where do spidermites hide?

xmikelx(6)September 4, 2011

i just found a very ligt infestation of mites.

i took all of my plants and placed them into a bucket ( one at a time)full of water, hand soap, and alchohol; i did not put any certain about of pumps or tblspoons. the pot was mostly submerged then, i sprayed the foliage with same solution.

i left the plant like this for idk maybe 20 to half hour like this ,sitting in solution, for each plant. i did this to even ones that didnt have any mites. the one that i am worried about is my stromanthe tricolor.:( it had the most and its the only one which i see 1 or 2 here nd there after the "bath". i do not see mites on the actual foliage,which is weird, only walking along the outside of clay pot. so...... do mites hide in the soil or near drainage holes or in foliage???

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Mites -- if the plant-damaging spider mites -- are on the underside of the leaves.

Other sorts of mites exist, also, some of them normal soil residents but not damaging to plants.

We need a good photo or a detailed description of the critters you saw.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 7:13PM
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Many people do more damage to the plants trying to get rid of Spider Mites then the mites would if left alone. Perhaps this article might be of some use.

Here is a link that might be useful: Spider Mites

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 6:58AM
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jean: i had no clue their were other kinds. i would not be able to provide a picture for you. i just know these guys are white and they crawl around pots. i have not seen them near foliage. thank you for replying.

kimmsr: hopefully these guys go away on their own. thank you for the link.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 9:57AM
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I second Kimmsr that Spider Mites are not usually a problem except sometimes in very hot dry periods, mono-cultures, or if you have been killing predators. Practice the cultural methods in the link she sent and you should probably have little trouble with these pests. In the mean time oil, either Horticultural or a tablespoon of any vegetable in a quart of water really does the best job on mites. I don't know why anyone would expose their plants to alcohol.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 8:04PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Alcohol is a very mild and safe alternative for pest management. After all, we use it on our own skin, on children's skin; it is in who knows how many skin care products. The idea that it is harmful to plant tissues is a myth.

Alcohol, diluted to a ratio of 1:4 or even stronger (full stength) has been used as a mist or spot treatment for many, many years with great success. It is most effective on soft bodied critters such as aphids, mealybugs, scale crawlers, whitefly nymphs spider mites, etc. Also good at killing the eggs of those pests.

As with ANY home remedy, we are using ingredients which are not labeled for pest control so there are no 'directions'. Thus, we each need to use our common sense when mixing and using such products. I've used alcohol mists for 20 or 30 years on most of my indoor plants with no ill effects and good success. There are some plants, however, that I won't use it on because I DO have common sense! ;-) I'm wary about misting fuzzy plants with it and I won't spray it on flowers or ferns. That's about it.

I doubt very much that our original poster is dealing with spider mites at all, but perhaps some other kind of mite not harmful to plants.

I would like to know, IPM man, how one can mix any kind of vegetable oil with water and make a solution that won't end up glopping on the plants. Oil and water won't mix without some help.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 10:49PM
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I mix it warm and add a little soap and shake frequently while using. Been using it for years on tomatoes, houseplants and anything else with mites, aphids, mealybug or other oil sensitive pests. Of course the commercial Hort. oil is easier but lot's of people just use what they have on hand.
All these things are only personal opinions and things we have used and have worked for us. They are not scientifically tested. When using any insect or disease control that does not have scientific data confirming its effectiveness one should ask these and more questions. Is the source of the advice from someone that is knowable and trusted? Is their reasonable reason why this would work? Is there reasonable reason why this would not work? and does the purveyor of the knowledge have something to gain?
Oh by the way using this formula, alcohol, vinegar, or any other home remedies for insect, disease or weed control is technically against the law.
PS. Sorry to get so far of the thread.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 9:17PM
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what ever kind of mite it might have been its gone, i have not seen not-a-one!if the mite was harmful or not, i noticed its presence and it freaked me out a little bit.

would either rhizo or impman allow non-plant damaging mites to live in/on their house plants? (wondering if it was horrible of me to attack them with alcohol?)

i have been misting more often and not letting the tray below stay with out water( pot not sitting in water of course) i also have been spraying the sides of pot with water/alchohol.

before ever using alcohol as pest control, i did some googleing and never found any reason not to use it.

rhizo - i agree common sense is major when using ingredients with no application direction for what we are using them for( insects).

impman- is it against the law even if it is indoor usage? its fine too . i learned something new thanks to the straying.

thank you both for input/ opions!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 5:30PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I'd not worry too much about whatever you saw crawling around on your containers. Was it wrong to try to get rid of them? No. With alcohol? No.

You'd be surprised, though, how much good a soaking in just plain water will do. Soil abiding critters FLEE from a prolonged dunking. I'd worry somewhat about soaking the soil and root system in a mixture of soaps and alcohol, if you know what I mean. Roots are very tender and sensitive...and utterly essential to the above parts of your plants.

I'm not so sure about the legalities about using pantry and medicine cabinet ingredients in ways that are not on the label. I have never once seen the usual pesticide warning ..."It is a violation of Federal laws to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling"...on a dish soap bottle. Anybody see that on a vinegar bottle? The label IS the legal document.

I believe that it just applies to pesticides.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 12:18AM
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