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WHAT CAUSES SPIDER-MITES TO GO DORMANT?

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Spider-mites are some of the most prevalent pests wherever gardeners garden, and they have this sneaky habit of showing back up when you think they're long gone. Sometimes that's just because spider mites are present almost everywhere in the world, and they happily float along on wind currents, crawl, or "hitch-hike" to find new plants to colonize, so they do seem to spread themselves around about everywhere. Come fall and winter, though, they have another tricky feature for surviving dormant through the long winter called "diapause". Under natural outdoor lighting and temperature conditions, in the fall spider-mites "sense" that winter is approaching , and begin undergoing several physiological changes. Adult female spider-mites discontinue feeding, mating, and other normal spider-mite activities, and turn almost completely red in color (as opposed to their normal, semitransparent green color with two black spots, one on each shoulder). The two spots become almost invisible beneath ... more
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