Spider Mites

Discussion in 'Garden Pest Management and Identification' started by jarrett622, Feb 6, 2006.

  1. jarrett622

    jarrett622 Active Member

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    I discovered spider mites on several of my plants today. I have a bunch so spent the better part of the day doing the dish soap spray and rinse routine on the visually infested plants and any that were close by.

    What have others here used that was successful in getting rid of these critters? I read that the dish soap spray *does* work but I'll need to respray every week for the next 6 weeks. Not sure I can go through this every week for a month and half. Think 50 + plants.

    Thanks!
    Barbara
     
  2. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    I think that dish soap is the more enviromentally friendly way to go about it, otherwise your local nursery can give you the pesticide version.
    Carol Ja
     
  3. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I use a very light horticultural oil to spray house plants. It seems very effective on spider mites. It was marketed as an organic product. I don't remember where I bought it but I have used the same bottle for years (like more than ten!). It is not the oil used to spray fruit trees. I find with this or soap, I only need to apply it three weeks.
     
  4. jarrett622

    jarrett622 Active Member

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    So there's hope? I've always used the dish soap method for everything. It's always worked but I've not ever had this many plants inside at one time before. Did a semi-accurate head count yesterday and ended up with 81. I don't like to go the pesticide route but will if I can't control them with the soap.

    Thanks, Carol and Eric. And Eric, I'll look for the horticultural oil just in case. :-(
     
  5. jimweed

    jimweed Active Member 10 Years

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    What about Neem oil? Is it not environmentally friendy and safe to use indoors? I've heard people say good things about it as a miticide. Apparently it effects their reproduction system and greatly reduces the mite population. Never used it or even seen it myself, but just a suggestion. Also check your local hydroponic store, they may have some good over or under the counter miticides, that have proven results. Jim.
     
  6. rebekkahm

    rebekkahm Active Member

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    I have a question regarding mites. My mother recently gave me an apple seedling to nurse back to health. It's full of spider mites and I don't really want it to infest my other plants. How far away do i need to keep it? Is across the room far enough or should I keep it in another part of the house entirely?
     
  7. Rima

    Rima Active Member

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    Across a room is better than not, but your problem needs to be addressed and not just 'moved'. Do use a few drops (only) of detergent in at least a litre of water, plus 1-2 drops of cooking oil. First spray rinse the whole plant (front and back) with water. Then do the soap thing. Do it all again in 5 days and again 5-7 days later. Use a humidity tray under the pot to keep up humidity in the room as dryness is what's encouraging the bugs. Get it outside as soon as it's safe and leave it for life. Fresh air will help it then.
     
  8. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    Spidermites have legs, get rid of them before you introduce an infested plant, the horticultural oil or the soap will work, but you my want to make sure they are all gone before you bring the plant in the room.
    Carol JA
     
  9. pierrot

    pierrot Active Member 10 Years

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    Just thought I'd give my 5 cents worth

    Neem oil is not registered yet in Canada as a pesticide so a garden centre can only sell it as a leaf shine product. Health Canada issues a pesticide product number that registers the product as being tested and met their approval for sale in Canada as a pesticide. No matter what you have been told it does a store cannot sell it as a pesticide unless it has that number. It may or may not work! there are hefty fines for misrepresenting chemicals as a something they are not registered for.

    Dish soap arrggghhh!! these products are meant to strip oils and waxes left behind after eating. The epidermis of a leaf is coated with wax and so soap in any quantity will do some damage to the plant. again the home remedy may work to get rid of the spidermites.

    if there is a large infestation you may want to look into something like Safers end all. it is mixed with canola oil and has natural pyrethrins. the canola oil will smother the insects and the pyrethrins will kill anything that tries to crawl away.

    I agree with the humidity tray as spidermites are a symptom of having a dry air mass. Increasing the humidity of the air mass and aleviating stress of the plant will do wonders for the plant.

    if that does not work the garden centres will sell spidermite predators. You may haveseen little red cards hanging on plants in some Garden centres. these are relatively cheap and are carnivorous. This is probably the least toxic of any method to get rid of the spidermites.
     
  10. jarrett622

    jarrett622 Active Member

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    I've been using a combination of rubbing alcohol (50% to 50% water) with 1/4 tsp murphys oil soap, 1/4 tsp Ivory dish liquid in a quart sprayer. It seems to be working and working well.

    When you purchase the alcohol check to see what strength it is. In the Family Dollar stores around here they sell it at 50 % so I don't even have to dilute it. Some brands are as much as 90% so you'll have to do the math.

    I've always used dish soap for a variety of pest problems, even soil pests and it works wonderfully.
     
  11. jimweed

    jimweed Active Member 10 Years

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    Couldn't you just put that little Apple seedling outside? That would solve having it infest your house plants. Its likely the only reason it has mites is because it;s indoors, no?
    As for Neem Oil, well like I said, I've never used it. Never had a mite problem indoors, and if I did, I have plenty of Registered Miticides in my chemical storage room that would nuke the little buggers. I will tell you one thing that that will fry the mites is Lime Sulphur, I use it outdoors on Cedars, Alberta Spruce, and various other evergreens. Beats the pants off of Kelthane or Pentac for mite control. Jim.
     
  12. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    I use the lime/ Sulfur with hort.oil on my bamboo mites. works really well.
    Carol JA
     
  13. rebekkahm

    rebekkahm Active Member

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    Thank you for all your suggestions on how to remove mites, i do plan on treating the seedling for it. It's only about 8 inches tall and I live in northern ontario, so I can't see it surviving -20C temperatures for long, I do plan on putting it outside after the thaw, though. In the mean time, my original question was how far away from my other plants do I need to keep it to prevent infestation? Also, how long does it usually take to kill all the mites? Two weeks? Six weeks? and what would be a good indicator that I have in fact gotten rid of them?
     
  14. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    Keep it in a different room, you'll just have to recheck and respray for awhile, they like to get in creases where you think you got them, then you find out after they reproduce that you missed a few. I would check over a couple of weeks.
    Carol JA
     
  15. leilastar

    leilastar Member

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    I use Bug Away, made by advanced nutrients. Effective, guaranteed, and most importantly!! Organic.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2006
  16. jarrett622

    jarrett622 Active Member

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    Update: I've been using a combination of rubbing alcohol, Murphys Oil Soap, and Ivory Dish soap and I'm happy to report that out of the 4 or so heavily infested plants I had all but one tested clean for mites this past week.

    Mix in 1qt spray bottle:

    Rubbing alcohol - 50% with water. This means to read the label of the bottle and when mixing your formula has to equal half water, half alcohol. Some alcohol is as much as 98%. I've been buying mine from Family Dollar as it's already 50% right out of the bottle and requires no added water. It's very important that this part is absolutely correct; no more, no less.

    1/4 teas Murphy's
    1/4 teas dish soap. Mild kind like Ivory or Palmolive and *not* an 'ultra' version.

    Water plant throughly at least an hour before treating. Then spray the plant with the solution; saturate the leaves paying particular attention to the undersides. This mixture can be left on or rinsed off as desired. If you prefer to rinse let the plant sit for at least 10 minutes first. This formula does a good job cleaning the leaves as well. Use in a well ventilated area or an area you can leave while it's drying. Trust me, the smell alone will drive *everything* away.
    Due to the alcohol this forumla dries faster than plain soapy water.
     
  17. rebekkahm

    rebekkahm Active Member

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    so how do i tell if a plant that had spider mites is, in fact, clean of them? I think my infestation is gone but I'd like to be sure before I stop treating my plant for them.
     
  18. jarrett622

    jarrett622 Active Member

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    Take a white piece of paper and hold it below some leaves. Tap or flick the leaves. Hold the paper up to bright light and see if anything moves on its own. Do this for several different areas of the plant to be safe.
     
  19. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    I repeat the treatments two or three times (or more if I'm feeling particularly paranoid), with 5-7 days between each treatment, even if no sign of infestation is present. This ensures that any survivors are also killed off.
     
  20. jillballa

    jillballa Member

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    Carol, I am doing some gardening for someone who has quite a few stands of mature bamboo. Some of the stands are infested with bamboo spider mite. Is it safe for me to be using lime/sulphur with hort oil in April, do you use it year round on your bamboo. Thanks for any advice you can give me. Jill
     
  21. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    According to a local nurseryman who sells clean-looking stock, bamboo mites require repeated applications of more than one chemical to wipe out the population, different stages of development being affected by different products. Then there is the problem of new mites arriving and reinfesting the stand.
     
  22. jimweed

    jimweed Active Member 10 Years

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    You should have no problem applying sulphur to bamboo anytime of the year, mixed at 1/2 label rates will be sufficient to burn the mites. Just beware of over spray on other plants. But remember some mites are benificial, if the mites are not stressing, webbing, or damaging the plant, then it is not wise to upset the balance between the pest and pretatorial mites. Like mentioned by Jarrett above, using white paper to find mites, if you tilt the paper on its side the mites will stick. you should find 2 kinds of mites, pin head size black ones and tiny tiny red ones easliy found by smearing the paper and looking for red blood streaks. The tiny red spider mites do the damage, but the larger black ones will eat the spider mites. Upset that balance and your plant could be in a worse mite infestation in a few days when the next eggs hatch. Most miticide labels will suggest applications be done every 3-5 days for at least 3 treatments, regular monitoring is the key. Good luck to anyone with mites problems,, Jim.
     

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