Aloes are usually relatively free of pests and diseases. They are hardy and rather unpalatable to common animals such as deer and other animals. Mealybugs, spider mites, and other pests aren’t challenging to manage, but aloe mites are different.
About Aloe Mites
The aloe mite has other names, including Aloe Gall Mite, Witch’s Broom, Aloe Wart Mite, and Aloe Gall Wart. It is too small to see with your naked eyes, but its effects on the plant are evident. Aloe mites cause the plant to develop tumors that aren’t easy to remove. Worse still, damage and deformed growth remain even after removing the mites. Their effects cause some to refer to them as aloe cancer rightly.
These microscopic pests feed on the tissue of your plant, thus their invisibility. As they feed, they release certain biochemicals intended to keep them hidden. The chemicals are also part of excretion and their reproductive processes since they even lay white/translucent eggs inside your aloe tissue (read more about white eggs on other plants’ leaves). Aloe mites reproduce fast, each female can produce up to eighty eggs in a month, and there can be up to eight generations of spider mites in a year.
Read more: Common Knowledge About Succulent Pests.
Managing Aloe Mites
There are two ways of managing this menace: using pesticides and removing infested plants.
1. Using Pesticides
The bug hides deep inside the tissue of your plant. As a result, contact pesticides can’t reach it, and they are useless in curing the plant. Systemic pesticides are different from their contact counterparts in that they work from inside the plant’s tissue. Such pesticides, therefore, might have some success in removing some of the mites, but their cancerous growth will still be visible.
Systemic pesticides may act as a preventive measure when applied before an infestation. Having them in the tissue makes the aloe unpalatable to the mites. Neem-based pesticides are an excellent example of systemic, organic pesticides. The success of this treatment is debatable.
2. Removing Infected Plants or Parts
Sometimes removing aloe cancer requires a surgical approach. Mites are very light and easily carried by the wind and travel through water. Cancer will likely metastasize to the rest of your plants if one plant gets infested. This calls for the uprooting and destruction of the entire plant. Do not compose the plant you have uprooted because the compost will still contain mites that will infect the plants you feed the fertilizer.
If removing the entire plant is not an option, you can cut off the leaves affected by the tumors. Use a sharp, sterile knife to cut off the warty parts and clean the tools thoroughly afterward. Cleaning the cutting tools eliminates the possibility of transferring the mite to other plants on which you use the same tools.
After removing the infected parts, observe to see if the parts that will sprout have the same deformities as the previous ones. If this happens, remove the entire plant and destroy it. You can apply reagents to help the plant’s wounds heal quickly after clipping them. Suppose you behead the aloe by removing the infected upper rosettes. In that case, it will develop several rosettes around the base, making the aloe even more attractive if the new sprouts aren’t sick.
A Few Final Words
Looking at the creepy tumors caused by aloe mites on the plant, some wonder, ‘are aloe mites harmful to humans?’ You need not worry about touching them when treating your succulent; they are not harmful.
Hey everyone! Welcome to Succulent City! We are all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, we began the journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, our fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and we gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!