from the plants. If you only have one or two distorted aloe leaves, cut them off and remove the contaminated tissue.
When doing so, use clean, sharp cutting implements and let the callus naturally. Many seasoned Aloe growers, gardeners, and professional landscapers agree that cutting your losses is the best thing to do.
Trim out the plant’s warty spots or remove the infected plant as a final option, taking care not to transmit the Aloe mites to other plants in your garden or greenhouse. You can use garbage bags to dispose the contaminated plants.
There are two choices if the plant seems to be the number of aloe mites is excessive. Apply insecticide as a root drench in the spring to ensure systemic absorption.
Although it is not recommended to use chemical contol method on aloe mites, Carbaryl (Karbaspray), Amitraz (Samba), and Dimethoate able to keep aloe mite populations under balance. Since Karbaspray and Samba are just touch ingredients, they’re better used as a preventative spray and as a full-cover spray right after galls are removed.
You can use natural insecticides (Biogrow’s Pyrol, Bioneem, and Neudosan) as a preventative spray to keep mites from moving from one Aloe to the next in the collection; nevertheless, they seem to break down rapidly, so more regular spraying may be necessary.
As part of an Aloe cancer therapy regimen, undiluted hydrogen peroxide 12 percent with a wetting agent should be used. Until spraying for mites, it is often better to manually eliminate the deformities/growths created by the mite.
When spraying for mites, make sure to use a proper wetting agent. To avoid mites, commercially available drugs such as Dimethoate, Parsec (Amitraz), Makhromectin, and Pride (Fenazaquin) are used with a decent wetter/sticker, as well as other products that are too risky for home use.
Under the worst situation, if all leaves are damaged and the plant material cannot be discarded without harming the plant, then accept the plant live with aloe mites damage or bag the plant and discard it.
You should keep in mind when using chemical agent always follow the given instructions.
What causes Aloe Mite?
Aloe mites are microscopic insects who grow and reproduce rapidly and travel by water, wind, birds, insects and people. Aloe mites inject a chemical during the feeding into the aloe plants. This chemical causes the reproduction and growth of the mites.
This chemical allows plant tissue to expand around the tiny mites, allowing them to feed and reproduce in a healthy environment.
Mites are attracted to aloe plants for eating the leaves and suck the moisture from inside of the aloe vera plant. Furthermore, aloe plants supply a better environment for mites to live , grow and reproduce.
Why are there little bugs in my aloe plant?
The bugs on your aloe plant is generally known as aloe mite. They are tiny and you need a microscope to see them.
Are aloe mites dangerous to humans
They are not dangerous to human. But the chemical products used to control the mites some times can be harmful to human.
Credit to : Zenthanol
Read more : 14 Ways To Treating Spider Mites On Succulents