Bulb mites, also known as spinach crown mites, refer to a small collection of very tiny pests that can damage your onions, garlic, saffron crocus, and spinach plants.
Bulb mite description
Bulb mites are a collection of pests from the Rhizoglyphus and Tyrophagus genus and they look like miniature ticks with spiky hairs. These pests may be tiny, but they can cause significant damage. Ranging in size from 1/2 to 1 mm long, you could 15 to 30 or more of them nose-to-tail across a dime. If you were to look at one with a magnifying glass, you would see that they are a shiny, creamy white, with four pairs of brown legs.
Bulb mite host plants
As the name implies, bulb mites infest bulbs, such as tulips, daffodils, and saffron crocus. They can also be found under the root plate of garlic and onion, or in the crown of spinach plants.
Damage caused by bud mites
Bud mite feeding is not particularly destructive by itself. The problem lies in the wounds created by that feeding. These damaged areas allow organisms responsible for decomposition to get inside your plants, causing them to rot. Overall stunting, leaf distortion, and softened stems are common responses to bud mite feeding.
How to manage bulb mites
Protect your bulbs against bulb mites by inspecting them before planting. Infested bulbs should be destroyed. Crop rotation and the removal of post-harvest plant debris can interrupt this pest’s lifecycle.
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