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  • 1 Post By raybark
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False/Red Spider Mite Advice Needed

This is a discussion on False/Red Spider Mite Advice Needed within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; ...

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  1. #1
    KPhal is offline Junior Member
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    Default False/Red Spider Mite Advice Needed

    A couple of weeks ago I noticed a red dust like substance on an already ailing epidendrum. It honestly looked like someone sprinkled cinnamon all over it. Since this appeared before I even realized what it was, it had lightly spread to three other orchids. I seperated them from the rest of my plants (which I have been obsessively checking with a flashlight for more) and have since sprayed them twice with a mineral oil/dish soap/water mix. This seems to have helped some I think, however I still notice some tiny specks when I go over some of the leaves with a Qtip. And also something now that looks more orange than reddish. Iím confused on whether what Iím spraying is actually working, or not? Does anyone have any experience with this, or could recommend something else to use for treatment? Also, will these mites attack the roots of the plants? I found an older thread that mentions SucraShield as an effective treatment, but it seems like thatís no longer available. I do have two cats so I would like to try to use something that wonít be harmful to them. Thanks for any help!
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  2. #2
    Chris in Hamilton's Avatar
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    Are you sure it is mites? Is there webbing, sticky looking excretion or yellow speckles on the leaves? They are very hard to see without magnification and they move about. I check for them using a 10X loupe and check for movement by gently blowing on them. I had a bit of a panic a couple of weeks ago when I saw tiny reddish brown specks all over the tops of some of my Cattleya. Turned out it was dust falling from cork mounts that have sow bugs living in them. Have to get rid of those somehow

  3. #3
    KPhal is offline Junior Member
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    There are no webs, which I read is a characteristic of false mites. However, the leaves are heavily pitted and have a silvery look to them. I did see one of them moving on one of the other orchids that they spread to. I wish it wasnít mites, Iím having some anxiety over them, because I keep reading how awful they are!
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  4. #4
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    They are very hard to get rid of. I won't suggest any pesticides to use, mainly because I don't know what is available in your part of the world. Someone else will be able to help I'm sure.

  5. #5
    RandyT is offline Junior Member
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    I use Tetrasan, but since you have pets, maybe spraying or wiping with isopropyl alcohol is better. Tetrasan will work with one thorough application but you must use alcohol every 3 days or so for maybe 10 days t two weeks.

    If you hold a piece of white paper beneath the leaves and flick the leaves with your finger (downwards towards the paper) the mites will land on the paper and are easily seen. If they're alive, you can easily see them if they move. Moving means live, no movement means dead mites. Check for a couple of weeks as eggs may hatch between treatments.

  6. #6
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    Look for AzaMax. It is a concentrated azadirachtin product that is quite effective against insects and mites.

    Azadirachtin is the active ingredient in neem oil.

  7. #7
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    The essential with all pests is ro remove all that you can. Dont just spray and assume that you have killed them , wipe them off. Cotton wool balls dipped in soapy water is as good as anything. And use an artists paint brush to get into the awkward places like leaf axils. This applies to all pests. When youve got the plant clean , then spray, maybe.
    But for things that get into the compost , like mealy bugs, repotting and wahing out the roots in a disinfectant solution is the only way, and even then you may have to repeat that. Watch everything - i have found scale on plant sticks used to tie up flower spikes, and mealy bug hiding under the pot rim outside the plant !

  8. #8
    KPhal is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for all your input guys! Iíve had mealy bugs before and would wipe them off, and successfully got rid of them. Honestly, the more I read about the spider mites the more afraid of them I am! Lol Iím not sure if any of it is exaggerated but it seems like theyíre almost indestructible, and can cling to your clothes, etc. so I was afraid to do any wiping before spraying for fear that they would spread to my other plants after getting on me. Iíve been researching different products and there are a couple Iím deciding between. Has anyone had any experience with Mighty Wash?
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  9. #9
    Dorsetman's Avatar
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    It is said that false spider mite flourishes in dry conditions. With good humidity, it is not often seen.

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