Hibiscus forum: How bad are white mites for hibiscus?

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Name: Eric
Hawthorne, fl (Zone 9a)
Miamiu
Oct 26, 2018 5:10 PM CST
I think a few of my hibiscus have white mites. The stems are covered with white specs. I tried to spray most off with a hose. How bad are these for hibiscus?
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse Sempervivums
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plantmanager
Oct 26, 2018 5:15 PM CST
I've never had white mites on any of my plants. I've had white flies. Do yours fly?
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Name: Eric
Hawthorne, fl (Zone 9a)
Miamiu
Oct 26, 2018 6:53 PM CST
They don't fly to be honest they look like tiny white eggs that covered the stems.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse Sempervivums
Bromeliad Adeniums Morning Glories Avid Green Pages Reviewer Brugmansias Garden Ideas: Level 1
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plantmanager
Oct 26, 2018 8:38 PM CST
You could try Neem oil, or Safer Soap. I sure hope you can get rid of them. You don't need problems like that with all of your hibiscus. If you can get a photo of them, please post it.
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Name: Eric
Hawthorne, fl (Zone 9a)
Miamiu
Oct 27, 2018 11:29 AM CST
Here is a pic. I noticed when I squished them against the bark they turn yellow.

Thumb of 2018-10-27/Miamiu/afd6fc

Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Horntoad
Oct 27, 2018 2:53 PM CST
Looks like Mealybugs to me. For just a few bugs you can apply rubbing alcohol to them with a Q-tip, but for larger infestations, I would use Neem Oil or Safer Soap as @plantmanager said.
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[Last edited by Horntoad - Oct 27, 2018 2:53 PM (+)]
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse Sempervivums
Bromeliad Adeniums Morning Glories Avid Green Pages Reviewer Brugmansias Garden Ideas: Level 1
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plantmanager
Oct 27, 2018 3:11 PM CST
I agree, it does look like Mealy bugs. They are pretty common, but easily eradicated.
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Name: Eric
Hawthorne, fl (Zone 9a)
Miamiu
Oct 27, 2018 3:41 PM CST
Would they spread so much that both stems would be totally covered with them in like a week in a half?
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse Sempervivums
Bromeliad Adeniums Morning Glories Avid Green Pages Reviewer Brugmansias Garden Ideas: Level 1
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plantmanager
Oct 27, 2018 3:49 PM CST
If the conditions were right for them, yes. I've had plants taken over by them very quickly.
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Name: Linda
South East Wi (Zone 5b)
luvmyseeds
Nov 11, 2018 3:54 PM CST
May I ask what you use to eradicate mealy bugs.
Name: Eric
Hawthorne, fl (Zone 9a)
Miamiu
Nov 12, 2018 3:23 PM CST
luvmyseeds said:May I ask what you use to eradicate mealy bugs.


I'm finally getting around to it and have 4 infested. I'm going to try spraying the plant with chamomile tea and see if that works.
Name: Eric
Hawthorne, fl (Zone 9a)
Miamiu
Nov 19, 2018 6:26 AM CST
I have been thinking of just dipping a rag in rubbing alcohol and wiping the branches with it. Will that harm the plants? If had tried safer soap in the past and it ruined the leaves on the plant.
[Last edited by Miamiu - Nov 19, 2018 6:26 AM (+)]
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ElPolloDiablo
Dec 28, 2018 7:40 AM CST
Whitefly are really bad for hibiscus, not so much because of the direct damage they cause but because, if left unchecked, they will produce a ton of honeydew that will then support sooty mold.
As bad as mold is however, the worst risk is whitefly will spread some pathogen among your plants: mosaic viruses are among the many these nasty little critters can spread.

The best ways to get rid of them are either agri-grade pesticides (which are not universally accessible) or simply wipe the leaves with a wet rag if you have the time.
Dousing the plant with a garden hose also works wonders and is 100% safe but it's usually a no-go indoors. Big Grin

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