Mom's yard infested with spider mites
My mom (in Glendale) had her big beautiful backyard re-landscaped early last year. Lots of new plants were added around a lawn. Her landscaper told her the plants are infested with spider mites, and her apple tree with aphids (I think it's 'fuzzy apple aphid') and wants to spray everything. I told her I would do some research to find some less toxic organic methods of controlling these pests before her landscaper drops an insecticide bomb on her entire backyard. I suspect the plants (including the apple) may be stressed in some way.
So far I've read that blasts of water from the hose and insecticidal soap are effective in controlling the spider mites. Then, I found an interesting article saying that Alyssum attracts an insect that preys on the apple aphid.
I suggested she ask her landscaper to delay any spraying for now (and also said her landscaper should learn and know other less toxic methods). Are there any other tried and true methods I can share?
My mom was flabbergasted when I told her we have no aphids, spider mites, tomato horn worms, or other such pests in our yard, and I explained since we went organic about a decade ago the birds take care of them for us. She had no idea, so I want to teach her about other methods.