Are these spider mites? Will they migrate to my tomato plants?

Click on the picture to get a closer view. enter image description here]

  • 1
    It may not be relevant to the question, but what is the plant it's currently on?
    – GardenerJ
    Apr 2, 2016 at 17:09
  • 1
    Sweet potato vine.
    – Evil Elf
    Apr 2, 2016 at 17:13
  • Carefully use a magnifying glass to see the mites to confirm. Also look for scale like insects that might be the tomato potato psyllid that leaves white granules everywhere. Can you take a closeup of an affected leaf .. both sides? Apr 2, 2016 at 22:42
  • Can you see the critters themselves? Webbing does look like mites but from the photo looks like there are small white critters on the leaves, and spider mites are waaay too small to see without magnification, i could barely make them out in my 20s and no way now. So if you can see them I think whiteflies or thrips. If not then mites.
    – gorav
    Apr 10, 2016 at 22:46
  • They're dead now after a spray. Now I'm just concerned they already hopped over to my tomato seedings.
    – Evil Elf
    Apr 10, 2016 at 23:11

1 Answer 1


Yes. That looks like spider mites (from my experience with them--particularly that web). Spider mites can afflict tomatoes, but the ones in my area seem to prefer most other members of the Solanaceae family to tomatoes and peppers. They pretty much left them alone and ravaged other stuff. I don't know about the kind of spider mites in your area, though. There are lots of kinds of spider mites. From things I've read, they don't always have the same tastes.

If your plants are indoors, I would be very concerned about them migrating to your tomatoes, and houseplants. They might already be on them. I'm not sure how much damage they'll do, though. They might just cause tiny wounds that trigger edema (which might seem scary, but it isn't). Or, they might cause serious issues.

Those white flecks don't look like they're from spider mites, though (just the webs). Those could be aphid skins, or something from another pest.

It's possible you have a real spider that made the webs, but if you remove it and it comes back, it's probably spider mites.

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