Mites, Hot water treatment!

hippeastrumadmirer(5)November 22, 2009

I have some amaryllis that have signs of mites and I was wondering, the seed pods are fine, but should I wait until the seed pods are all done, I mean they are all ripe and mature and then do the hot water treatment, I have one more question if the seeds look fine after they have matured would this effect their growth years to come and would they die and get the mite because their parents had it? Do you thik it would be ok to due the hot water treatment in the sink? Should I remove the leafs? Thanks Im 16 and wondering, It's a shame that these companies sell bulbs with diseases in them, I think ludwig is the only reputable amaryllis/hippeastrum company out there, I have never really had problems with ludwig but they don't have much varieties! Thanks Phil, 16 years old!

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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Dear Phil.

Your questions are all good and having done the hot water treatment on some bulbs that were infected with borrowing larve, I feel like I can help.

First...yes, it stinks that some bulbs arrive poorly. I'd let the company know. I just got a nice letter of credit from a company that stands behind its products. Most should.

OK..first, let's talk about mites. Mites are an insect. I haven't had them, but I don't think HOT water (HWT) is how you want to treat this. Also...NO, PLEASE don't try it in the sink as you need a heat source to keep the water at a constant temperature. Too low and you won't do anything but stress the poor bulb, too high and you'll kill it!! But again...I don't think HWT will help you because, while it might kill the mites on the bulb, you must have mites in the surrounding soil, house, yard, etc...and the HWT does nothing for them!

So...I would suggest a systemic insecticide if you really think you do have mites. I know that you are so careful that you have looked them up. The seedlings should be fine because, unlike a virus (which affects the offspring) a mite is really a topical pest. are a little bit lucky that you don't have a virus, and just remember it could always be worse!! Good luck and keep us posted!!


    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 5:43PM
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Phil, I don't know what is available in Canada,But you need a miticide,a poison specifically designed to control mites. In the US we used to use Cygon(Dimethoate),which is now banned. It is still available in many countries. I was in the nursery business for eleven years,and it was the most effective miticide I've ever used. It was cleared for use on food crops.In the US you would have to get a miticide from an agricultural supply house.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 10:49AM
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I have good luck controlling mites with Schultz's 3 in 1 spray... it's a miticide/insecticide/fungicide all in one.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 4:02PM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Jodi's right...the Schultz's product works. I was just suggesting something systemic so that you can kill them all!!


    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 4:52PM
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And Kristi's right... I would spray them now, then do a repeat spray in a couple of weeks to kill anything that hatches... and then follow that up with a systemic for future prevention.

It never hurts to think ahead and prevent outbreaks... winter is usually a time of dry air conditions, perfect for mites to thrive in.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 6:12PM
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Thank you so much you guys are great, I am trying to crossbreed hosta times amaryllis, different colors of tiger lilies times amaryllis thanks alot, and do mites cause red blotch, cause I have some spots that are red, or do you think red blotch is ok? Thanks so much guys you are all so wonderfull!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 6:39PM
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Phil,Immediately after I posted the reply to you,it struck me that I hadn't asked you if you had actually seen any mites,either with the naked eye or with a magnifying glass. They are very small,almost microscopic,but some people can see them. There are several things that can cause spotting on Hippeastrum. When leaves start dying,sometimes they will spot a little before turning yellow and dying,even with nothing wrong with them. That probably is a symptom of the presence of absissic acid, a normal plant hormone used to rid a plant of old leaves.Any bite from any insect will cause red spots. Bacterial viral and fungal infections can cause redness,including spotting. Unfortunately bites can transfer diseases. If the tiny red spots continue to grow in size,and develop dead tissue which is grayish or black, it is probably stagonospora,which can be transfered by bites.Quite often the stagonospora infection area under the dark shrunken tissue will be slimy. This forum has many good references in past posts about mites and disease. You would do well to read some of them. I didn't recommend a brand name for mite control,because Canadian chemical laws are quite different from mine,and I don't know what's available there.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 8:29PM
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Red Blotch and mites are two different issues. Red Blotch is the common term for Fusarium, which is a fungal issue.

If you treat with Schultz's 3 in 1 spray, you'll cover all bases.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2009 at 9:18AM
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