Treatment for Spider Mites on Citrus

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by KevyWestside, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. KevyWestside

    KevyWestside New Member

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    Hi folks, new to the forum and looking for your recommendations on how to effectively treat spider mites on potted citrus.

    Last year I brought home a new Calamondin from the local nursery to add to my collection of seed grown citrus and it turns out I also brought home an infestation of spider mites! I eventually got it under control before everyone went outside for the summer months; however, I’ve gone and done it again with my latest addition of a Meyer Lemon/Key Lime combo. Despite spraying all my trees multiple times with insecticidal soap before bringing inside for the winter, I’ve got a raging infestation of spider mites once again.

    I’ve changed it up this time with an insecticidal soap/miticide product delivered via a pump sprayer and have started treating all the trees once again.

    I’m hoping for the best, but curious what has worked for others in the past to control spider mites?
     
  2. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Contributor 10 Years

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    I use insecticidal soap for my citrus. It does require persistence since the sprays must be repeated a number of times with 7-10 days in between. The mites are gone after three or four applications; I don't bother to check for mites during this time. If a tree has a lot of foliage where the mites can hide I also give it a thorough hosing down in the shower in between soap sprays.

    Which miticide are you using, End-All? Do you find it more effective than plain insecticidal soap?
     
  3. KevyWestside

    KevyWestside New Member

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    Yes, giving End All a try this time around. Jury is still out on how effective it will be as it’s only been a couple days since the first treatment, but I’m hoping that a bit stronger of a product combined with a more effective delivery method will produce some better results. As for the insecticidal soap, three applications on the infected Meyer Lemon/Key Lime before it came inside and got anywhere near my other citrus didn’t seem to do the trick.

    The poor Calamondin took the biggest hit last year loosing a good portion of its leaves and had only just recovered. Once again it seems to have to worst of it!
     
  4. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Contributor 10 Years

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    If the tree remained outside during the treatment, then it's possible that it was re-infested during that time; all it takes is for one mite to lay a few eggs.
     
  5. Will B

    Will B Member

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    Spider mites are quite difficult to get rid of altogether. Sometimes folks opt for keeping the populations under control, realizing eradication is unlikely. One measure of control if the citrus plants are not too large is to put them in the shower periodically and spray the leaves thoroughly. This knocks the spider mite population down considerably and can control them if done reasonably often.

    If a periodic shower is not practical I tend to use a horticultural oil spray. 3 tablespoons of oil per gallon of water. This suffocates the spider mites and is quite effective as long as you hit the mites with the spray. Oil spray also controls other types of pests like aphids and scale, and provides some protection against certain types of fungus. Keep in mind a couple of things if you use oil:
    1. spray where it won't make a mess (or is easy to clean up afterward).
    2. oil is incompatible with some other treatments (such as sulphur, etc.) so be sure to not use those for a considerable time if you do spray oil.
    I have read certain vegetable oils such as Canola oil can be used for the same purpose, but have not tried those. Also, Neem oil has insecticidal properties as well, but have not had an opportunity to try it.
     
  6. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Contributor 10 Years

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    I believe neem is a restricted/controlled substance in Canada and is not available to the general public.
     
  7. KevyWestside

    KevyWestside New Member

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    I tried this last winter with my initial infestation with fairly good success. A bit of oil mixed with water in a spray bottle and a few drops of baby soap added as a surfactant. The big drawback was that it left a sticky film behind on the leaves once dried. Not a deal breaker, but not very aesthetically pleasing.
     

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