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Seasonal needle drop can be confused with needle loss due to spider mite damage. When mites are involved the needles are off color, generally stippled, and gradually turn an off yellow color. A light webbing is associated with heavy mite infestations. Spruce are particularly susceptible to spider mite injury. If mites are suspected, hold a white sheet of paper under a branch and sharply tap the branch. Look for moving specks as an indication of mites.