Possible Spider Mites?

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by KatieLD, Dec 8, 2019.

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  1. KatieLD

    KatieLD New Member

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    I think I saw spider mites on my Fiddle Leaf Fig earlier. There were 2 hanging from one of the leaves and two others on the plant stand, moving. They were very very tiny and black, like the top of a pen. My husband also saw them. I just looked at it again and they are no where to be seen. What should I do? Should I wipe the leaves of the Fiddle Leaf Fig and surrounding plants with neem oil? Get a different pesticide? Spray something in the soil? Hosing off the plants is not an opinion as we live in an apartment.
     
  2. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Spider mites which I have encountered are red, the size of a tiny speck, and are slow in moving. Perhaps what you saw were actually baby spiders. Have a closer look at the plant. Try tapping it with a sheet of plain white paper underneath. Check for tiny, red specks that move. I would not apply any sort of treatment until the presence of a pest has been confirmed.


    By the way, you should be able to attach a garden hose to your kitchen faucet using an adapter or directly to a water supply if you have indoor laundry. You can then hose down your plants in your shower.
     
  3. Tom Hulse

    Tom Hulse Active Member 10 Years

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    Spider mites are everywhere, so they are not something you accidentally "catch". An infestation is a result of poor culture. It's simply that the plants are not getting the water on the leaves & stems that they may require to prevent this pest. Taking the plants out and spraying on/under the leaves & stems with a sharp spray (once a month to start and once every couple months after that) is far more effective than any poison made. If you're in an apartment without a balcony, then Junglekeeper's suggestion for a Kitchen faucet adapter works great. You can also get a new shower head with the detachable spray wand. It's an upgrade for the people in the home and plants love it when you drag them in there occasionally.

    If you don't want to do any of those, then use a spray bottle to wet under the leaves and stems every day for a week, then every few days for awhile, then maybe every couple weeks (more in the winter less in the summer).
     
  4. Will B

    Will B Active Member

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    there are many kinds of spider mites, definitely not all red. Right now I think I just finished fighting a two-spotted spider mite infestation. Extremely small and hard to spot ;-) and definitely not red. Their two spots are black. Anyway, spider mites are very hard to get rid of, but they can be controlled fairly easily. A good shower (put the plants in your shower and spray the leaves! Best when a flexible spray attachment is used, many showers have them) once a week controls them well, but won't get rid of them. The shower also refreshes the plants and washes off dust and most other insects like scale when it is a good strong spray. Don't use hot water. Cool water is best... it is so nice to spray the plants you might like it just for the refreshing and cleansing effect.

    A light oil spray will also control any spider mites that get sprayed as they can't breathe when they get a bit of oil (their breathing pores are small and get clogged up). The oil spray is more effective than the shower, and it makes the leaves nice and glossy, but can be sticky and discolour the leaves if too much is used. Some folks use things like Safer's soap, but I have not seen it to be more effective than plain water spray (YMMV).
     

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