Ask a Question forum: Is there an organic way to kill mites? aphids?

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Kansas City, MO (Zone 6a)
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havita
Jun 28, 2015 5:15 PM CST
I have mites killing off my strawberry plants, and if possible, prefer to use a homemade/organic concoction to get rid of them...maybe baking soda? : /
Also, my indoor plants seem overrun by teeny flying bugs, like aphids or fruit flies...any sure way of getting rid of them?
Thanks!
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Jun 28, 2015 6:13 PM CST
@Havita, welcome to All Things Plants!!

I would try spraying with water first off... the indoor plants can be held under the shower or sink sprayer, the outdoor plants can be hit with the garden hose.

However, this isn't really my area of expertise -- I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will have more suggestions! Smiling
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GoatDriver
Jun 28, 2015 7:32 PM CST
As stated by WeedWhacker...the water hose will take care of them.

I also use neem oil and a little soap in a spray bottle, time consuming but it works for me. I like to apply directly to the aphids with this method to keep from harming any beneficial insects.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 28, 2015 7:33 PM CST
Here's an article from the home page a couple of days ago about exactly this:

http://garden.org/ideas/view/Boopaints/533/Use-a-Hose-To-Spr...

Hosing down an infested plant is always my first try. Sometimes you need to do it a few times in the first week or two, to get any new hatchings of eggs, that can stick to the leaves despite the rinsing.

My second try is a soapy water spray. Just a very mild solution of liquid dish soap - about 1/2tsp. to a quart spray bottle or 2tsp. per gallon if you have a pump sprayer. A mild dish soap like Method is good. Detergents with 'grease cutting' ability are a bit harsh. Be sure to spray tops and bottoms of the leaves, all the stems, everything! If you're spraying in the morning, rinse the plant off with plain water after a short while, like 10min. or so. Soap is a contact killer i.e. you actually need the soap to contact the bug to kill it. You don't want to spray a plant that is in direct sun with a soap solution either. Wait for a cloudy day or when the plant is in the shade.

Again, with the soapy water, you need to repeat the treatment about twice a week for a couple of weeks to be sure of getting the new generations of critters.

Baking soda is a good preventative measure for fungal infection but not effective as an insecticide.
Elaine

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Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
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RoseBlush1
Jun 28, 2015 7:55 PM CST
I use just plain water on my roses.

I've been told that aphids don't have lungs, so they drown as soon as they are hit with water. However, I have never experienced a severe aphid infestation on my roses.

As for spider mites, here is a link to an article I wrote back in 2013:

http://garden.org/ideas/view/RoseBlush1/1354/Spider-Mites-in...

Smiles,
Lyn
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Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
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NJBob
Jun 28, 2015 8:13 PM CST
Neem oil works very well on aphids. If you have fruit flies make a trap with apple cider vinegar.
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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
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Shadegardener
Jun 29, 2015 7:40 AM CST
Perhaps your indoor plants are too wet? If you don't mind the appearance of yellow sticky traps, they work well with fungus gnats. I found some small sticky traps a couple of years ago and they caught hundreds of gnats.
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
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Zencat
Jun 29, 2015 7:44 AM CST
Fungus gnats was my first thought, too. Sticky tape works wonders.
Kansas City, MO (Zone 6a)
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havita
Jun 29, 2015 9:44 AM CST
Thank you all!!! I'm going to try the soapy water method first (the plants are still small, I don't want to blast them to pieces with a garden hose ; )
And I'll get the sticky tape too, for the little bugs inside on my house plants. yes, I think I did water too much a week ago, and that's when they started coming : (
Thanks everyone!!!!
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
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Zencat
Jun 29, 2015 10:32 AM CST
Thumbs up
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
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RickCorey
Jun 30, 2015 6:41 PM CST
Consider setting a hose-end-sprayer to "Mist" or perhaps "Flat". Mine has several settings that come out hard and fast, but with very small droplets so they don't rip leaves to shreds.

If you have irrigation gadgets (or any way to plug 1/4" poly tubing into a garden hose) , a 20-cent "mini-jet-sprayer" makes a nice fine, hard mist.

I might tape or tie 2-4 such jets together to make a "power-mister" that would either blow ALL the mites off the underside of a big bush in one pass, or loft that plant right into the stratosphere. One or the other.

P.S.

Mini-jet misters put out bigger droplets at lower speed when the water pressure is low (15-25 PSI).

At their "rated" pressure, 30 PSI, they have maximum range because the droplets aren't tiny, and the droplet speed is fairly high, and they do not slow down fast.

At 40 PSI, most jet sprayers turn into potent misters. The droplets are tiny after shooting through the orifice at 40 PSI! They don't travel far because those tiny droplets are slowed down fast by air friction.

That seems ideal to me for a spider-mite-blaster. A droplet that hits a mite is going to blow it away several feet or yards, if it doesn't drown. And you don;t need a tsunami of force that could knock blooms off a plant 5 feet away.




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