Spider mites - how long can they live without food?
I googled the subject of this post and the hits were mostly pot-growing forums where spider mites are apparently quite a problem for indoor cultivation. There was a mix of opinions, so I thought I'd see what people here thought.
I have a finished basement, and in the room I'm in right now I was storing winter squash, picked in late September. At the end of November I noticed some of them were going "fuzzy", which I assumed meant they were going moldy. Alas, the fuzz was actually colonies of spider mites (never had that issue before this year). I threw out the squash and thought the mites would soon die without food. But 10 days later I'm still killing mites each day, even though there is nothing in this room for them to eat.
I have indoor pepper plants in the next room and I'm freaked that the mites will find those plants, maybe they already have and it won't become obvious for a few weeks until their population grows. I'm being careful now to limit my visits to the pepper plants to about once per day, to try and avoid contamination.
My question about how long mites live without food is based on 1)if they really haven't found the peppers yet, how long do I have to be careful of spreading things from my infested computer room to the grow-lights in the next room? And 2)assuming the mites have already spread or will spread soon to the peppers, how long do I need to have that space cleared out of all plants before I can seed my spring bedding plants without worry of being infected by leftover mites?