Spider mite - an organic solution?

Raymondo(Armidale, NSW)February 7, 2006

Some of my tomatoes are infested with spider mite. One entire bed and here and there in others. The part of the country I live in has had a major problem with them this year.

I've tried seaweed extract but to no avail. Anyone have ideas? I did a Google search for organic solutions and it seems pyrethrum spray or an insecticidal soap spray are the recommended ways to go. I'm a little loath to use these though as they kill indiscriminately.

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Is it fairly hot and dry there now? Spider mites are driven to drink more plant sap whne it is hot and dry and that acts as an aphrodisiac causing them to mate more producing more young. Increasing the humidity around the plants is one easy means of control, if that is possible. Insecticidal soaps will kill any insect it contacts but it must contact the target. Insecticidal soap has no residual action so it would be the next step up for me if increasing the humidity did not work or was not possible.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2006 at 6:23AM
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creister(z7 TX)


I battled them last August and they are very hard to get rid of. I used a combination of two different sprays. One is insecticidal soap, the other was seaweed + molasses + orange oil. It kept them reduced, and plants kept growing, but I never got rid of them completely. I also trimmed off leaves that seemed to have very heavy infestations. You can also order predatory mites online, but they are somewhat expensive. I've never tried the predatory mites, but have heard they work very well.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2006 at 3:04PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Did you spray seaweed every two weeks?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2006 at 6:05PM
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dereckbc(7a TX)

If all the above fail, Pyrethrum or Rotenome.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2006 at 11:50PM
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Increasing the humidity by daily misting or spraying of the plants (early enough so the foliage will dry before nightfall and cooler temps) will certainly help. I'd also recommend Neem oil, which is a registered organic miticide, but like the insecticidal soap (which I have found to be of NO use in controlling spider mites), it is not target-specific and will kill any soft bodied insect.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2006 at 9:01AM
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gardenlen(s/e qld aust)

g'day raymondo,

the only way i know of is to increase the humidity also. they do like it dry and guess you are like most of the rest of us having a hot dry summer. might do to water in the arvo' so the leaves stay damp a bit more and the humidity stays around?


    Bookmark   February 12, 2006 at 3:50PM
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