Spider mites or something else...?
I need some help with my poor maple. I recently did a post complaining about new leaves drying up and dying before they fully matured. Upon closer (much, much closer) inspection, i saw this TINY little white bugs...and I mean, tiny. I could barely see them. I think I need to get a magnifying glass. But they were there, and they were definitely walking around. I also notice the leaves have a hairy soft film on them, and tiny white dot (maybe just dead bugs, who knows).
I had a terrible Afid infestation last year, so I am familiar with what they look like and the damage they cause. These are definitely not them. I think they might be spider mites, or some kind of mite, purely by how small they are. The problem is, the leaves are dying, even more they fully developed. Fortunatly these little bugs have not spread to every leaf on every branch, but it is attacking the most recent growth on the tree, so Im worried it won't grow to it's full potential this spring.
Just a note: My maple is a year old and in a container. I water it 2-3 times a week, as necessary.
Is there anything I can do to get rid of these pests? I have been reading a lot of reports on the internet that Neem oil is detrimental to maples......