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Are These Red Spider Mites?

This is a discussion on Are These Red Spider Mites? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I have this kind of problem with my Phals last year. I thought I got ...

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  1. #1
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    Default Are These Red Spider Mites?

    I have this kind of problem with my Phals last year. I thought I got rid of them but I noticed that they are back and it seemed that they started on the phal that still recovering from last year attack. I have already washed the plants with the detergent solution twice but it seems that they have developed "immunity" this time (it worked last year). If these are mites, I can only think of Dimethoate as an effective chem for them.

    They are so tiny I can only see them with a magnifying glass plus wearing my glasses. And unlike the mites on roses that are mobile, these tiny specks doesn't seems to be moving. There are no yellow spotting on the leaves but there are parts of the leaves that are pitted, specially the along the middle and the tip. Some pitting can also be seen on the underside. Attached is the scanned image of the piece of cotton I used to clean the most affected part of the leaf. The tiny specks are bright orange or red in reality.

    I appreaciate any suggestions to what they are and what to do with them. I will be going away in 2 weeks time for a 10 days holiday and I hate to leave the plants in their present state. With DH to care for them while I'm away, I can almost sure that they will be beyond saving when I come back. The only thing the man knows about caring plants is to give them water...that's it!!

    Thanks in advance!
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  2. #2
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    LJA
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    Given the leaf pitting, yes, those are mites. Usually just washing them off will take care of the problem, but you have to do that several times in succession to get rid of the ones that hatch out after the first wash. If I remember correctly, you just bought some insecticide recently? Use it before you leave, then tell DH to spray again 5 to 7 days later, then 5-7 days after that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lja
    . If I remember correctly, you just bought some insecticide recently? Use it before you leave, then tell DH to spray again 5 to 7 days later, then 5-7 days after that.
    Yes, I do have an insecticide but its malathion. Based on my experience on spider mites (garden), malathion have no effect on them, they seem to thrive on it . I read about neem oil from previous posts, but can't find it here. I will continue the washing regimen for the meantime and see what happen. I guess all the plants growing next to the afflicted phal are now got the bugs as well....oh dear .

    I would love to see the expression on DH face when I tell him to do more than just water the plants while I'm away .

    Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it .

    Tanya

  4. #4
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    I did some checking; opinions vary concerning the effectiveness of malathion against mites. Some say it works well, others say it doesn't. Insecticidal oils work well against them though, and the oil doesn't have to be neem. Can you get Sun Oil or Sunspray? Insecticides that work are Cygon (dimethoate) and Orthene (acephate). Orthene is a systemic, so if you use that, wash the mites off first and then spray.

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