Death by red spider mite (also in pest / disease

rsquareMay 30, 2011

In Zone 8b near Austin. I am being absolutely decimated by red spider mites. I can't get a handle on them. Tried Neem and Pyrethrins.... Nothing!!! Keeping up with the hatch cycle, but they don't seem to be giving in! Nicotine spray seems to be the next step, but the stuff is so dang toxic! I live rural, have predators, but they are starting to be effected by the neem... Catch 22!!

Guess what I need to ask is has anyone tried the homemade nicotine spray?

Thanks!

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rnewste(8b NorCal)

This product has worked for me on Mites:

Raybo

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 9:33PM
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rsquare

I have tried a mix of neem and Pyrethrins, but not Pyrethrins mixed with canola oil. Perhaps that would work, it is worth a try. I've tried everything else (soaps, garlics, hydroblasting the leaves, etc). The nicotine spray is not toxic to the plant if used correctly and dissipates, but it can be absorbed by the skin (human) when applying...and the wind has been relentless... Your suggestion is certainly worth a try. If I can at least control them at this point, even if eradication isn't possible.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 9:49PM
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driftwoodtx(10 - Los Angeles)

Sorry to hear about your mites, a problem (knock on wood) that I don't have.
But I did remember reading a thread that might be of interest.
It sold me on the suggested "Take Down" solution.

'MythBusters Challenge' - Azatrol vs. Take Down Garden Spray

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 9:55PM
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rsquare

Well, I realized late this afternoon that anything with "oil" or a petroleum base will not work in the heat at this late date in the season. Hitting 100 now... Got a straight pyrethrin spray and will add a tiny touch of joy soap to the mix. If that doesn't produce results and noticeably so rather quickly, I am going to try the homemade nicotine spray. These mites are resilient, little, nasty monsters...

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 10:31PM
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eyesofthewolf(8b)

I feel your pain, I live in Cedar Park and the darn spidermites already killed 6 of my black krims. They are even in the house. The only thing that has helped me save my brandy wines is that I spray with good old water every morning and sometimes in the evening when it has been low humidity. I tried old folk lore flour,water and a bit of soap. It did knock them back some on the other plants, then I started watering leaves right after that and it really helped with the plants being able to grow faster than the spidermites can kill them. I have a feeling we will be battling these spidermites all season. Because its going to be a very hot dry season. I hope you get some relief from them. As with the nicotine spray don't you worry about tobacco mosaic virus? Just wondering I'm not sure, Deanna

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 11:44PM
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rsquare

Boy, you've got that right! They are awful! I am not going to worry too much about TMV. I know a lot of gardeners that have tried it and it worked well. TMV hasn't been around for a while so.... The only thing i need to worry about is getting it on me! The wind has been so relentless that i need a semi-quiet day to do it. 100 already in central Texas!?!? CRAZY HOT!!!! I am northwest of Georgetown.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 7:01AM
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eyesofthewolf(8b)

rsquare, Did you try the nicotine spray? I have noticed since I water them every day from the top and cut off the infected leaves, I think I will be able to save the tomato plants they are growing faster than the spidermites are reproducing. Of course now I have to deal other problems like some sun scald. I gave up and put shade cover over them, We are not going to get a break from this heat. I just wanted to know if your spray showed positive signs. Deanna

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 8:53AM
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Julie717

Hi--I had an infestation of spider mites on my hollyhocks about 3 weeks ago and tried a water-milk-flour spray on them that seems to have worked. I did sort of just guesstimate the proportions of flour/milk/water, but you should be able to find recipes if you want to Google it. I've shaken the leaves over a white paper plate and found very few mites since then. It won't hurt beneficials unless they get stuck in it when you spray. According to the source I found this recipe in, the flour mixture would suffocate/trap the mites and then flake off--ha!

I can't get it off the plants. I've sprayed the crap out of them with water several times and we had a huge rainstorm a few days after I applied it. I will think I've gotten it off, but as soon as the leaves dry, there it is again. (All the spraying might also be getting rid of the mites, of course) It collects in the veins of the leaves. The problem might not be so bad with tomatoes since they have smoother leaves than hollyhocks, though. That said, it doesn't seem to be hurting the plants, it just looks kind of yucky up close. It might work better if you could just confine it to the undersides/stem junction of leaves, I got it everywhere. I haven't tried to wash it off with soap, either.

I don't know if you'd want to try this on your garden or not, I only had a problem with two big hollyhocks, not a widespread infestation. I just wanted to keep them from spreading to the tomatoes.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 1:38PM
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Julie717

Hi Rsquare--I forgot to mention that I also found several sources that said frequent foliar spraying with kelp/seaweed fertilizer is helpful to control/prevent mites. According to the research, it may act as a sort of hormonal birth control for them, plus it strengthens the plants.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 1:54PM
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tracydr(9b)

Just increasing humidity by spraying with water every day has helped me. My potted plants like mint get them every once in awhile in AZ.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 7:37PM
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garystpaul(4)

This works for me: isopropyl alcohol 70% + water in a spray bottle (or large sprayer) ratio 1:2, plus shavings of Castile soap as a surfactant. Spray the undersides of leaves especially, to the point of runoff. Good luck. Gary

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 8:02PM
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ditnc(7 NC)

I methodically sprayed the plants last evening with a neem oil/detergent mixture using a pump spray. I did my best to get every single underside and leaf top.

Apparently I missed one. This evening I found this. I'm so discouraged.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 9:05PM
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brettddglas_hotmail_com

Found the "silver bullet" for mites. As with everyone in this article I found that using herbal/home remedies/neem/nicotine, etc... and even using such invasive insecticides like "Avid" and "Kontos" I got a handle on them but not erradication. The reason is the pesky milky orbs they lay so efficiently. And these dont hatch at predictable times soooo... something was needed to break the breeding chain.. after much reading, studying and consternation, I settled on a product called Forbid 4F from Bayer. Kills all stages of the lil raskals by just treating foliar spraying the leaf tops. Yes its invasive but the half-life is rather short. I can say one thing...It works. I went from infestation to zero in under a week. Mind you, this new chem doesnt come cheap. You will have to weigh if your patience and plants are worth the approx 250.00 to rid yourself of this scourge (it has enough for MANY doses) but if you happen to have the extra money, it will free you of this problem at least.

Oh, here is a page that discusses all the miticides available. I have tried most and only forbid was worth the price paid. I hope this helps.. Bdd

Here is a link that might be useful: miticides

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 12:26PM
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dicot

UC IPM says pyrethrins can actually increase spider mite growth by knocking back their natural predators. Insecticidal soaps still are my preferred tool of choice, although you do have to apply when under 90 degrees, but you can come back and hose off the sprayed areas an hour later to avoid any phytotoxicity.

Here is a link that might be useful: UC IPM mites

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 3:37PM
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bigdaddyj(Zone7)

Next year consider green lacewings at the very onset of mite attack. Place the eggs on your wet plants just as the mites are appearing or just ahead of their expected time. Here it's first week in June for me. Say goodbye to your mite problem. Also, say goodbye to any aphids and whiteflies too. Takes about 2 to 3 minutes for a good size garden, it's 100% natural, eggs cost about $10 and works better than any spray anyday...

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 10:12PM
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