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Darn... spider mites !

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by Canadian CrabGrass on January 29, 2004 03:49 AM
I was shuffling my plants around tonight and I'm nearly certain that my arrowhead vine is host to those creepy crawly. I'll look at it in a better light tomorrow, but in the meantime I have a few questions about spraying.

1. I'll be using the soap spray mixture ( made with Dawn ) Should I protect the soil or should I spray it also ?

2. Don't laugh for this question ! Do I have to rinse the plant afterward ? [Confused]

3. Should I spray the other plants that were close to the arrowhead ? Some were close enough for the leaves to touch. Can I harm a plant by spraying it when it has no insect on it ?

4. Where did the silly things come from ? We're in the middle of winter and I haven't bought any plants in 2 months !
by barleychown on January 29, 2004 04:10 AM
This is what I had in my notes for spider mites...

"To check for spider mites, hold a piece of white paper under a leaf, and give the leaf a good tap. If tiny rust-colored specks drop onto the paper, the plant has spider mites. Treat with insecticidal soap, or make up a solution of 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid, 1/2 teaspoon horticultural oil and 1 quart water. Apply to the plant with a spray bottle. The next day, wash the plant with fresh water, and repeat the process until you no longer see evidence of spider mites. It may take four or five treatments to eradicate these pests."

As I recall, it took me SEVERAL treatments to get rid of them! [Razz]

Also, make sure you take that plant, and those close to it, and seclude them FAR away from the rest of your plants!!! An unused bedroom would be great...there is nothing worse that having these little monsters on nearly every houseplant you have!!! [Eek!] Keep checking EVERY plant often for them...

Bill also has this info:

http://www.thegardenhelper.com/bugs.html

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We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.
by Canadian CrabGrass on January 29, 2004 08:31 PM
Thanks barleychown, I'll follow your method !
by Will Creed on January 31, 2004 06:38 PM
1. There is no reason to spray the soil because spider mites do not live in the soil. If some of the soap spray runs off into the soil, it will do no damage.

2. No, you don't have to rinse the soap spray off, although there is no benefit to leaving it on.

3. If you are confident in your ability to look for and spot spider mites on nearby plants, then it may not be necessary to spray the nearby plants. If you are anxiety prone or a very cautious person, then you probably should spray the nearby plants. Also keep in mind that some plant species are mite magnets while others are ignored by the mites. If you let me know the names of the nearby plants, I can probably help you determine if they are likely mite targets. Spraying plants with a soap solution will do no harm as long as the plants are not in direct sun while the leaves are wet.

4. No doubt there were a few mites on your plant, but in such small numbers that you didn't notice. If conditions are not conducive to mite reproduction, they will go unnoticed for a long time. However, once the air dries out and the temps go up (usually in winter) these critters breed like crazy and before long you have an explosion of spider mites that causes you to say, "Where the #*#@** did they come from!" Keeping temps on the cool side and the air humid will help deter spider mites.
by Canadian CrabGrass on January 31, 2004 09:31 PM
Thanks for your reply Will !

I sprayed 3 plants - the arrowhead vine itself, a dracaena marginata that was near it ( impossible to check for tiny moving dark dots on those long dark leaves ! ) and a corn plant ( although it looked clean ) The rest of my plants are, I believe, far enough away from harm.

I'll spray those plants once more in a few days and meanwhile I'm checking everything everyday ( with a magnifying glass, no less ! ) So far they all look good and I'm keeping my fingers crossed !
by Jiffymouse on February 01, 2004 02:29 AM
ok, question...
( [Confused] yeah, i know this was a dumb thing to do [Embarrassed] )

i as shopping tonight and found a plant i just had to have. not really even sure what it is. it was on a clearance rack of sorts... but... i think it has spidermites. i bought it anyway [nutz]

so, if i "ostrasize" it in a room with no other plants, and make sure it gets good light, and spray it with soap water every couple of days, do you think it is salvagable? I mean, i know I could refund it, but i'd never seen one just like it before and ihave been in every garden shop in the area lately looking for a hanging plant water bottle. found it, in the same store as the plant!! and is there a household oil that i could use with the soap? don't have any $$ until thurday, goofy me spent my last $2 on that plant!!
by barleychown on February 01, 2004 04:22 AM
I can relate...I would probably do the same thing! [Big Grin]

I have heard that a 'light' household oil is corn oil? And I have also heard that before the home gardener could get hort. oil in a manageable size...(it used to only come by the bucket, or drum, or something [dunno] ) that rose people used liquid crisco oil (whatever that is)...

Sorry I can't help more...please be sure to keep it WAY away from the others...and don't go by it too much...I'm not sure how they travel? [dunno]

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We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.
by Will Creed on February 01, 2004 11:07 PM
Crabby - D. marginatas are quite prone to spider mites, so do monitor it carefully, especially the undersides of the leaves. Corn plants rarely attract spider mites.

Jiffy - Spider mites are not that difficult to deal with. A very thorough spraying of your new plant (all leaf and stem surfaces, dripping wet) with a soapy solution is more effective than many less thorough treatments. Once you have sprayed it thoroughly once, there is no need to quarantine any longer.
by Jiffymouse on February 01, 2004 11:48 PM
ok, this is what i did. i made up the solution, covered the soil with a plastic bag so it wouldn't fall out, dipped the entire top of the plant in the solution and then turned it back over to drip. then i poured the solution on the parts that i though might have been missed. then i put the plant in a bright room to drain. so you think quarantine should be unnecessary now?
by Will Creed on February 02, 2004 10:32 PM
Jiffy,

Yes, your treatment was very thorough so there is no reason to quarantine. Continue to monitor your plants carefully for any future infestations.

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