How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines

Dry Beans

Spider Mites

Scientific names:
Twospotted spider mite: Tetranychus urticae
Strawberry spider mite: Tetranychus turkestani
Pacific spider mite: Tetranychus pacificus

(Reviewed 8/07, updated 10/10)

In this Guideline:


The most common spider mites encountered on beans is the twospotted spider mite, but the strawberry spider mite and Pacific spider mite can also be found in this crop. Infestations may include a mixture of spider mite species. Adult mites are nearly microscopic, have four pairs of legs, are greenish to pink or cream colored, and have various sized black spots on the body. Under warm conditions spider mites move rapidly within the colony area. Spider mites have four stages of development: (1) the oval, somewhat translucent egg; (2) a six-legged translucent larval stage; (3) an eight-legged nymphal stage; and (4) the eight-legged adult stage. A resting or quiescent stage occurs at the end of the larval and nymphal stages. A generation may pass in as few as 5 to 7 days in mid-summer, or in a month during cool periods.


All active stages of spider mites damage beans by piercing individual plant cells and removing the contents, sucking juices from infested leaves and pods. Damaged leaves become somewhat stippled on the upper surface and grayish because of webbing and feeding on the undersurface. Spider mites are most serious on lima beans and common dry beans, but can cause problems in blackeyes, especially on field edges near roads and after treatment for lygus bug.


Cultural and Biological Control
Reduce spider mite problems by keeping fields, field margins, and irrigation ditches clean of weed hosts such as field bindweed and lambsquarter. Spider mite populations may also increase more rapidly in areas where dust deposits are heavy on bean plants. Thus, reducing dust may reduce the spider mite problem. Spider mites are usually less severe in sprinkler-irrigated fields than in furrow-irrigated fields. Spider mite populations do not develop on blackeyes as rapidly as they do on limas, kidneys, and small whites. Spider mite populations may be held at very low levels by a number of insect and mite predators, particularly early in the season. Sixspotted thrips are effective early season predators, feeding primarily on spider mite eggs. Spider mites provide an important food source for predators such as minute pirate and bigeyed bugs. Minimizing early season insecticide applications to help conserve beneficials will reduce spider mite outbreaks.

Organically Acceptable Methods
Cultural and biological control are organically acceptable.

Monitoring and Treatment Decisions
There is no precise survey technique for evaluating spider mite infestations. Infestations usually begin on the lower portions of the plants and move upward as mite numbers increase. Start inspecting plants for spider mite damage along with other pests and their damage during the vegetative growth stage. Continue looking for mites from the flower bud to bloom period and during the pod fill period. Evaluating spider mite infestations is most efficient if randomly selected, older, lower leaves are picked and inspected for stippling on the upper surface and webbing, mites, and feeding scars on the lower surface. If spider mites can be found easily on older leaves at early bloom before the first insecticide application for lygus bug control, it would be advisable to use an acaricide at the time of the first treatment for lygus bug control.

Common name Amount/Acre** R.E.I.+ P.H.I.+
(trade name)   (hours) (days)

Calculate impact of pesticide on air quality
Bee precaution pesticide ratings
When choosing a pesticide, consider information relating to the impact on natural enemies and honey bees and environmental impact. Not all registered pesticides are listed. Always read label of product being used.
  (Acramite 4SC) 16–24 fl oz 12 3
  MODE OF ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: unknown or uncharacterized
  (Dicofol 4E) 3 pt 12 21
  COMMENTS: Ground application preferred. Spider mite populations in some areas may be resistant. Do not feed treated vines to meat or dairy animals.
  (Comite) 32–48 fl oz 216 (9 days) 14
  6.55 lb/gal EC      
  COMMENTS: Do not use on fresh market pod varieties. Do not feed or forage treated vines or trash after harvesting.
  (Temik) 15% Granules 7 lb 48 90
    (35-inch row spacing)    
  COMMENTS: For dry beans at planting. Not widely recommended but may be warranted in the southern San Joaquin Valley on cowpeas. Drill aldicarb granules 2–3 inches below seed line or 2 or 3 inches to the side of the row and 2–3 inches deep. Granules may be placed in the seed furrow if the rate does not exceed 5 lb/acre. Do not make more than one application per season. Do not feed treated forage, hay, or straw to livestock or use green pods for human food. Aldicarb will usually also reduce lygus populations through early bloom but will not prevent damage later in the season. Do not apply in Del Norte and Humboldt counties.
** Mix with sufficient water to obtain full coverage.
+ Restricted entry interval (R.E.I.) is the number of hours (unless otherwise noted) from treatment until the treated area can be safely entered without protective clothing. Preharvest interval (P.H.I.) is the number of days from treatment to harvest. In some cases the REI exceeds the PHI. The longer of two intervals is the minimum time that must elapse before harvest.
* Permit required from county agricultural commissioner for purchase or use.
1 Rotate chemicals with a different mode-of-action Group number, and do not use products with the same mode-of-action Group number more than twice per season to help prevent the development of resistance. For example, the organophosphates have a Group number of 1B; chemicals with a 1B Group number should be alternated with chemicals that have a Group number other than 1B. Mode of action Group numbers are assigned by IRAC (Insecticide Resistance Action Committee). For additional information, see their Web site at



[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Dry Beans
UC ANR Publication 3446

Insects and Mites

L. D. Godfrey, Entomology, UC Davis
R. F. Long, UC Cooperative Extension, Yolo County

Top of page

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
All contents copyright © 2017 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

For noncommercial purposes only, any Web site may link directly to this page. FOR ALL OTHER USES or more information, read Legal Notices. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual solutions to specific pest problems. See our Home page, or in the U.S., contact your local Cooperative Extension office for assistance.

Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

Accessibility   Contact webmaster.