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Helpful Tip from the Garden Geeks: Spider mites are spiders, not insects. If you could see them, you'd notice they have four pairs of legs. But they are so tiny it takes 50 or more of them to make a line in inch long. To find out if spider mites are on your plants, tap a leaf over a piece of white paper or cardboard and wait a moment. If the little specks of dirt start moving, chances are they're spider mites walking around on their eight legs.