Spider Mites
Summer is a great time to enjoy outdoors with your family and friends. However, summer isn't so kind on our bonsai trees. The summer heat loves to bring one of bonsai's most common pests, spider mites.

Spider mites are the bane of juniper owners. They attack the foliage and can quickly weaken all your branches. They will also spread from tree to tree if the trees are in close proximity to one another.

Check your trees often to see if you have an infestation. The first sign on Junipers is yellowing needles or silvery foliage. To test for spider mites, place a white paper underneath the branch and give the branch a shake or jolt. Spider mites are extremely small and very difficult to see. Shake the branch over the paper, then run your finger along the surface. If you see red streaks, this is a strong indication of a spider mite infestation.

Luckily, spider mites can be treated with one of the most common household items, dishwasher soap. Create a soapy mixture in a bottle and spray your tree thoroughly. Let is sit overnight, then rinse your tree thoroughly in the morning with a strong hose. If you want to protect your soil, just place a towel over the base of the tree to ensure that additional soap does not seep into the soil. This technique is very effective against spider mites.

Chemical insecticide works as well but we always recommend trying dishwasher soap first. It's much less harsh and can solve an infestation just as effectively.