by MIKE FOLKARD
Spider mites caused Rick’s soybeans to defoliate.
Also called two-spotted spider mites, the pests are tiny – approximately 0.5-1.0 mm in length and thus barely visible to the naked eye. The eight-legged and yellowish-brown mites are rounded with two dark spots on the sides of the abdomen. They overwinter in sheltered areas, such as field margins and move into crops in the summer as their numbers build up.