Ask a Question forum: Spider mites, I think?

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Name: krissy
Ohio (Zone 6a)
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pinkmoonk
Jul 2, 2016 4:00 AM CST
Initially I thought I had slugs in my plant, got a slug/snail repellent, thought it went away for the most part but now my lizard tail has webbing all over it and it's transferred to my lilac bush! In a panic I bought 300 lady bugs (thank god I have Amazon prime) and am waiting for them to arrive, but for now I've just mixed soap and water and squirted the plant, I'm waiting a few hours for it to soak into the webbing before I rinse it off. Are these spider mite webbings? Or could it be a normal spider web? Is there a better solution to get rid of them? And is there anything you can do to prevent them from showing up again? Thanks everyone :'(


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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Jul 2, 2016 6:42 AM CST
The photos appear to show quite an infestation of spider mites. Spider mites like dry conditions so you might spray those plants with water several times a day until you get those lady bugs. If you want to add some soap to that spray, that's fine. Just remember to spray with clear water after about 30 minutes. I would also quarantine those plants that are affected so as no to have the spider mites spread to unaffected plants.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: krissy
Ohio (Zone 6a)
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pinkmoonk
Jul 2, 2016 7:27 AM CST
Thank you!! I have one room with all of my plants (I have to baby-gate them from the cats until I buy a home and plant them), I rinsed off the soapy water and noticed my lizard tail has these red marks and my hibiscus tree and rose of sharon have tiny gnats and a yellow fungus? I don't know how all these issues are coming up since I spray all new plants with a disease/mite/insect control before I bring them into the plant room. On top of that I purchased a natures care slug and snail repellent. On top of spritzing soapy water and rinsing it off, should I get some more disease control spray as well? Would it damage the plants to pour soapy water into the soil to control the tiny gnats and fungus? I don't want to do too much to the plants and possibly kill them, but I'm not sure what could be causing all of the damage/infestation.



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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jul 2, 2016 8:04 AM CST
Perhaps you used Bayer 3 in 1 on those new plants? I don't know how long ago that, or a similar solution was used, but you should probably drench all the potting soils with this solution. But before you heed this advice, check the label to see the frequency of application. You need to do all this outside though, in the shade, and allow several hours before bringing those plants back inside.

I don't use any insecticides, or for that matter, any "cides" whatsoever inside my solarium. What I do use are those blue and yellow (mostly yellow) sticky cards. They are completely non-toxic and pesticide-free. You will be amazed how those cards will load up with tiny insects within a short period. I use them by the dozen each year and change them out when the card gets filled with insects (many 100's if not over 1000 insects per card). You can purchase them on Amazon and eBay by the dozen and get the larger ones if available (more bang-for-the-buck).

Thumb of 2016-07-02/drdawg/820042 after 2 wks.


Thumb of 2016-07-02/drdawg/b85182 8 wks. - almost ready to replace with a new one

drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 2, 2016 9:40 AM CST
The cards are great, I even use those outdoors around my orchids. Highly recommend them for flying insects.

Krissy, the question as to "how did all this happen" goes to where you bought your plants and how they were grown before you got them. If they were (most likely) greenhouse grown, they have been sprayed with all manner of insecticides already. Greenhouses are great breeding grounds for fungal infections and insect infestations and you can imagine commercial growers can't take the chance of letting anything spread through their huge greenhouse packed with plants.

The systemics like Bayer 3 - in - 1 are great up to a point then they fail. Since the stuff gets into the system of the plant, if it doesn't kill every single one of the insects on that plant, then the ones that survive will breed and their progeny will be resistant to the insecticide. Same as we've done to ourselves with antibiotics. If your plants were treated with that kind of stuff in the greenhouse before you got them, then what you have are a resistant strain of insects.

You've done exactly the right thing, spraying with soapy water. This is a "mechanical" insecticide in that it kills the bugs on contact. They can never develop resistance to it. Just be sure to do it again in 3 or 4 days to get the next generation because it kills the live bugs but not the ones still in eggs. After you get this big infestation cleared up, just take the plants to the sink or into your shower and spray them off with water at least once a week to keep the spider mites from coming back.

The fungus and gnats can be treated with a diluted solution of hydrogen peroxide. You can buy it at the drug store or grocery store, and then dilute it 1oz to 2 cups of water and douse the soil.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - Jul 2, 2016 10:23 AM (+)]
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jul 2, 2016 9:49 AM CST
If you only have a few plants, this is super-great advice from Elaine. I typically only use that 3 in 1 in the fall, before bringing my hoard of plants inside. I have to use a hose-end sprayer since I have so many plants.

I have never drenched with diluted hydrogen peroxide, but I see so many saying it works great (and is safe to use inside) that I will try it on my plants inside the solarium. What I will do is remove all the cards (I use 6 right now but when everything comes in in the fall, I double that amount) after using the peroxide drench, and hang fresh ones. I will know within weeks how effective the peroxide was. Another experiment! Hurray!

Did I tell y'all I love to experiment? nodding
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: krissy
Ohio (Zone 6a)
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pinkmoonk
Jul 3, 2016 11:14 AM CST
Thank you so much!! I went on amazon and purchased a 100 pack of that sticky-paper (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NT8Y52Y/ref=oh_aui_deta... ) with mosquito bits and mosquito dunk- a review said it was the saving grace to be rid of gnats in their garden ( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0001AUF8G/ref=oh_aui_deta... ). I screened off my second bedroom and released the lady bugs, I'm giving them a little bit before I open the patio door and release them. Hopefully with everything together I eradicate these heathens!

Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jul 3, 2016 12:22 PM CST
It sounds like you will soon have a handle on the pest problem, Krissy.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

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