how to tell if spider mites are gone?

linht(4a)August 17, 2007

Dahlias give me the greatest joy and frustration simultaneously. I have several dahlia plants infested with spider mites. I've sprayed with a Bonide product (acephate) the underside of each and every leaf that is infested. 3 of the plants have mites on every single leaf, luckily those plants are not bushy. Since these tiny terrors are microscopic how do you tell if the solution is killing them???? I can't even tell by waiting to see if the infestation spreads to the rest of the plant because all the leaves are affected. I know they hate water and supposedly it helps to blast your plant with water every day to keep them away but then disease and fungus would take over!! Anyone have suggestions on what the best approach is to treat mites and how to figure out if it's helping??

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I have a little 30x scope I use. So far Mite X and Hexygon(top of like line miticide) haven't work. I will try hort oil next time. A magnifying glass might work to see also.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 8:47PM
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I'm glad you posted that question, I would like to know also, because my few plants look pitiful. I have not found anything that helps. The fungus is also damaging my dahlias. Should I cut the stalks down in hopes of saving the tubers for next year?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 11:02AM
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You can get a rough idea that you have mites by the downward cupping and rusty webbing underneath. Dahlias will put out a secondary batch of leaves. Just remove any leaves that are brown and crusty. I have only cut off a dahlia if it has had severe physical damage.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 12:09PM
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So when you remove a leaf, will another one grow in that same spot? Also, if you dis-branch will that encourage growth elsewhere? I've recently started disbudding & since this is my first year growing dahlias, it was EXTREMELY painful to remove a growing bud. So just want to know if it's safe just to remove most of the infested leaves and wait for new growth...

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 9:01PM
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The leaves come out of buds just above the old ones. I don't remove them until the leaves are half brown or new leaves are coming out on their own, which they usually do.
I don't mind disbudding - sometimes less is more.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 11:47PM
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