Spider mites are tiny creatures that often infest plants such as the Italian cypress. Infestation by the spider mite often leads to plant injury, and eventual death, if you don't eliminate the mites.
Spider mites are closely related to the tick and spider and are not considered insects, according to Ohio State University Extension. Some species of spider mites measure less than 1/50 of an inch and are too small to be seen with the naked eye. Round to oval in shape, these mites are usually yellow, red, green or brown in color. University of Florida Extension cites Italian cypress trees as very sensitive to spider mite infestations.
Sucking the sap from the leaves and fruit of the tree, is the way spider mites cause damage to the Italian Cypress, states Maricopa County Cooperative Extension Home Horticulture. Stunting of tree growth, brown branches, twisting of leaves, twisting of branches and yellow spots on the leaves are all signs an Italian cypress tree is infested with spider mites.
Rinsing large plants or trees such as the Italian cypress weekly with a forceful stream of water helps eliminate spider mites, recommends Maricopa County Cooperative Extension Home Horticulture. Use an insecticidal soap and miticide for heavy infestations. Check for signs of spider mites on a regular basis, as the Italian cypress often does not exhibit symptoms until the infestation is heavy.