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DarkSpark

Biological controls for spider mites

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So i am currently waging war on spidermites that came with some brugs i bought a few weeks ago :'( not happy. they have spread to some of my prized plants in the ground and i would really like to get rid of them.

I have just started attempting to control them with the following.

- Wettable Sulphur sprayed late afternoons (have heard copper might be a better option) doing this every day and hosing the plants down the following morning to try and blast off as many as i can.

- blasting the underside with the hose

i am looking at investing in some predator mites but my understanding is that many enjoy different climates wondering if anyone could name a species of predator that would thrive in sub-tropical QLD conditions?

Also if all else fails what do you guys think is a guaranteed chemical that will kill these mofos in their tracks. I have spinosad which is supposedly a miticide so i might give it a go over the next couple of days too.

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Blasting them off with a hose helps spread them around and recolonize.

Ive had success spraying daily with a neem oil product, but its a bit expensive.

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I'm currently waging war on these little bastards myself it sucks

I'm a bit worried about losing some things because of it

EG told me to spray the plants with metho wait a few days then dust with sulphur

then wait another couple of days and repeat the process

It's proving to be more difficult than I thought especially trying to dust everything with sulphur

And I keep finding more and more plants that are looking infected

Unfortunately I kept alot of stuff inside over winter and the few times I watered to make it easier I just bottom watered

I think this was my big mistake that's spread them around from pot to pot

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Yeah lokstok i had worried about this but i am more concerned about my prized brug that they have infected, they can have the rest of the front garden for all i care! I stripped the plant of the most badly infected leaves and bagged/binned them. I think the sulphur has helped as they don't seem to be spreading so much anymore. Both my neighbours grow native Rubus Ssp. which attract mites as well, their plants are absolutely infested to the max so i am trying to convince them to remove these plants and will be spraying them as well. I will also be trying to water them more frequently to keep mositure levels up and promote good bugs/piss of the mites.

Thanks Dave i have used them before but had completely forgotten the site. much appreciated. I will likely need to wait a bit now though for my pesticides to wear off before investing in them.

I have a neem product but the label has worn off it and no matter how hard i look i cant find the photo of it :( I had thought neem was more of a preventative than a solution for a major infestation though. They sell the one you show at my local bunnings i might think about it.

Myco, i have the wettable sulphur which is water disolvable and you can spray it i would imagine that this would have relatively the same effect, but be much easier to apply then actually dusting. This is just my theory i dont know for sure. But it seems to have helped with my problems a bit. Using dusting sulphur would become very costly and so much would be wasted...

Is it safe to use neem and sulphur at the same time? Not sure if neem is considered a 'horticultural oil' but from what i have read using both together is a big nono. I think i will try the sulphur for another day or two and then look at cleaning them down and starting a neem oil regime. I think my biggest mistake was not doing a preventative run around the garden at the start of the season. I foolishly waited until i noticed them. lesson well and truly learnt.

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Yeh I think that's wat I might have to get

It wasn't so bad when I first just found a few plants but now I'm finding more and more

it's getting a bit difficult to dust them all with sulphur

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I am currently trying to beat spider mite on a heap of adenium seedlings. Does Pyrethrum work? I've treated them about three times and it seems to be doing nothing? I'll try the sulphur and metho next.

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I've only had spider mites on cacti (guess which type) and pyrethrum was not effective for me. Sulpher dusting was, though.

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One thing that has worked for me is a strong "tea" made from tobacco leaves. Have used dried leaves and fresh(much more tobacco required if fresh), both seem to work but chop it up so you extract max. nicotine with your warm water soak. Stir it up a bit as well, it all helps. KEEP IN MIND WHAT YOU HAVE MADE IS A DEADLY POISON. The nicotine that can be extracted from 1 30 odd ciggie pack is strong enough to kill 1 or possiblly 2 adult people. NEVER LEAVE IT ANYWHERE PETS OR CHILDREN CAN ACCESS. It can be sprayed on plants to control most pests but i would recommend to not use it on any plant intended for human/animal consumption. Plants can be washed a few times and if in the open and getting good sunlight the nicotine will be washed off of broken down via uv rays after approx. 1 month ( time varies due to how well washed and how much sunlight and how strong the sunlight is). Twice weekly sprays in the latter afternoon after direct sunlight is no longer on plants for 2 weeks should knock them for 6. After reading the above on the sulpher was also thinking it could be added to the nico-tea. Will play around with that idea this spring and post if results are good. Cheers Vulcan PS may also help to put a drop or 2 of dishwashing liquid in the nico-tea to help with coverage on some plants

Edited by vulcan

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For dicots white oil is the go. Make it with neem or tea tree oils and the suckers don't stand a chance. And the beauty is that they are unlikely to ever develop resistance as it is a physically-acting agent.

I've actually been thinking about diluting it in a weak tobacco tea, but so far I've never need to. I'm curious to experiment on mealies though, which are Satan's own creatures, so I might have to track me down some leaf. I've used neonicotinamides on them in the past, but resistance to a chemical-alone method is a high risk.

Diatomaceous earth is another good physical agent against arthropods, but sometimes getting it to where you want it without risking silicosis can be a pain. And with spider mite webs it would probably be somewhat ineffective.

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I metho'd them hard core.. twice! and trimmed back all the injured / damaged leaves. So will see how that goes. will try a white oil as a preventative with maybe regular fortnight treatment.

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The most effective thing I have ever found against mites is petroleum oil. Something like "Ortho Volck Oil spray". It is unique in that it is the only insecticide I'm aware of that kills spider mites AND THEIR EGGS. Other things will kill the mites, while their kids hatch the next day, and you're back to square one. And... it makes your plants real shiny and purrdy :D, I'm unaware if its bad for cactus, should be fine for brugs, do some research though!

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I've only had spider mites on cacti (guess which type) and pyrethrum was not effective for me. Sulpher dusting was, though.

same, i find the mites don't even get slowed down by it.

I metho'd them hard core.. twice! and trimmed back all the injured / damaged leaves. So will see how that goes. will try a white oil as a preventative with maybe regular fortnight treatment.

EXTREME! but yeah my mistake was not starting on the systemics at the beginning of the season. Foolishly i waited until i noticed them which was way too late :( sulphur worked wonders for me too

The most effective thing I have ever found against mites is petroleum oil. Something like "Ortho Volck Oil spray". It is unique in that it is the only insecticide I'm aware of that kills spider mites AND THEIR EGGS. Other things will kill the mites, while their kids hatch the next day, and you're back to square one. And... it makes your plants real shiny and purrdy :D, I'm unaware if its bad for cactus, should be fine for brugs, do some research though!

yeah petroleum oil(white oil) is a great product. I have used it previously and still have some here i may use as a preventative

thought i would update with my progress.

- wettable sulphur sprays every second day for a week

- neem oil sprays every twice the week after that

- mites are non-existant on my brugs

- now using spinosad semi-regularly and will consider white oil as well as a preventative.

though i have noticed they are pretty bad on my lions tail seedlings next door, i wonder if this might be where they are breeding and spreading from so now iam treating this area the same.

I noticed a significant drop in populations with the sulphur spray, and the neem finished them off though i have ended up with a few pretty severely damaged leaves (curled up and mutated) however these few damaged leaves aer not much compared to the possibility that i was going to miss it flowering!

attached some pics so everyone can share!

post-6528-0-30057100-1351737153_thumb.jp

post-6528-0-27228400-1351737162_thumb.jp

Edited by DarkSpark

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i always recomend using lady bugs but peppermint oil works great they hate it

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They came back. So i have removed the lions tail plants, and daturas that they seemed to be breeding on (will re-grow them from seed)

Doing the wettable sulphur thing again. I think the reason i like the wettable sulphur so much is that once the water evaporated there is a nice even coating of sulphur the whole way over the plant, it is pretty much impossible to miss a spot. And it annihilated the bugs.

Never heard to use peppermint oil bbefore but i will be sure to look into it now.I have a peppermint that is goig rampant wonder if i could make the oil myself.

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tomato dust works for me, which i think has sulphur and spinosad in it plus a fungicide.

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I am at war also with the bastards . I was told to collect ladybugs , and spray them with Coke or sugar water so they can't fly away , and release them on the infected plants . Lots of lady bugs atm on some badly chewed weeds nearby , so will give it a try ... however , I once asked the local nursery about ladybugs , and was told they won't work [ he tried to sell me something to spray - but I am a slack slob , and prefer the idea of lady bugs to regular spraying . The nursery guy mentioned " predator mites " also ]. I want to go away for a month or two soon , and want to find something to control the mites while not around ...

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look for plants that are infected with aphids lady bugs love to feast on them catch a few then put them in a big jar and feed them infected leaves

i use a little dust buster and i suck them off the plants be carefull when doing this my dust buster is weak as so it does not hurt them

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I'd recommend some predictor mites but not from bugsforbugs. I used them twice, and both times the bugs arrived dead, first time from sending to wrong address and second because they didn't send it with the cooler pack they said and the bugs overheated grrrr

But I have successfully used them both indoors and out from another company which is no longer around. Their close to you DS so maybe give them a crack if nothing else is workjng...

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Can plants build up a resistance to mites and aphids? All I do to get rid of the mites and aphids is hit the plants with the hose nozzle set to 'mist'. It's strong enough to knock most of the bugs off without damaging the plant. They usually return the next day so I mist the plants daily until they are gone. Once they have gone completely they don't seem to return to that plant.

At the moment I have a nice spidermite infestation on 2 plants (each end) in my greenhouse which isn't affecting any of the others around it. My theory is that plants in nature build up immunities to what makes them sick. The more chemicals we use the less reasons the plant has to build up it's own defences. In my greenhouse I have lots of little critters to help build an ecosystem.

Does anyone use Willow Water / Salicylic Acid? I've read it's like aspirin for plants. I've been watering my plants with this a couple of times a fortnight. I'm not sure if this makes a difference or not since I've been watering everything with it. You can buy it from a pharmacist but you need to order it in.

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Can plants build up a resistance to mites and aphids? All I do to get rid of the mites and aphids is hit the plants with the hose nozzle set to 'mist'. It's strong enough to knock most of the bugs off without damaging the plant. They usually return the next day so I mist the plants daily until they are gone. Once they have gone completely they don't seem to return to that plant.

At the moment I have a nice spidermite infestation on 2 plants (each end) in my greenhouse which isn't affecting any of the others around it. My theory is that plants in nature build up immunities to what makes them sick. The more chemicals we use the less reasons the plant has to build up it's own defences. In my greenhouse I have lots of little critters to help build an ecosystem.

Does anyone use Willow Water / Salicylic Acid? I've read it's like aspirin for plants. I've been watering my plants with this a couple of times a fortnight. I'm not sure if this makes a difference or not since I've been watering everything with it. You can buy it from a pharmacist but you need to order it in.

In my experience plants can build immunity to pests.

When you measure the plants sap with a refractometer to get a brix reading this will give you a good idea of the sugar content of the plants sap and a bit of an idea of the mineral content of the sap.

Once the plants sap starts to measure in the good to high ranges on a brix chart then the pests will become less interested in your plants and many times they will just leave them alone.

One theory (not mine) is that plants emit light in different spectral ranges depending on the health of the plants and pests can see this light and know which plants are sick (low brix)

It suggested by people who support this theory that high brix plants (high sugar content sap) are not agreeable with the pests and if they eat such plants they cannot metabolise all the sugars which ferment into alcohol and kills them, so they just don't eat high brix plants.

I don't know if that part about the emitted wavelenght of light is true as I have no way to measure the emmisions, but I do know that pests stay away from high brix plants that I've grown myself.

http://search.yahoo....brix-charts.php

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