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Spider Mites Threaten One of Colombia’s Top Growing Regions

spider mites on coffee plantsFarmers in Colombia’s fourth-largest coffee growing region, Caldas, are reporting worries about production costs and potentially decreased output due to an unusually high presence of red spider mites.

“This has been a surprise. I’d never seen anything like this in the many years that I’ve been growing coffee. I often see small areas by the side of the road, but never an attack like this,” Colombian farmer Jairo Morales recently told Reuters. The spider mites are known to gather on coffee plant leaves until they turn reddish and die.

Morales told Reuters that many people in the region believe that the spider mite increase this year may be due to the Nevado del Ruiz volcano eruption in June, ashes from which may have killed the larvae of many of the bugs that feed on the mites.

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