aphids'ville, daddy-o

reet59(z3 MB)October 20, 2005

I've just brought all my plants inside for the winter. I washed all roots and repotted (most are Brugmansia trees). I currently use a 1000W HPS and a 1000W MH bulb in a room 10'x10'. My problem is that, in creating an environment for these trees, I've also built a home for billions of aphids, and maybe hundreds of spider mites (haven't counted those..yet). I went through 1L of end-all insecticide today. It worked for short periods last year, but I have at least triple the foliage this year than I did last. What can I do? I need to eliminate this threat before I go batty. Has anyone had any success with predatory insects? I ordered a bunch of ladybugs a month back, but they all flew into the lights and died. Kinda funny, but not very effective. Please, if anyone has any ways of killing the bugs once, then their larvae, then preventing them from coming back, I would be internally/eternally grateful. Thank you much.

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shiver

Heavens above, spider mites are *bad* news. They are my personal nemesis!! Aphids, once they get out of control, are bad too. Two winters ago I lost my entire growing room to those two insects. I tried beneficials to no avail. My ladybugs did the same thing yours did--I couldn't help but laugh, then started to cry. I tried gallons of avid miticide and poisoned my lungs with various other insecticides/miticides. Reet, I'm sorry to tell you this, but throw out your plants and run for your life. In my experience there is no winning this battle. Attempting to fight will only prolong your insanity and spread the bugs to every other plant in your entire household. I'm so sorry!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 1:42AM
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shiver

I really, really feel your pain---just wanted to say "I'm so sorry" again!!!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 2:02AM
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shrubs_n_bulbs(z8/9 UK)

I have found aphids and mites are both fairly easy to control.

Aphids are particularly easy to kill with insecticides. You might want to try a systemic insecticide to get 100% kill on an indoor collection although systemics aren't generally needed for aphids. Indoors without natural predators, even a single aphid can start a population explosion.

Mites are not so easy to kill but you can control them by maintaining good humidity in the growing area. Knock back the populations if you have a serious infection and then spray the plants regularly with water, or maintain wet pebble trays to keep up the humidity. Mites don't like the wet and your plants will love it. I find the main problem with mites is that they cause serious damage before I spot them.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 8:51AM
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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

I have a similar grow room but not as much wattage for my lights. I found that most of the aphids were on a few hibiscus buds. I sacrificed the buds (painful but worth it in the long run) by cutting them off and immediately placing in the outdoor garbage, then spraying what was left.

As for the mites, they were much less severe when I put a humidifier in the grow room. The HID lights really dry out the air. I got a cool mist humidifier, Hunter brand with the permawick filter that never needs replacing.

I ended up spraying every month or so with neem oil for aphids and whiteflies and just living with a few mites. This year I am going to spend outrageous amounts of money for some Malathion granules (what we use professionally for just about all bugs except mites) and use that.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2005 at 8:41PM
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shrubs_n_bulbs(z8/9 UK)

Malathion may also be effective against mites although there is widespread resistance in the US.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2005 at 7:38AM
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bluebonsai101(6a PA)

I'm just fiddling around and stopped by for a read, but is it your intention to flower your Brugs all winter long?? If you do not care about flowers for the winter months then these are very easily overwintered if you just stop watering, put them in the basement and forget about them...maybe water once a month to just keep the soil the tiniest bit moist. Once you put them outside next spring they will explode with growth and have a hundred flowers in a few weeks. I finally tossed out a few big ones because I got tired of hauling in these monsters and had more unusual plants that I wanted to keep. Aphids are a pain, but easy to control with just a nice spraying with soap and water once every few days or week depending on how often they show their ugly little faces. Spider mites are really uncommon on most plants, although I had a couple of Arisaema under attack this past summer. Best of luck :o) Dan

    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 4:39PM
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jamesfe(b5)

try neem oil

    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 9:59PM
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veggiecanner(Id 5/6)

get a clean spray bottle and put 2 tea spoons mineral oil to each pint room temp water. shake well and spray as many surfaces of the leaves as possible. repeat in 6 days . then as needed.
the oil smothers them.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2005 at 12:32AM
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