The Q&A Archives: Mites On Flowers

Question: Little mites (?) seem to appear overnite and sap the strength of my plants that then wilt. Where do they come from and how to prevent infestation? The plants are kept outdoors on a porch.

Answer: Mites can be especially troublesome in areas where it's hot, dry, and dusty. They seem to thrive on those conditions, so to avoid problems, try hosing down the area where you keep your plants (every few days) to raise the humidity and wash away the dust. If in fact the critters are mites, you can wash them off with plain water. To identify the pests, carefully inspect your plants. Mites generally leave webbing on the undersides of leaves, especially where the leaf meets the stem of the plant. If there's no webbing, you may be dealing with aphids, or even thrips. Rather than guessing and then using an insecticide, try washing the critters off the plants - daily if necessary. Be sure to provide adequate air circulation around the plants, and keep the plant's leaves from touching other plants so the insects aren't easily spread from one plant to another.

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