PerfecTommy07
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Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:06 am
Location: Metro Chicago

Red Spider Mites

Last Fall I used some old wood pallets to build four compost boxes and hired some neighborhood kids to pack them with leaves. Was just going to let them cold compost but decided to use some of the leaves this spring as bedding to start a worm bin. First time.

Everything was going great as I fed the bin my weekly Veg scraps. Last weekend I decided to harvest some of my worm castings and to my horror I found that my bin was crawling with tiny red bugs. They were everywhere, pouring out of the bin by what seemed like thousands. And even worse they were crawling up my turning tool... and i just about lost it when I noticed them scrambling around on my gardening gloves. Needless to say I ran screaming into the house and straight to the shower room.

Anyway, I googled tiny red bugs and came away convinced that I had a red spider mite infestation. However, I didn’t find any concrete info on whether they are good or bad for the bin itself (the worms don't seem bothered at all) or if they would survive outside the bin if I used the compost to plant some peppers and tomatoes. There was some info that they could do damage to plants.

I am on the fence. Thinking I may abandon the worm bin. Can anyone help me decide? I may just dump everything back in the cold compost pile and sulk in failure.

Thanks in advance,
PT7

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applestar
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Red Spider Mites

I'm not convinced that they were red spider mites because they are SUPER tiny. But if indeed they were, then this can easily be remedied -- you are not watering the compost pile enough.
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PerfecTommy07
Full Member
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:06 am
Location: Metro Chicago

Re: Red Spider Mites

I will try to get some pics of the little guys. Might be difficult to capture. What else could they have been? They WERE super tiny. Like tiny enough that you wouldnt even noticed 20 -30 of them crawling around. There had to be thousands.



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