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Nickname: Spider Mite

Scientific Name: Spider mites are members of the Acari (mite) family, Tetranychidae, which includes about 1,200 species. Some of the most common species are: The two-spotted mite (Tetranychus urticae), the carmine red mite (T. cinnabarinus),  two-spotted mite relative (T. evansi), the European red mite (Panonychus ulmi), the citrus red mite (P. citri), the southern red mite (Oligonychus ilicis), the Brevipalpus citrus mites (Brevipalpus californicusB. phoenicis and B. obovatus), the six-spotted mite (Eotetranychus sexmaculatus), the Texas citrus mite (Eutetrannychus banksi), the tumid spider mite (T. tumidus), the Pacific mite (T. pacificus), the Phalanopsis mite (Tenuipalus pacificus), the privet mite (B. obovatus), cyclamen mites (Phtyodromus =Steneotarsonemus pallidus), broad mites (Polyphagotarsenomus =Hemitarsonemus latus) and tomato russet mites (Aculops lycopersici).

Appearance/Size: Spider mites are less than 1 millimeter (0.04 in) in size and vary in color. They lay small, spherical, initially transparent eggs and many species spin silk webbing to help protect the colony from predators; they get the ‘spider’ part of their common name from this webbing.

Preferred Habitat: Spider mites love a warm, dry climate. Humidity is a great defense against them, as it dramatically slows down their reproductive rate. They are normally found on the underside of leaves, where they lay their eggs.

Reproduction: An egg can hatch in as little as 3 days, and become sexually mature in as little as 5 days. One female can lay up to 20 eggs per day and can live for 2 to 4 weeks, laying hundreds of eggs. A single mature female can spawn a population of a million mites in a month or less. This accelerated reproductive rate allows spider mite populations to adapt quickly to resist pesticides, so chemical control methods can become somewhat ineffectual when the same pesticide is used over a prolonged period. As they continue to reproduce, they create webs all around the plant, much like a silkworm nest.

Eat: Sap (nutrients) from all types of plants.

Side Notes: Spider mites are perhaps the most common, and amongst the hardest pest to get rid of. They are normally found on the underside of leaves, where they puncture the stomata of the plant and drain the nutrients. When they first make their appearance they can be very difficult to see with the naked eye. As they build their colonies and start infecting the plant more, the leaves will start getting “white speckles”. These speckles indicate that the plant is being robbed of it’s nutrients. If severe cases, the plant will actually stop growing and go in defense mode. If the mites continue to go untreated, that plant will eventually die. Some plants that are effected bad enough, even after treatment, will never recover or continue to grow.

The Cure: For a more in-depth guide check out our “How To” section found here.


 

 

 

 

Click to find on Amazon! Product Description
Mighty Wash- Mighty Wash is a new revolutionary way to solve your spider mite problem in all stages of development from eggs to adults. Mighty Wash is a ready-to-use proprietary formula. It may be used throughout the grow and flower cycle up to and including the day of harvest. Mighty Wash is truly “The cleanest solution to your spider mite problem.” It can clear up some of the worst infestations!
Hirt’s Gardens 750 Count (About $10.00)- A favorite “good bug,” ladybugs have been a popular beneficial insects for the past 20 years. When released at sundown (because they don’t fly at night), ladybugs eat aphids, mealy bugs, scale, leaf hoppers, and other destructive pests. And they keep on eating until the bad guys are gone, laying their own eggs in the process. When new pests arrive, fresh ladybugs will be waiting. You will love them because ladybugs really work, plus they will be doing something favorable for the environment.
Orcon 2000 Live Predator Mites- Predatory mites are adult mites that seek out and kill pest mites, particularly the common spider mite. They are shipped live, ready to seek and destroy pest populations. Control pests without the use of chemical pesticides and their harmful side effects and residue. Best used at the first sign of an infestation, you only need two-to-five adults per plant, or 500-to-2000 per tree. Each container includes 2,000 live adults. Restricted state: Hawaii
Soapy Water: A diluted mixture of dish soap and water is a very cheap and effective way. Use about 1/2 to 3/4 of a teaspoon of soap for every gallon of water used. Shake before using, and apply as a foliar spray all over the plant, concentrating more on the underside of leaves. Use this solution once every 2 days, with a clean water rinse in between each spraying.
Neem Oil Solution: Neem oil is a vegetable oil pressed from the fruits and seeds of the neem (Azadirachta indica), an evergreen tree which is endemic to the Indian subcontinent and has been introduced to many other areas in the tropics. It is perhaps the most important of the commercially available products of neem for organic farming and medicines (1). It is all organic and and is said to be the safest natural remedy there is. Being an oily substance it does not mix well with water, so it is necessary to use an emulsifier so it has something to bond too. Neem oil instructions (on the back label) reads: 1 tsp per quart of water (4 tsp/gal) plus 1/4 tsp of liquid dish soap (1 tsp/gal). Neem oil does not harm beneficial bugs such as ladybugs and bees. Use this solution once every 2 days, with a clean water rinse in between each spraying.
Einstein Oil®: is enhanced with several other potent herbal ingredients that greatly increase its effectiveness. All ingredients are 100% non-toxic. This popular leaf shine keeps leaves clean and plants healthy. Einstein Oil® is an easy to mix concentrate. Mix 1/2 – 2 tsp. per quart of water. WARNING: This product will harm beneficial insects. Neem oil has been shown to interfere with an insect’s ability to molt. If a growing insect is not able to molt, it will not reach sexual maturity and will therefore be unable to mate and reproduce. This means that within a few life cycles, all insects (including beneficial insects) will die of old age and there will be no more eggs left to hatch.
Pyrethrum: A natural insecticide made from the dried flower heads of C. cinerariifolium and C. coccineum. Pyrethrum TR is a ready-to-use, ultra low volume insecticide fogger. It effectively controls aphids, fungus gnats, mites and whiteflies, along with numerous other secondary insect pests. Pyrethrum TR is used as an early rotational insecticide and is labeled for use on ornamentals, herbs and vegetables. Test or spot spray plants before activating a total release is recommended. Restricted use in NY.
Liquid Ladybug™: Employs very effective aromatic organic plant oils to safely and rapidly kill spider mites. It’s safe enough to use often, bare handed, without a mask and does not stain or damage surfaces. It is safe for the environment, people, pets and plants and can be used from germination to harvest without affecting taste or quality of the crop.
FloraMite SC™: Is a powerful miticide specifically developed to control aggressive and resistant populations of red & two spotted spider mites. It has a unique mode of action which allows1 single application to eliminate an entire population of mites. A single dose of FloraMite SC will laston the plant for 28 days ensuring allstages of mites from egg to larvae to adult will be eradicated. (Note – this product is not systemic.) FloraMite SC is approved for use on cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers by the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency. For maximum effectivenessthis product requires thorough coverage of upper and lower leaf surfaces. In addition, solutions should be mixed in water with a pH of 5 to 6 and stored at room temperature (about 73.4F.) To ensure that Floramite remains effective utilize these application guidelines: 1. Use Floramite SCas per label recommendations. Use Floramite SC as part of an Integrated Pest Management program which includes frequent monitoring, and use of beneficial insects to keep pest populations in balance. Use biological controls as the first line of defense for managing spider mites; Floramite should only be applied if absolutely necessary. Use Floramite sparingly when it must be used. Rotate Floramite with other miticides to ensure mite populations do not develop resistance.
Rubbing Alcohol: A 2:1 consistency of water/rubbing alcohol is a cheap and effective way to kill spider mites. Spray like normal sprays. It will harm plants, but normally dries to fast to pose a problem.

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