The arborvitae is an evergreen that can be grown as tree or a shrub. It typically has a conical or cylindrical shape. The leaves look like needles and have a yellow-green hue. The plant bears small bluish green cones that change to brown as they mature. The arborvitae is troubled by a few pests. Though there are hundred of spider mite varieties, the spruce spider mite appears to be the only mite that can harm the arborvitae.
The arborvitae is prone to attack from the arborvitae aphid, scales, bark beetles, sawflies and several other insects. The spruce spider mite also feeds on the leaves of this species. It is a cool weather pest that hides in the bark and becomes dormant when temperatures exceed 90 degrees.
Spruce Spider Mites
Spider mites are tiny arachnids that feed primarily on vines, berries, fruit, and ornamental trees and vegetables. They live in colonies, and feed by piercing the cell tissue and sucking out the contents. In mild cases, tiny yellow or white speckles are left on leaves or needles.
Arborvitae can be damaged by a serious infestation of spruce spider mites. The leaves become yellow or bronzed and can fall from the tree. If the population becomes excessive, this feeding can cause defoliation, which can result in serious damage and, in some cases, death.