Spider mites, a need for a solution

segurelhaAugust 13, 2014

Hello,

I have a big problem with spider mites indoors.

I grow many plants indoors in a conservatory - not just vegetables for food like tomatoes, but also many perennials, tree seedlings, flowers, collection of cactus, etc. I live in an arctic climate, only 3 months frost-free, so growing indoors is essential.

The mites seem to be killing always the same prone species (like moringa, beans, seedlings of honey locust, amaranth, etc) While it's not a problem for many plants, or it's a manageable problem (plants can be rinsed out or sprayed with some sort of control), it is a deadly risk for other species that always die regardless of anything I try to do. The only solution would be to grow those plants in a new room of our house, where mites never have gone.

I keep overwintering some perennials indoors, and since the conservatory with artificial lights and pots is an artificial environment, the mites get out of control. I tried everything against them, but nothing works. Predator mites definitively do not work. Cleaning everything definitively does not work. Introducing pest repelling plants like catnip, does not deter the mites too. Tried neem, essential oils, and did not work. I am tired of trying solutions I found in foruns and on the web, and do not work.

So, while I lost hope of erradicating the mites unless I would start everything from zero (not possible), I now want to learn how to live with the mites and keep them under check so that they do not kill some of my species which are perennials and sometimes rare.

I want to know, how can I create a healthy and balanced environment with my indoor plants. I already have a lot of diversity indoors but the mites kill always the same sensitive species, even if I give them the best of conditions.

Anyone with bright ideas?

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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Spider Mites are usually only a problem when it is hot and dry and raising the humidity around affected plants usually is all that is needed to bring them under control. Insecticidal oils, Insecticidal Soaps, or just misting affected plants with water often helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: About Spider Mites

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 11:24AM
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kqnash

I think I have some sort of mite. I see no webs and see no bug. However the nursery saw a bug in their microscope. The oakleaf hydrangea leaves are curled up & shriveled. If I spray with an oil/soap mix, should it be in the evening (it's a 100 degrees & sunny) and should I rinse it off in the morning or leave it on? Also if I also spray pentas (white fly), will it kill the blooms?
I am desperate to save my hydrangea!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 11:51AM
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kqnash

I think I have some sort of mite. I see no webs and see no bug. However the nursery saw a bug in their microscope. The oakleaf hydrangea leaves are curled up & shriveled. If I spray with an oil/soap mix, should it be in the evening (it's a 100 degrees & sunny) and should I rinse it off in the morning or leave it on? Also if I also spray pentas (white fly), will it kill the blooms?
I am desperate to save my hydrangea!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 11:53AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

you should start your own post nash ...

ken

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 12:52PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

No one, kqnash, would recommend applying any insecticide to any plant when temperatures are over 80 degrees, not even the manufacturers of those products.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 6:58AM
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herman_neutics

seg

I've had good luck managing mites with sns 217. Some folks swear by hot shot no pest strips especially if you aren't growing edibles. Forbid 4f is thought of as a last ditch systemic.

Mites have a remarkable ability to morph and resist chemical interventions. TSSM, 2 spotted spider mites are referred to as the borg.

Stylet oil has a good record at holding back spider mite populations but it requires periodic retreatment. It also has a degree of photoxicity / reduces photosynthesis with repeated applications. But it is OMRI listed and considered safe for food.

It's a good practice to rotate treatment modalities so that the borg can't build a resistance to a specific treatment. For example rotate three different products with different modes of action over a few week period.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 7:43PM
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