Red Mites Everywhere

seajSeptember 2, 2012

My outdoor amaryllis are covered in these things! I never noticed until today when I went to check on the scape that my Joker is sending up. The picture above is what alarmed me. Not only are they outside, but I see them on my indoor phalaenopsis and african violets too. They are all grown on opposite sides of my northeastern kitchen window. The plants on the porch seem to be safe so far. So how much trouble am I in?

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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Oh my you are in trouble!! First...excellent photo. Second...kill them! I have never had mites here, but those on the list that have had suffered much plant damage.

With bulbs, there are so many nooks and places for them to hide. There are systemics that you could use. For topical, there is Shultz's 3 in 1 that many of us use. I'd suggest a combination of both. Do you have V.Read's book? We can look up in that as well. UGH...good luck!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 7:50PM
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OMG!! Jared, you poor thing! While looking at your excellent picture, I actually thought I saw one of them crawling..sent shivers up my spine!

That said, you will most likely have to do some heavy duty spraying and maybe some praying too!

Luckily I've never had this problem or know anyone who has.. but maybe someone else has an answer and, I wish you the Best of Luck with this problem..

I found this link might find it interesting if not amusing...and hopefully helpful...


Here is a link that might be useful: mites

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 8:39PM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Great link Donna. Good luck Jared!!
(I think the red pepper spray sounds great!!)

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 8:55PM
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I probably should have paid more attention to them, but ever since I moved them outside I turned my attention to my indoor plants. I thought that NBF was the only thing I really had to worry about. Kaboehm, I don't have V.Read's book and I've been trying to avoid using strong chemicals on the plants because the plants use to kept in the kitchen, but I don't think that is an option anymore. I do like the idea of using other mites to eat them though.

They will definitely need to be sprayed with something. Would forcing the plants into dormancy do any good? I figure that I can always restart my African violets with a few healthy leaves, and the phals seem easy enough to clean and monitor. Thanks for the help and support!!! Tossing everything out and restarting my garden is not an option.


    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 10:03PM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Mites will crawl down into the layers of dried material on the bulbs. How many bulbs are we talking about?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 10:03AM
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I have 10 bulbs total at the moment. Plans to increase that number are on hold until this problem gets under control, but I'm starting to think about trashing everything and starting over. I still have seedlings that are safe for now and that should be enough to hold my interest if I decide to go that route. Keeping the plants outdoors is the only option right now so spider mites just may have to be something that I'll have to learn to live with. In the meantime I'll try manual removal to keep the numbers down.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 2:03PM
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This suggestion is something I tried out of desperation about 5 years ago and it worked!!

Several years ago my very first seedlings came down with stagonospora curtisii due to ignorance on my part (keeping them sopping wet in styrofoam coffee cups ;-( ) Anyway, I trashed the whole lot of them but at the last moment I retrieved about 4 of them and dunked them roots, leaves and all in a very very weak bleach solution probably about 2 to 3 % for about 5 minutes. I don't remember if I even washed the leaves off with water but they lived!! They were all burned looking (not right away of course) on the outer layers of the bulbs and they lost their leaves but the following spring 3 of them sent up new green leaves and one of them even bloomed!!

So, before you trash them, I'd give it a try..just make sure that you bleach down the area in your house, table or windowsill or where ever to make sure that it is totally clean..of course I'm assuming the little buggers would die in the bleach...
Just a thought as it did work for me...


    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 4:42PM
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sun_worshiper(FL 9b)

Try neem oil sprays. At certain times of year, they invade the landscape here. I have not tried neem on hippis, but I had a badly infested lychee tree. I sprayed it once a week for about 2 months. Totally eradicated the mites.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 7:29PM
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