Why do I keep getting spider mites on my plants? I don't over water them, I check them often. I've thrown away a passion plant, an ivy and now I see webbing on my cactus garden. They are all inside plants and not even near each other. I spray them with the spray, and that doesn't help. I don't want to throw out all my plants. HELP and thanks, Tammy
Hi Tammy, these Red Spider Mites are the dread of every gardener who has ever had the missfortune to have them, they are not too easy to get rid off once you have it, especially indoors where they bread and multiply like the devil. I have had to go to the exteme of sending away for the parasitic wasp that lives only or red spider mites, so they dont harm people or other insects, what I also do is constantly mist the plants and especially the undersides of the leaves, as they dont like a damp humid atmosphere, in hot weather, I also hose down the floor of my greenhouse to create a damper circulation of air around the plants. I suspect, like me, your red spider mite was imported into your area by a plant you got as a gift, bought it from a garden center or something like that, but if you dont get rid of them, they over winter in crevices and nooks, then reapear next year, I cant remember the name of the wasp, but I will get into my garden file and get back to you, all you do with the wasp when they come through the post is, sprinkle the contents of the little tube they come in onto your plants, All the plants in area, and within about 3 weeks, you should see your plants start to recover from the sap sucking red mites, other than that, you will need a plant spray specific to red mites and keep at it, but these also kill other bugs too and not sure if you would want that. I will be back on this thread tonight, be patient, WeeNel.
Hi Tammy, WeeNel back again, I have looked up my file and found the info on the red Spider mite, these mites have 5 development stages, from egg to adult in 14 days, in temps of 21c but at 30c it only takes a week (no wonder we get infestation so fast eh) a female will lay more than 100 eggs in 3 weeks, so 10 mites in May, become 1,000 by June or 100,000 by July, and high humidity reduces egg laying.
The predatory Mite that I used is called PHYTOSEIULUS PERSIMIlIS.
I got it from a company called Defenders who only specialise in non chemical bug control, if you go to www.defenders.co.uk you can read up about it all, and then I feel sure you will be able to do a google search for this in USA, I think you can get all different amounts of the predatory mites, I got the larger pack as I had a lot of plants that could have been infested and not yet showing the signs, so if you decide to use it, dont skimp, instructions came with them, but dont use chemical sprays gor about 2 weeks before you use this stuff or you will kill them off also. Hope this helps,
I remember you've told me about these before WeeNel. I guess I'm going to have to really consider this. I just hate the thought of actually buying something with the word parisitic in it. I guess it's better than throwing all my plants away. I get so panicy when I go in and see these little webs, when I know they weren't there the day before. Thanks WeeNel for the info, I'll be checking into this today. Tammy
What I do when I get spider mites is give each plant a good strong jet from the hose on the underside of the leaves, repeat this treatment every day for a couple of days, then start reducing the frequency and before long they are under control. And I mist the plants regularly too. Getting a predator that will eat them will provide a longer-term better solution though, hosing off with water is something you can't really do until you already know the spider mites are there, and by then they've already done some damage to your plants but the wasps or predatory mites will get them before they start any trouble.
Hi Tammy, I was like you about the word preditor, it scared the hell out of me, and believe me, I dont throw anything willy nilly onto my garden or plants, but when I read further into it, I was happy that this parasitic wasp, did no harm to anything or person, other than the mites, that is all it lives on, when these are all gone, the wasps die off, the wasp is as small as the mites, honestly, I would not recomend anything unless I had tried it myself, it did work, it was not instant like overnight, first time I used it, I was a bit scared, so I only bought the smallest size pack, it worked, but the mites came back the following year as some had not been eaten and they had hybernated over winter, but then I recognised the signs right away, sent off for the wasps again, and I have never had a problem with them since, I think I got mine in the first place from a gift bought from a garden center, came on an angels trumpet, within a day or so, it looked sickly, I had never seen red mites befor, so the delay, turned it into an infestation, read up on it first, and till you decide, do as Ecrane said. keep misting the underside of your plants and make a humid atmophere as the mites cant lay eggs in that condition, Hope you get the problem solved as I know too well how fast they travel from plant to plant, the distruction is so fast once it gets a hold and you just might loose all your plants anyway. good luck, WeeNel.
Thanks for all the advice. I've been misting my plants 2 times a day. The webs were on this cactus dish that I have about 6 succulants in. Will misting them all the time hurt them? I haven't seen any more webbing since I started misting, but I know I'm going to have to resort to this wasp.
Hi Tammy, there is no worry about misting your succulants, the only advice I would offer you with those plants is, to prevent water laying on the greenery for long periods, tilt the dish up slightly on one side
Maybe a pebble under it would be enough, this will stop any rotting of the foliage as you will know, they dont like to have water sitting in the rosettes/foliage over long periods, so the tilt will make water run off the leaves, hope you understand what I am on about, but keep misting, these mites just rellish a dry, hot place, this is paradise to them, if you have a floor that you can wet where you keep your infected plants, then at the hotest part of the day, hose the floor down also, as this evaporates, it gives you a bit of humidity, again the mites dont like that, keep misting every chance you get,till you decide any further control that you need to get rid, nothing will work overnight no mater whether it be chemicals or the one I sugested, so try be patient, remember to keep watering the plant pots also as your plants will be under enough stress just to try keep growing new leaves (only to be sucked dry again) but you are doing the right thing, hope all goes well, good luck. Weenel.
Well, I went to my local gardening stores and no one had ever heard of Phytoseilus Persimiis. I also looked it up on the internet for where they sell them here in the US. My gardening center suggested a powder called Systemic Granules that is to be mixed into the soil. I'm going to try that first and then probably end up ordering the other. Thanks for all your help WeeNel and ecrane3. They said they had never heard of spider mites on cactus before. Maybe I'm seeing things?
It is possible that it's something else other than spider mites, I don't grow too many cacti/succulents so I don't know what types of pests typically bother them. Webbing doesn't necessarily mean spider mites, it could be spiders, are the plants showing damage or is it just the webs that you're seeing? Regular spiders won't bother the plants, they'll eat the insects that might. And on the other plants that you though had spider mites before--did you just see webbing or did you little reddish brown dots on the underside of the leaves and/or a stippled yellow pattern on the leaves? Those are the typical signs of spider mites, often you won't even notice webbing until the problem gets really bad, so you should have seen some of the other symptoms for sure.
Right after I wrote that I went and checked my cactus. More webs. I threw out 2 and replanted 5 with the granules in the soil. That stuff smelled really bad. I don't know if it's for cactus or not, but at this point I almost don't care. So now I'll just watch and see what happens. Only 2 of the plants really had leaves. Those were the ones I threw out. The rest are hard bodied. Maybe I'm throwing plants out for no reason. I guess I'd rather be safe than sorry. At any rate, now they are all seperated and will be easier to keep an eye on. I think. I hope.
If it's the concentrate you should dilute it according to the instructions on the package, but if it's the kind that comes premixed in a spray bottle then you can use it as is. Be careful though with applying any oil to plants when it's hot/sunny since that could burn the leaves.
Have a look at the web site I use www.defenders.co.uk and you will get info for Red Spider
Mite, also if you have any questions, they are most helpful on line and are pleased with people interested in finding out about their products because there business is natural products, and non chemical.
I have had to send off for the predator for treating the outbreak of red spider mites I have in my conservatory, I do believe this mite arrived on a Bird of paradise plant I bought while visiting IKEA, it looked lovely and exotic, a couple of weeks later I noticed the webs, got out the magnifying glass and there it was, the dreaded mites busy crawling up and down the leaves, then my other plants had it, so had to order enough mites to treat the whole range of plants including my Orange plant.
You asked why you keep getting these mites, in some temp's they can over winter and bread, so once you have an infestation, every spring / summer you need to be vigilant all the time, as Ecrane has said, misting is good as these mites don't bread well in humid conditions, but getting rid of them for ever is a no, no.
Hope this helps you out. Weenel.