Thank you Utah Public Radio !
Summer arrived and so did the spider mites. Which by the way like both indoor and outdoor plants. Even plants that are toxic to us seem to succumb! Anything broad leaf, and in a warm, dry spot (garden or indoors), that has little to no air circulation is game.
Spider mites are in the spider family. They are not technically insects, and as such do not respond to the same type of insecticides made for insects. But there are ways around that !
A tiny mite with an even tinier egg! Look how small that is even under magnification !
Thank you Braeheid Gardens Ltd. !
They are very small, like – you will most likely need a magnifying glass to see them! They form parallel webs – not octagonal ones like other spiders, and they damage plants by piercing into the leaves and sucking out the cell contents. The damage left behind has a rounded spot appearance. This dead spotting is a big clue to their presence. We call it stippling.
Spider mites engulf the leaf in webbing to protect themselves! Thank you Gardeners World!
Stippling is what we call those spots of dead empty cells. They have no color because the mites has sucked out the chlorophyll! Thank you Kansas State University !
What can you do
Whatever you do do it fast! Females lay 400 eggs per week and those hatch in a few days and are ready to lay eggs in a few weeks. It can get out of hand really quickly. Don t procrastinate.
Spray rinse repeat. Than you Pests.org !
Wash the leaves. Its that simple. In a garden you can hose the plant down, wash the leaves with a horticultural oil or soap, wait a few minutes and rinse everything off. Repeat again in a month. Start early in Spring before they arrive en mass, and do the wash rinse thing every month until the fall. You will not get rid of them entirely, but the population will be so low it wont be noticeable and there will be very little damage.
Spraying both top and bottom sides of the leaves ! Thank you WallyGrow !
For indoor plants the treatment is similar, it just depends on the size of the plant. Small ones can be placed in a sink or bathtub for this same procedure. Large ones are more complex to treat. Here,
you have to protect the floor from the soapy water, and later the rinse water. You also have to you limited amounts of solution to stop from flooding your floor.
Novel way of riding the plant of mites – I haven’t tried this ! Thank you House Plant Journal !
The best strategy
Call Plant Specialists !
We have an entire department ( Plant Health Care)
with staff that is NYS licensed, experienced, and knowledgeable in all sorts of insect eradication !
So you can enjoy your garden and not worry about the bugs !
GREENING NEW YORK FOR OVER 50 YEARS !
This Blog post expertly written by our resident horticulturalist Peter Morris BSc. MSc. MBA