Mites are very small in size, making it difficult for you to see them with the naked eye. Most mite species measure 1/200 to 1/25 inch in length, according to the Ohio State University. They usually have oval bodies in a grayish black to red color. Depending on the mite species, you may detect them using various methods.
Black Light Use
Black light can't detect mites, but it can help you monitor other pests, especially moths, according to Texas A&M University. Black light gives off ultraviolet light, which is more attractive to various insects compared to other wavelengths of light. When insects come near the black light, you can easily see them if you stretch a white sheet behind the light. However, mites will not come to black light, so you will not detect a mite infestation using this method.
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Larger mites may be visible to the naked eye, especially if they occur in large numbers. They look like tiny specks of red and gray, moving slowly across a surface, according to the Ohio State University. Varroa mites, which parasitize honey bees, may be visible on adult bees as they feed on the bees' abdomens or move across their bodies. You may detect spider mites in the garden by shaking an infested plant over a white piece of paper, onto which the mites will fall.
You may be able to see some mites using a hand lens. Smaller mites require a microscope to see. For example, you may submit a dust sample from your vacuum cleaner or a skin scraping from your pet to a laboratory for a trained specialist to conduct microscopic examination on. Often, you have to go through this step to properly identify the type of mites you have and determine an appropriate treatment.
Observation of Damage
You may identify mites by familiarizing yourself with the kind of damage the mites cause and matching the symptoms. For example, cyclamen mites feed on leaves, causing the leaves to curl inwards and form depressions. These mites also prevent flowers from blooming. Broad mites, on the other hand, discolor the lower surfaces of affected leaves and distort leaf shapes. By checking your plants regularly and observing the damage, you may determine the type of mites plaguing your plants.