Extension Connection Radio Program

Extension Connection is a daily radio program from University of Missouri Extension.  My program is broadcast every two weeks on Tuesday.

Tim Baker, Northwest Region Horticulture Specialist, University of Missouri Extension
102 Main, Suite 1, Gallatin, MO 64640
660-663-3232  BakerT@missouri.edu

Audio files
The links below contain MP3 audio files of the program.  Each link is individualized for a particular radio station with their call letters at the end of the program.


Release Date: Thursday, July 5, 2018
Air Date: Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Program Title: Spider Mites, Part II

[Announcer] – Welcome to Extension Connection, your connection to Missouri’s land grant research institutions… The University of Missouri and Lincoln University.

[Specialist] – Good afternoon, this is Tim Baker, Horticulture Specialist, with today’s program.

In my last program, I mentioned that spider mites were already becoming a problem for some growers. The hot and dry weather has favored their rapid development, and commercial growers and gardeners should be watching for their damage.

When I was in Southeast Missouri, I saw spider mite damage in watermelons almost every year. Sometimes, the mites were caught in time. Other times, their feeding was devastating.

Occasionally, watermelon fields could show significant damage, but still recover. I remember one field in particular that was very hard hit, and I told the grower that he should spray a miticide immediately, or he would run the risk of losing his crop. Fortunately, that field was caught in time.  The grower applied a miticide that day.  The mites were stopped, and by the next week, the field was starting to “green up” again.

Another grower was not so fortunate. I had previously showed him how to identify spider mites, so he knew what to look for. I was driving by one of his fields one day, and the plants were totally dead. So I stopped by his house to see what had happened.

It turned out that the previous Friday, he had found the mites starting. Unfortunately, he could not find any miticide locally to spray. So he sprayed an insecticide that was labeled for mites, in addition to insects. This may have killed some mites, but it also killed the beneficial insects that were helping to control the mites.

Unfortunately, the spider mites recovered before the beneficial insects did. By the time I saw the field, early the next week, the plants were gone. It can happen that quickly, given the proper conditions.

So a dedicated miticide is critical. These products are specifically targeted toward mites, and are not supposed to harm beneficial insects, including bees, when used as directed.

Good coverage is critical to successful mite control.  Spider mites feed on the lower surfaces of leaves, and it is important to get your spray up under the leaves where it can contact the mites.

If you suspect that you may have spider mites in your crop, and would like help identifying them, please do not hesitate to give me a call.

[Specialist] – This is Tim Baker, Horticulture Specialist for University of Missouri Extension, [Appropriate ending and call letters].

[Announcer] - For further information on this or other topics, contact your local University of Missouri Extension center.  MU Extension programs are open to all. 

If you desire further information on this or any other topic, contact your local University of Missouri Extension center.  University of Missouri Extension programs are open to all.  Thank you for your time.