oggy
Full Member
Posts: 53
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:16 pm
Location: Central Vermont

First time spider mite infestation!

So, I have never had a problem with spider mites before but I received some strawberry plants in the mail and not thinking immediately added them to the rest of my plants without inspecting them. I did rinse them off under tap water, but apparently that did no good.

Anyway, I don't know how to fight these things. I've had them since December and thought I got rid of them, but they came back. I was spraying them with neem oil and dish soap twice a week for about two weeks. I was only adding a teaspoon of neem oil into a quart of water and a few drops of dish soap because I didn't know how they would affect my plants since I have never had to use any insecticide/miticide on any of my gardens, especially my over winter garden.

I am curious, if I were to spray all of my plants every other day for two or three weeks, would I effectively nuke these jerks? How much dish soap/neem oil is typical per quart of water? Would there be much of a chance that these suckers could survive? I have heard that it is impossible to completely kill spider mites in an indoor garden. This is unacceptable for me. They have managed to kill off half of my garden! INCLUDING THE OKRA!
My indoor plants are strawberries, various peppers, okra, tomatoes, lettuces, beans and tubers. I also have orchids and flowers that I want to keep alive and I am super worried that neem oil and dish soap could kill them.

JONA
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Posts: 805
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:11 am
Location: Sussex. England

Re: First time spider mite infestation!

Big problem with spider mite is that they keep to the underside of the leaf and as a result are very difficult to get at with sprays.
If you can get them biological control is far better.
Phytoseiulus Persimilis works very well. You should be able to get them on line. They are very tiny creatures that come in a small container mixed in bran. Many thousand to each container. You just sprinkle the bran over your plants and leave the little fellows to do the work.
John

imafan26
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Posts: 11269
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: First time spider mite infestation!

Oil should help but you do have to get under the leaf.

Since you already used an oil you would have to wait 2-3 weeks after oil to use sulfur. If you can hold off on spraying an oil for three weeks. You can use 3 in 1 garden spray. It is primarily pyrethrins and sulfur. Since your plants are indoors it won't hurt non target insects. Pyrethrins will get you good knockdown and sulfur will do most of the killing. I prefer to dip potted plants instead of spray. It guarantees good coverage. I usually make a dip with orchard spray in warm water and dip my plants. Three treatments a week apart as well as area sanitation and getting rid of the most infested plants usually does the job.

You can try if your plants are in small pots and you have the time, dip the plants in warm water 110 degrees for 20 minutes. Warm water with 1 tablespoon per gallon of insecticidal soap. You will need to sanitize the areas around the plants as well since spider mites can drop off. Physan or 10% bleach solution to clean off the trays, walls, floors, and light covers. You may have to repeat weekly until the infestation is cleared up. This is something you could try until the oil is gone.

What you can also use now is baking soda. 1 tablespoon baking soda in 1 gallon of water. You need a sticker but you can use either insecticidal soap or oil for the sticker. You can add 1 tsp to 1 tablespoon per gallon. Baking soda should promote dessication of the spider mites. You have to spray under the leaves.

You can also use food grade diatomaceous earth. It is sold at Home Depot. You can use the wet method to apply the diatomaceous earth. I haven't seen a duster in years but they are still available on line. Always wear a mask, eye protection and the right clothes when applying any chemical. Do not apply to flowering plants, may be harmful to foraging bees. Apply when there are no flowers or cover the plants with row covers during treatment. Diatomaceous earth washes off when it is wet or rained on, so water through a drip system or soaking and avoid wetting leaves during treatment.
https://diatomaceous.org/diatomaceous-ea ... nd-plants/
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

oggy
Full Member
Posts: 53
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:16 pm
Location: Central Vermont

Re: First time spider mite infestation!

They seem dead. I've sprayed every 3-4 days since February 8th. I plan on spraying again tonight and Thursday which will be week 3.
I've absolutely plastered my plants with a neem oil and liquid dish soap mix. I spray the tops of the leaves, under the leaves, the stems, the soil, the pots, the walls, and I dump the rest of the bottle around the floor on they sit on(everything in there is covered in plastic) after every spray.

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