Something's Eating my Seedlings!!

New Orleans, LA(Zone 9a)

When checking on my seedlings this morning, I noticed a few that looked like the leaves had been eaten. Looking closer, I saw little red dots on the underside of leaves. I think these are red spider mites. The first pic is of a ground cherry, and the 2nd is an orange bell pepper. I'm sure there are mites on some of the other seedlings.

Since I don't want to spray these tiny seedlings with water, I guess I'll use some safer soap spray on them. Any other ideas - preferably organic?

PS: I didn't realize the pics were so fuzzy. Hope you can make them out.


This message was edited Feb 8, 2013 8:40 AM

Thumbnail by jomoncon Thumbnail by jomoncon
Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

Looks like spider mites- the little monsters just wait for a baby plant to jump on- You need to control them fast! Already there are a lot there. Is it possible to wrap the roots with plastic and dip the foliage in a mixture ? You could use some warm water with some liquid dish soap and try to drown them. Spraying would be hard to do on tiny sedlings.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Although it's hard to tell - they look a little large to be mites. Are you sure they aren't baby spiders?

Spider mites usually make a webbing - which is why they are called spider mites. Safer soap might kill them, but in my experience soap-based sprays also kill the plants they are sprayed on.

If they happen to be mites, other than spider mites, the only thing that will kill them is a miticide. Regular pesticides will NOT kill other mites.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Could they be Russet Mites? You could try neem oil. Whatever they are, they are big!

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

Maybe they are aphids- I have had red ones as well as all other colors- can you show us a clearer photo?

Alexandria, VA

They look too big for spider mites - I typically can't see spider mites on the plant and can only confirm by shaking the plant over a piece of white paper and then taking a magnifying glass to it. I think they look like aphids too.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

I'm thinking they're aphids. Try spraying them with a solution of dish soap, rubbing alcohol, and water. I just give a good squeeze of the dish soap, a cap full of rubbing alcohol into a large spray bottle (28 oz).

Houston Heights, TX(Zone 9a)

Aphids really like the young new growth on a plant and those cant be spider mites. You would not be able to photograph spider mites. They are too small. Also, spider mites like it hot and dry. Usually only get them this time of year indoors where it is dry. Aphids will come off with plain water spray but a little soap wont hurt.

New Orleans, LA(Zone 9a)

I think everyone's right - they're spider mites! I had some Safer soap so I mixed up some in a spray bottle and sprayed them away. I'm keeping a close eye on the seedlings sine I keep finding a few more. Thanks for all the help - and correct identification.

Lake Elsinore, CA

Those are the biggest spider mites I've ever seen. Are they morphing into giants?

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

I am sticking to my opinion that it is aphids!

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I agree those are not SMs. Those are too big.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Those are some might big aphids...

I Googled "Red Aphids" and this is as close to the fuzzy picture above as I could get.

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

They are even bigger SMs. I wish the picture was clearer but whatever they are they are really big.

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

This message was edited Feb 26, 2013 10:02 AM

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