The Q&A Archives: Spider Mites

Question: I recently moved into a new home with lots of beautiful landscaping that hadn't been taken care of for a couple of years. I started adding new plants to the gardens to add a little more variety and color and now I have realized that I have a major spider mite infestation. Being new at gardening, I wasn't aware of the tell tale signs that I should have looked for when it comes to spider mites before it was too late. The mites are in such plants as my annuals, evergreen shrubs, hostas, lillies, coral bells... The spider mites are doing severe damage at this point. Please give me the best solution to killing my mites before it is too late!!!

Answer: Spider mites are easier to discourage than they are to control. These pests like dry, dusty conditions so simply hosing your plants off twice a week should keep them at bay. They can spread to other nearby plants so hose those off periodically as well. The simplest approach to control is spray the foliage thoroughly with a garden hose or spray bottle. Dusting sulfur can be applied when the temperature does not go over 90 F (hose the sulfur off after a day or so). Special sprays (miticides) can also be purchased, but hose washing or sulfuring the foliage is simpler and quite effective.

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