Abamectin with summer oil for crapemyrtle?

wintercat_gwMarch 4, 2014

Is that an effective combination for spidermite infestation?

I've been told that adding summer oil to abamectin when preparing the spray make it more effective.

Could the oil fry my crapemyrtles' new buds? They're real tiny right now and a mini heat wave is due in the next couple of days - temp might get into the higher 80s or lower 90s.

Advice will be much appreciated. This is something of an emergency.

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This product is highly toxic to fish and many non target insects, and you are advised to stay out of the area until the spray is dried even though it is classified as non toxic to humans.
Spider Mites are usually a problem during hot, dry weather so often simply spraying water on affected plants is enough to control them.

Here is a link that might be useful: About Abamectin

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 6:38AM
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kimmsr, first of all, thanks for replying.

I'm familiar with the water treatment. i rinsed the trees with the strongest jet of water for a whole week. It just doesn't work.

I've already sprayed once with Abamectin yesterday morning, and will repeat the treatment in a week. I'm just wondering if I can combine it with oil in such hot weather.

When i ran searches in this forum before posting my question, I noticed many of your pro-organic replies. I'm fully aware of alternative solutions. They don't work in my case, and I've no intention of letting my 6 crape myrtles die. As far as I'm concerned the question isn't to use or not to use pesticides, but how best to combine them.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 9:01AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

the label on any given pesticide is your guide ...

if you want to try 'combining' things.. then contact producer ... making your own witches brews is never really recommended ... no mattter what some stranger said on some undocumented website ....

you sound very frustrated ... but try to keep it clearly in mind... that these are just spider mites ... you really shouldnt need to go nuclear.. on them ...

i would look for a systemic mitecide ... and use it according to the label.. if such a remedy exists ... and you are able to obtain it ....

good luck


EDIT: and BTW .. i am not adverse to chemical warfare... when i hit my limit ... but i would go with a systemic product .. and use it according to labeled instructions ... and i would research if i need a mitecide... rather than an insecticide .... e.g.: an insecticide wont work on slugs.. because they arent insects .... its all about.. whats listed ont eh label ...

This post was edited by ken_adrian on Tue, Mar 4, 14 at 10:10

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 9:57AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Wintercat, you are correct that combining abamectin with horticultural oil greatly improves the ability to control spider mites. It's a well known tank mix and hardly a 'witch's brew ', Ken.
Combination sprays are very very common; professionals use them frequently and so can knowledgable homeowners.

Wintercat, to answer your question.....oil sprays CAN be a problem in hot temperatures and bright sunlight. Summer oils can typically be used in warmer temperatures but you should check the label directions for specific instructions.

You also need to be careful about the rate at which you mix the oil. Usually, it would be suggested to mix each product in your needed amount of water as if you were using them alone. Oil mixes are a little different and they are often added at a lower rate.

If in doubt, call the distributor of your abamectin.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 1:01PM
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Ken Adrian - thank you for your reply. Spider mites are also disease vectors and definitely justify going nuclear, let alone chemical. My garden is made up solely of those 6 crape myrtles. No crapes - no garden.

Rhizo - Many many thanks for your good and practical advice. I'll do it and hope for the best. Bless you!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 3:00AM
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nikthegreek(9b/10a E of Athens, Greece)

WinterCat what are your temperatures currently over there? Also, are the plants currently foliated? I would not hesitate to use the mix in temps of up to 28C as long as spraying would take place either at dawn or at dusk. I would use up to 50 or 60 ml of oil per 1lt of spraying mixture if the plant is foliated but I would go up to 100ml if it currently isn't. Assuming abamectin is at the usual 1.8% solution I would use 1ml of that per 1lt of spraying liquid. Oils should be always mixed last in the tank. Mixing them before the other substance may mess up with the solubility and stability of the other substance. All the above are things I have done based on expert suggestion and I'm talking from experience gardening in a climate not too dissimilar to yours.

PS Abamectin mainly targets mature stages of the mites while oil mainly targets the eggs. That's why efficacy is increased when combined. Depending on the mite targeted and the prevailing temps a repeat application would be necessary between 7-15 days after the first (but you have already applied the first). I would not repeat abamectin application for a third time before a few months go by. If you need to re-spray you will have to use an acaricide with a different mode of action. You can always combine with oil as long as the temps are not too high and the pesticide label does not preclude it. Where I live most mites are not yet active so only oil would be necessary until late April or so, but your temps might be such that acarea are already in their mature stage and active.

This post was edited by nikthegreek on Wed, Mar 5, 14 at 4:35

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 4:12AM
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Nik the Greek - this is wonderful! Thank you so much! i've printed out Rhizo's post and now yours as well. Its a great help to me.

Today it's 27 C and set to go up. We had a warm winter (some people here wonder if there had been any winter at all). The spidermites must be adult and active. All 6 trees are covered with filaments again, and I bombarded them with mighty water spray jets for a whole week only a couple of weeks ago.

4 crapes are still dormant, but 2 are budding - Cordon Bleu started a week ago and Rhapsody in Pink 3 days ago.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 6:50AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Wintercat, now that I know the identity of at least two of your crapes, I am not surprised that you're fighting spider mites. These cultivars are listed as "susceptible" to pests and diseases.

I'd be watchful for aphids and powdery mildew, too. You should add winter applications of oil, if you haven't already. Dormant season oil treatnents can be most helpful in controlling some pests by killing overwintering eggs.

By the way, be cautious about using systemics. Some are well known to cause a dramatic INCREASE of spider mites later on.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 7:12AM
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nikthegreek(9b/10a E of Athens, Greece)

Increase in mite populations may be manifested when using pesticides (such as insecticides) not targeting or affecting the mites (but often affecting their enemies). Systemic or not should not make much of a difference. For example this phenomenon can be attested when overusing non-systemic pyrethroids as well as systemic neonicotinids.

Abamectin will take care of any aphids for some time and a suitable fungicide can also be mixed in the concoction (again if label allows), although with some like myclobutanil there is an increased risk of tissue burn on sensitive plants when mixed with oils and applied during high temps or under sunshine. Making a localized test application and waiting for a couple of days to check is always a good idea when mixing substances or applying new substances to plants.

This post was edited by nikthegreek on Wed, Mar 5, 14 at 7:44

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 7:27AM
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Rhizo, thanks for the tip. I'll definitely add winter applications - next winter. I haven't applied any dormant oil this winter. I wasn't on the lookout for spider mites, but from now on I sure will be.

In addition to Cordon Bleu (2 of them) and Rhapsody in Pink, I have Dynamite (2 trees) and Pink Velour. Should I look out for anything else besides spider mites, aphids and powdery mildew? I thought these were disease resistance varieties.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 7:41AM
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