Help Spiders going prolific with diatomaceaous Earth

rhawes

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Before I started using DE my plants seem to be doing somewhat ok now that I applied DE all over my plants the spiders seem to be multiplying like crazy. Is this a last ditch effort for them to survive or does anyone have any recommendations. I am at feeling very overwhelmed with this problem. Anyone use DE or what will work on spider mite infestation. Please help Desperate!!!!
 

sorce

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Indoor tropicals?

Sorce
 

rhawes

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Yes indoor tropicals like bullhorn acacia, sweet plum, rabbits foot acacia, feather acacia, ficus, jade, lemon, lime, desmodium, some willow cuttings, jasmine, fukien, tangerine. That is some of what I have.
 

W3rk

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rhawes

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To be a little off topic my dog used to kill some bugs like wasps. LOL He was really good at it and never got stung. And one time a fly was flying in his face and he just snapped at it and it was gone!!!
 

hemmy

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Anyone use DE or what will work on spider mite infestation.
I haven’t used DE, but outdoors here the mites love it when we get the dry, hot, dusty winds. If the DE isn’t harming them, then it may be creating conditions they like.

Being indoors probably limits the spraying of effective miticides, which are also expensive for just a few trees. I would try to spray them off with water and get the underside of leaves also. Then after they dry, spray them with an insecticidal soap. Repeat the soap application every 5 days to break the life cycle.

You could also try selective pruning of leaves to remove the worst infestations. Stay away from common insecticides, as mites are not insects and some insecticides have actually been show to increase their numbers.
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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Neem oil is my preferred spider mite killer.
If they survive that I use a pyrethrin based insecticide that contains some kind of oil.

I always think of DE like this: if it should rip apart insect trachea, then there shouldn't be insects in arid areas like deserts, rock cliffs, volcanoes, and natural DE mines/sources. But they are there. And they have been for millions of years. Would be weird to stay in an environment that rips your lungs apart.
I'm starting to believe that the mode of action for DE is to increase silicon content which allows plants to grow more spiky silicium based trichomes, which in turn repell insects. Instead of the DE stuff being active on its own.
It would explain why it works for some plants (the ones that make silicium trichomes), and not others (the ones that don't).
 

ShadyStump

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I just treated for aphids on my indoor plants by misting with a strong tobacco tea with a couple drops of liquid dish soap. Very effective, cheap and shouldn't harm anything that doesn't eat your trees.

Not sure about spider mites, but works on everything else.
Just ask at the local tobacco shop for their cheapest pouch of any straight tobacco, soak in water at least an hour, or you can simmer it a little while, doesn't really matter. Internet recipes say 1 cup tobacco to 1 gallon water, pluses 1 teaspoon soap, but I just free handed enough for a spray bottle without measuring. The dish soap acts as a surfactant, helps it spread evenly across the foliage. It will discolor any flowers you might have blooming.
 

sorce

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Yes indoor tropicals like bullhorn acacia, sweet plum, rabbits foot acacia, feather acacia, ficus, jade, lemon, lime, desmodium, some willow cuttings, jasmine, fukien, tangerine. That is some of what I have.

Damn!

I have to agree DE will do nothing but create a more favorable environment under the leaves.

This seems to be more the time of year this will become an uncontrollable problem indoors regardless of external factors.

This is why I schedule a pruning and full defoliation upon bringing them indoors.
When scheduled there is no harm and no,or much less threat of mites.

Plus you get the efficiency of indoor leaves grown for indoor lights.
You don't want all the extra protections full sun and air leaves have in a completely different environment.

Been insecticide free for probably 10 years, short a neeming about every fourth year, never lost any important design capabilities.

24hr submersion is almost 100% effective in completely obliterating a bad infestation.

Though so close to going back out, a full defoil and heavy hosedown could work when you put em back out.

Sorce
 
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I just treated for aphids on my indoor plants by misting with a strong tobacco tea with a couple drops of liquid dish soap. Very effective, cheap and shouldn't harm anything that doesn't eat your trees.

Not sure about spider mites, but works on everything else.
Just ask at the local tobacco shop for their cheapest pouch of any straight tobacco, soak in water at least an hour, or you can simmer it a little while, doesn't really matter. Internet recipes say 1 cup tobacco to 1 gallon water, pluses 1 teaspoon soap, but I just free handed enough for a spray bottle without measuring. The dish soap acts as a surfactant, helps it spread evenly across the foliage. It will discolor any flowers you might have blooming.

How do you make the tobacco tea? I actually have enough pipe tobacco around that I could probably make some pretty easily, and I've definitely heard it's good for insect control.

Thank you. I did not know this!

Agreed!
 

ShadyStump

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How do you make the tobacco tea? I actually have enough pipe tobacco around that I could probably make some pretty easily, and I've definitely heard it's good for insect control.



Agreed!
I just soaked a handful in a quart of water for an hour or so. I strained it through coffee filters so there'd be nothing to clog up my spray bottle. I used it straight and read later about the dish soap, so I just added a couple drops to the bottle.
I've heard about it from old-timers and back roads types for years, but hadn't had reason to put it to the test before recently. VERY effective, and almost impossible to burn the plants with it except for too much soap. Persistent for maybe a week I'd estimate until washed off by misting or watering.

Nicotine is a neurostimulant,but in high doses is extremely toxic. In my more adventurous internet days I actually found a recipe to concentrate tobacco juice into a poison strong enough to kill a man.
That said, it works on EVERYTHING with a nervousystem, including worms, ladybugs, bees, etc., so be careful.

Edit: Some internet recipes caution against using it on anything in the nightshade family - tomatoes, peppers, etc - because it could transmit a virus deadly to them. I imagine simmering or boiling would kill anything like that, but I can't speak to the effects of high temperatures on the stability of the nicotine. I thought about alcohol, but same concern. Some experimentation over the summer might be in order.
 
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rorror

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As an addition to what @hemmy said, after soap-spray, also clean the pot, and the surrounding place where the plant is normally placed. Because if you pick up the plant, some of them can fall of there and then crawl back on the plant.
I usually wash with clean water the foillage of my tropicals every few weeks under the shower. Flushing potentional bugs and dust away. If your concenert about overwatering, put a plastic bag around the pot, and tie it shut.
Spider mites multiply the fastest in dry conditions. You could also try increasing the humidity indoor, and lower the heating a bit.
Eggs hatch after 3days, so in the first weeks, soap them every 3 days.
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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I just treated for aphids on my indoor plants by misting with a strong tobacco tea with a couple drops of liquid dish soap. Very effective, cheap and shouldn't harm anything that doesn't eat your trees.

Not sure about spider mites, but works on everything else.
Just ask at the local tobacco shop for their cheapest pouch of any straight tobacco, soak in water at least an hour, or you can simmer it a little while, doesn't really matter. Internet recipes say 1 cup tobacco to 1 gallon water, pluses 1 teaspoon soap, but I just free handed enough for a spray bottle without measuring. The dish soap acts as a surfactant, helps it spread evenly across the foliage. It will discolor any flowers you might have blooming.
Tobacco mosaic virus is a real issue, and it's common in a lot of tobacco products. I have no clue on how to prevent this, but since most viruses can be inactivated with alcohol, it might be wise to treat the tincture with a high percentage ethanol first (60-80%) and let it evaporate for a while. This shouldn't damage the nicotine.
But the fun part is that I've had spider mites on my tobacco plants, as well as on my garlic.

As for the no insecticides thingy, although spider mites are not insects, their internal wiring is pretty similar to insects. They are responsive to some insecticides as well, it should be on the label.

I think head & shoulders shampoo used to contain a strong miticide (aimed at controlling demodex mites, the ones that live inside burrows in peoples skin; google them if you're comfortable knowing that millions of these live inside your skin) but those components are banned in some regions of the world because they aren't always considered safe, I think they're still part of the formula in the US. In the rest of the world it has been replaced with tea tree oil. Which is a tree killer when used straight from the bottle - I learned that the hard way before I went into bonsai.
 

rhawes

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Thanks for the info. Hey do you all think that the spider mites know what your favourite tree is? LOL
 

penumbra

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24hr submersion is almost 100% effective in completely obliterating a bad infestation.
So true. Sometimes it just pays to take the time and do this.
I use DR Bronner's peppermint soap. I use it as a dip or a spray and it is super for eradicating mites.
 

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