need help with spider mites what to use?

katluvrJuly 9, 2013

Hello every one , it has been a long time since I have been able to get on here,i have had my pc hijacked and now it runs even worse if that is possible, I need some good advice on spider mites please. they are on some of my leafy succulents and some cacti look like they have sm damage as well, my desert rose plants are the worst I have them seperated from the rest of my collection but dont know what to use I have some shultz's house plant spray I ave been using it says it kills mites etc but... so far I have more of them.
Thank you for any help or advice . Ronda

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bikerdoc5968 Z6 SE MI

I have used imidacloprid spray and also placed granules for long term systemic assistance. Many don't like using insecticides for various reasons. Spraying with rubbing alcohol may also work.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 5:24PM
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Hi Bd,
thanks so much , I believe you told me about this insecticide last year and I bought a bag of the granuals and put them in all pots this spring and last week I put in a second dose, no mealie bugs but so far it is not affecting the spider mites, I will get out there and defoliate all of the DR plants to make it easier to spray them I have to many to try to spray up under all the leaves over and over , shame to I guess it will do away with my blooms as as well.Alcohol works wonders for mealies but have not had it do much for spider mites so far , thanks again, Ronda
by the way how did the Euphorbia greenwayi work out for you?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 5:59PM
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bikerdoc5968 Z6 SE MI

Ronda, I didn't know you by your handle. Thanks for asking... they are just fine! Sorry you're having issues with spider mites. I used the imidacloprid spray and alcohol on a gardenia and it worked for me. Took few treatments but I think I'm good!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 7:19PM
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GeeS 9b

One Avid treatment should do the trick.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 7:24PM
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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

be careful with imidacloprid for spider mites. It has been shown to make matters worse. spider mites are best controlled with a rotating application of different miticides to prevent resistance.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 8:58PM
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Antistress 2000, an anti-desiccant spray, knocks them out quickly with zero chance of resistance. I don't know the exact mechanism but I think it's possible that it smothers the mites' mouths and prevents them from latching onto the plant. I once had a crazy mite outbreak on Brugmansia, and some research led me to this product. I don't see mites often but every now and then I spot them on Plumeria.

It works exceedingly well on leafy plants, but I would be careful on any plant that has fuzz, hair or wax because it might ruin the appearance.

Also, since it is an anti-desiccant, it will reduce transpiration which means that you may need to be a little more cautious with watering.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 9:07PM
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I've used repeated spraying of water with rubbing alcohol and small amount of dish soap with some success. I've tried a couple different kinds of sprays and find the rubbing alcohol works as well as them. one of the sprays caused a lot of leaf die off and one left burn marks. so Ive gone back to the alcohol. I've managed to get these once a year for the three years ive been keeping plants.

what about neem oil? does that work for mites?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 12:24AM
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remember, spider mites are MITEs... not insects.. many instecticides (most notably imadocloprid) are specifically targeting insect biology.. not arachnid biology. In veterinary medicine we use imdacloprid a lot to control fleas and other insects but it has absolutely NO effect on mites or ticks. Same would be expected in the plant world... so when trying to kill spider mites or Aloe mite, one might avoid an insecticide and choose a general pesticide (most pesticides turn out to be nonspecific but you imadacloprid is a specific insect killer).

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 2:50AM
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Your problem is becoming more prevalent in the plant world. I hear mention of it a lot lately. I'v had the same problem the last two years after 30 years of growing many types of plants Bromeliads and Tillandsias mostly. What I have found is there is no systemic mite killer at least none I'v found so far. I'v tried neem oil and Telstar and had lots of damage to the Bromeliads and Tillandsias and would be afraid to use it on Cactus. I have used alcohol on the Cactus and succulents with only one plant burning and that was an Aeonum one of the variegated ones. In most of the cases with neem oil and Telstar the cure is almost as bad as the problem itself. and mind you none of these give any extended protection. What I have done to help matters is go through my yard and look for plants that also have the mite problem and gotten rid of them. As it turns out not many plants are bothered by them but the ones they like can be covered. Alcohol will kill mealy bugs, scale and mites If it comes in contact with them but also doesn't give any lasting protection. I have switched to using Safari insecticide (dinotefuran) for insect problems but it doesn't help with the mite problem either. Haven't tried Avid and will have to look in to it. These are my experiences with the pest and hope it helps.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 6:49AM
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bikerdoc5968 Z6 SE MI

Good point, Geoff. Thanks and I apologize for the mis-information I posted. Good education on this thread as it should be.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 7:29AM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

When I had spider mites on my desert rose, I took a drastic step and cut all the stems off to little nubs, it will grow back steadily and the spider mites should stay away. My desert rose looks great right now

Here is a link that might be useful: Looke here

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 9:20AM
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paul_(z5 MI)

Must admit I'm rather surprised you're having mite probs with your plants outside -- I find it a problem with indoor plants. I have never tried this on cacti, but a dish detergent/water solution spritzed on affected plants is usually successful. All plant surfaces must be coated and reapplication is often necessary a week or so later.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 9:01PM
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GeeS 9b

I had two large Yuccas pick up spider mites this year. Did a fair amount of damage to one. These were only creatures of lore before that...

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 9:19PM
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Those pests are most likely to attack any of my hybrids with Lobivia "genes". They have killed some of my plants and horribly disfigured many more.

This year I was determined to prevent that so I used Garden Safe Fungicide 3. It is a fungicide, insecticide and miticide rolled into one. It is a Schultz product and the main ingredient is neem oil. It is safe for cacti, but I couldn't find anything specifically about Adeniums. I did use it on mine and they are still alive.

I used it more towards evening so the plant wasn't sitting in the sun afterwards. I did this every week starting in mid-spring. Happy to report no ugly spider mite damage this year

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden safe 3 in 1

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 9:52PM
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I'll have to look for that.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 5:11AM
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Hi! I am new to planting. Recently, while I was cleaning and watering my plants, I keep noticing spider webs. I clean the spiderwebs every time I see them but they keep coming back. I do not know if these are caused by regular spiders or spider mites. My plants are located in the patio.

Is there anything that I should look out for to help identify what sort of spiders did this?? Thanks a lot!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 11:15PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

Fluffy, spider mites are not a type of spider. They get their name from the fact that they usually create some very fine/thin web strands on the plants they are feeding upon. Spider webbing tends to be more robust and may be sticky (for obvious reasons as they use webbing to catch bugs).

All spiders are "carnivores" (assuming you consider bugs as "meat" -- a more proper term would be arthropodivores). Spiders are good guys.

Some mites feed on plants, some are parasites on animals and still others are predators. (If you happen to see any bright "screaming red" mites, leave them be ... they are beneficial predatory mites.)

Webbing on plants -- especially outdoor webbing could be either spiders or spider mites. Unless your plants are displaying pest damage (and if you "Google" you can find images of spidermite damage) then it most likely is webbing from regular spiders. Also if you clean off the webbing and its back again the next day, most likely regular spiders. Leave them be to do their job.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 6:28PM
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Paul, thanks for clearing that! I just saw the word "spider" in spider mites and I immediately thought of spiders.

So just to make sure, the webbing on plants could be caused by either regular spiders or spider mites. Do spider mites web elsewhere like furniture near the plants? or do they just web on the plants? And regular spiders do web almost everywhere, including on plants, right? >About the "screaming red" mites you mentioned, is that the red velvet mite? so red velvet mites are different from red spider mites, correct?? with the red velvet being more "red" in color than the red spider mite...right? and is red velvet a little bigger in size than spider mite? I may have to read more about this but I would like to ask you as well.

Thanks! I will check tomorrow if there are any spider mite damage on the plants.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 11:49PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

Yes, the screamingly red mites are "red velvet mites" (not to be confused with red velvet cake). They are predatory and are fairly large for a mite. You want them around.

For sake of clarity, I will just note that rather than saying "regular spiders", it is more accurate to simply say "spiders" as spider mites are not spiders at all but just a type of mite.

Spidermites typically only web on the plants being dined upon. And although there is a "red spider mite", it really isn't very red. (It's named for a red dot on its body which you will never be able to see without aid of a good magnifier.) Spider mites are very tiny ... about the size of a period in size 12 font.

Yes, webbing on plants could be due either to mites or spiders. Again, mite webbing tends to be very fine and fragile and very sparse. Spider webbing is much thicker and robust. Also after cleaning away webbing, spiders are more likely to rebuild extensively shortly thereafter.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 6:20PM
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Red velvet cake :)
I will make sure to not kill red velvet mites if ever I see them.

I checked my plants again for sign of mite damage - as far as I am concerned, I do not think there are least, I think. I will keep on checking, hoping that there really isn't any.

But just in case, if I find spider mites, will applying insecticides be enough to rid of them?

Thank you very much for the help and the information, paul!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 8:35PM
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