Predatory Mites

Order: Acari
Family: Phytoseiidae


Several species of predatory mites are effective controls of plant-feeding spider mites. Other species of predatory mites feed on eriphyid mites (family: Eriophyidae). Typically, predatory mites are a little larger than spider mites and are pear-shaped. They also have long legs, which allow them to move fast as they search for prey. Predatory mites are widely used to control spider mites and are commercially available. Low humidity can restrict their activity, and they are also more susceptible to insecticides than plant-feeding species. 

predatory mite

Dr. Monica Farfan, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons 
Proprioseiopsis mexicanus, a predatory mite.

Quick Facts

  • Beneficial arthropods can prevent or limit pest problems in the yard and garden. 
  • These beneficial mites can be categorized broadly as either insect predators or parasites.
  • Common insect parasitoids include flies and small wasps.
  • When insecticides are needed, choose ones that are selective and less likely to harm beneficial insects and mites.