Rob_NZ
Full Member
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 7:23 am
Location: New Zealand

Red Spider Mites on Chives?

Hi all,

It's summer here in New Zealand and I've just pulled and burned three large Chive plants because they were covered in tiny red scale like things. I had never heard of such a thing before, in fact I thought Chives were bomb proof against bugs, so much so I was intending to use them under fruit trees in order to deter some of the bugs and nematodes in the soil.

I've got a few plants left, but two have very few of the red bugs on and I'm hoping for someone to tell me what they are and how to kill them safely. No photos yet unfortunately, the light is really poor for macro and my tripod is broken, but if this is a common thing, maybe someone knows the answer without the need for photos.

Thanks, Rob.

User avatar
Kisal
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7648
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

I'm not sure what insect you have. Here is an article about Red Scale insects, including photos:

https://www.bugsforbugs.com.au/product/aphytis-red-scale-biological-control

Here is a picture of Red Spider mites. They are very tiny. This pic is much enlarged:

[img]https://www.mumsanddahlias.com/images/redspidermite.jpg[/img]

Scale is difficult to treat in the adult stage, because the hard shell protects against most sprays. It is best to treat for them before they become adults.

Red Spider mites can be controlled with a mixture of pure soap and water ... about 1 teaspoon of soap to a quart of water. (Sorry, I don't know what that is in metric measurements.) Make sure you use a pure soap, and not a detergent, which can burn the plant. Read the label carefully. Spray the plant thoroughly every 5 to 7 days, to kill any new mites that hatch out. About 4 treatments is usually sufficient, but watch closely for reinfestation.

The soap spray will control the pre-adult scale insects, too, but not the adults.
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

Rob_NZ
Full Member
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 7:23 am
Location: New Zealand

Thanks for your reply, much appreciated :)

I read the article you linked to and it looks more like red scale, from the photos. I think I'll err on the side of caution and burn the remaining plants too.

Cheers, Rob.

joshbuchan
Senior Member
Posts: 178
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:40 am
Location: Clevedon, UK

red spider mite are found on poultry because they live of sucking the blood, i don't think they will be them, but if so, i treat them buy useing a red spider mite powder which scratches the hard shell of the adults and which alouse them to take in the stuff that kills them, but i use them on chickens and in there hutches so i dnt know if its safe for plants.

Kisal methered sounds very afective, but mabey if they are adults u could sprinkly some very dry sand on it to scratch them up them the soap water might be more afective against adults, but yeah what do i know i am new to this aswell, just a idear tho.
25 Chickens ^^
Zone 9

User avatar
Kisal
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7648
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

The Red Mites that afflict chickens, and the Red Spider Mites that afflict plants are actually two different animals.
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

cynthia_h
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7501
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

Kisal wrote: Red Spider mites can be controlled with a mixture of pure soap and water ... about 1 teaspoon of soap to a quart of water. (Sorry, I don't know what that is in metric measurements.) Make sure you use a pure soap, and not a detergent, which can burn the plant. Read the label carefully. Spray the plant thoroughly every 5 to 7 days, to kill any new mites that hatch out. About 4 treatments is usually sufficient, but watch closely for reinfestation.

The soap spray will control the pre-adult scale insects, too, but not the adults.
Just looked at my measuring spoons to be sure:

1 tsp = 5 mL

so the metric proportions would be 5 mL soap per liter of water.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

joshbuchan
Senior Member
Posts: 178
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:40 am
Location: Clevedon, UK

Kisal wrote:The Red Mites that afflict chickens, and the Red Spider Mites that afflict plants are actually two different animals.
yes i know they are completly diffrent insects but from reading your other post when u said u cant kill them with the soap when they are adults cuz there shell is to hard, so i was just thinking that maby u could treat them the same way bith diffron things, sorry i did not explain my self very well, was very urly in the morning and as u can figger... zombie fyed.
25 Chickens ^^
Zone 9

User avatar
Sage Hermit
Green Thumb
Posts: 532
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:20 pm
Location: Finlaysen, MN Coniferous Forest

Get a mist bottle and blast them all off asap.

They will come back! blast e m off again this time or mins after intialy spraying off the bugs use neem oil or try making a chamomile / cinnimon tea and spraying that on the soil and the leaves.

interesting to know yur chives are also attacked. My rosemary is unnaffected yet most all of my other plants are mite food. Mites feed on something like 30k plants. I have a respect for them little guys but they are so abundant in nature I do no harm in killing them or allowing them to e food.
You can solve all your problems in a garden/laboratory.

Return to “Herb Gardening Forum”