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Old 11-05-2007, 10:33 AM
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Angry Flat mite?

I've been growing my orchids indoors for a few months pest free when I just noticed a few weeks ago that my den kept loosing its leaves (from the bottom to the newest top leaves). Just last week I realized that I had flat mites (red dots that don't move) and it's spread to my phal. Well, at least it sounds like flat mites from reading here.

Here are the states of my plants:
1 Den: All my canes are bare except for a baby cane (3 baby leaves)
1 Phal: 4 mature leaves and 1 baby leaf (but there is damage/pitting on the 2 mature leaves)
2 Catts: No signs of damage
2 Onci: No signs of damage, but 1 is officially dead, I think, due to bad caretaking.

I wiped down the leaves, then sprayed with water and mopped them dry with a paper towel. Over the weekend, I uprooted ALL my orchids and thoroughly sprayed them with insecticidal soap (roots and all). I also cut the flowers off my phal.

Did I do the right thing?
What do I do now?
Maybe I shouldn't have sprayed the roots? But I really want those mite GONE!
I suppose I should respray next week? How does one spray the underside of the leaves without unpotting?
Is the spray safe? I have a cat and a baby at home. The insecticidal soap has a rather strong odor and I'm concerned the fumes might be toxic? I sprayed outside, waiting a 15 minutes, then brought all my plants back into my bathroom because it's too cold outside.
Do I leave the chemical to "soak" on the leaves? If I touch the leaves, would it "come off" onto my fingers?
I'm worried about crown rot. Do I need to blow dry the crown or can I leave the soap on to make sure the mites stay dead?

There were a few plusses to this problem:
My plants have never looked better. The leaves are so green and glossy with the cleaning. Also, I found so many new roots on all my plants. Some of the roots were growing new off shoots. On a sad note, one of my other Oncs. didn't make it.
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Old 11-05-2007, 11:08 AM
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sound like you have red spider mites on your hand. You might not see any
mites at all. But if you see spider web on it.You can be sure it is spider mites.
They are not spiders but mites. Nothing kill them except very strong miticies.
They are very very contagious . I just got rid of them last month and bought
a new catt 3 week ago and it was infested with spider mites. (why i didnt see that when I buy it?) Luckly i quarantine the new plant before mixing with the rest of the plant.
Here what you do.
- get a 5 gallon bucket (how?you figure out) and get miticies from
your local nursery.(chances are you might have problem getting it.They
don't come by often) Mix to correct proportion. Soak the whole plant
for about 2 to 3 minutes start with the least infested onces. Take it
out and drip dry. (no sun light for the next 2 day) miticies burn the
leaves.
- depending on the type of miticies you used. Some miticies kill the
eggs in one application. The cheaper miticies ,well, kill only the adult.
you have to reapply miticies 5 days from your first application. Repeat
the same step soak whole plant it into miticies for 2 to 3 minutes
YOU might need to reapply for the 3 or 4 time. Pray hard you don't have
to!
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Old 11-05-2007, 11:27 AM
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I don't think I have any nurserys close to me. What can I get at Home Depot? I looked specifically for miticides but did not see anything other than the usual Ortho and such.
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Old 11-05-2007, 02:02 PM
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Chrono: I've been using worm tea for quite awhile and thankfully have not had mites. You can obtain Safer's Soap from Home Depot for the mites, I'm just not sure if it will kill all the eggs as well as the active mites. Bayers Rose 3 in 1 is also good and should be readily available. To my knowledge, neem oil will also work but some folks feel that it's hard on the orchids and may even present other problems. I've used the neem for scale but never had mites, so don't know about it's use for same.

Cynthia has quite a few posts on the forum regarding mites. Do a search for mites and see what recommendations she has made for these critters. Good luck.
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Last edited by Sharyn; 11-05-2007 at 02:04 PM. Reason: add text
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Old 11-05-2007, 02:17 PM
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I had gone through Cynthia's sticky on mites before deciding to ask for help/advice. It appears that Neem oil doesn't quite produce the expected results and yet affects the orchids in a not so good way. From using the search function, I can't find a definitive answer on how to best get rid of mites which is why I posted. I'm hoping that over time, more products would have been tried and tested.

Last edited by chrono; 11-05-2007 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 11-05-2007, 03:39 PM
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chrono, I posted about pesticides, and no one has tried the ortho or otherwise, and it is very poisonous. Bayer 3 n 1 is what is recomended by Cynthia currently, but I can only get it here in a huge bottle. I am trying my own mix currently, have only sprayed once so I cannot say if it is working or not for sure. I think the safer's soap will work just fine, it is what was recomended to me, I just ordered some.
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Old 11-05-2007, 03:54 PM
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I have been recommending neem, but I have had the very disagreeable situation where the neem is not killing mites like it used to, even tho they say mites can not develop an immunity to neem. My neem available around here is the hydrophilic extract. I am wondering if some sort of manufacturing problem has arisen, tho I think I have used neem from different stores, it was always the Fertilome brand.

I have just started to use Bayer Advance 3 in 1, not to be confused with the 'All in 1' or the 'Rose and Flower' or the 'Tree & Shrub' or the 'Lawn and ... . None of those work on mites, only the B. A. 3 in 1, and it appears to be very gentle on all my orchids. So far the results are very good. I hope I never have to use the neem again, just to much damage to too many plants.

Flat/Phal mites do not make webs. They also have a very long life cycle compared to spider mites, a month for flat mites, compared to a week for spider mites. So you want to respray 3 or so weeks apart.

When you spray, put on a rubber/latex glove and lift the leaves to cover ALL surfaces, especially the underside of the leaves, where mites spend all their time. They are chlorophyll eaters, so don't worry much about flowers or roots.

I bought the 3 in 1 at Lowes.
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Old 11-05-2007, 04:05 PM
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Cynthia, I have 2 different kinds of neem here. One is pure neem oil and I have not used it yet. The other in the green spray bottle, did a total number on my plants, and on one the leaves look like the ones you had pics of. I am very reluctant to try the new bottle of the pure neem (of course I would dilute it down) for fear of the same issues, but maybe it is a manufacturing issue. The first bottle of spray that I got did not bother the plants at all, the second bottle that I got, that is when I began to have problems.
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Old 11-05-2007, 04:09 PM
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Cynthia: I stand corrected in my post above. I've been using the Bayers Advance 3 in 1, not the rose formula.
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Old 11-05-2007, 04:17 PM
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It would be very interesting to get some feed back on the pure neem about any damage from that.
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Old 11-05-2007, 04:30 PM
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Well, I guess I can give it a go with the Dends, the other stuff did not bother them either. I am reluctant to use it on the plant that got it's leaves so messed up, but it was fine through the first bottle also. This is originally why I made my post about the pesticides was for the dends, as the neem in the green bottle was not killing the mites at all. I thought they were just getting reinfested, but maybe we are onto something here. I only sprayed one with my homemade cinnamon solution, I will make up a batch of the pure neem into spray and hit the other dend. then I will have a comparison. I just really want to get rid of the darn mites for sure. If it is a manufacturing issue, I am throwing it out, I went through the first bottle so fast because I used it on all of the outdoor plants and it worked great. I will let you know about the pure neem, I will spray the plant after I get out of class tonight.
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Old 11-05-2007, 05:24 PM
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So, do you all think just sticking with my insecticidal soap is sufficient?
Sprayed thoroughly (underside included) every week for a month?
Or every 2 weeks for 2 months?
Or should I abandon the insecticidal soap for the Bayer Advanced 3 in 1? I like the I. Soap because the chemicals aren't too toxic.
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Old 11-05-2007, 06:12 PM
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mites need miticies. I tried soap before, i tried spraying water they came back.
I tried miticies they came back also but after 2 or 3 spray they are gone for
good.
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:04 AM
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Digitalgate,
I read that soap and miticides both affect the all stages of mites only, not the eggs, so both have to be followed up with spraying again after 2 weeks. I know that water doesn't always work well since it only pushes the mites off the leaves. Are you saying that even with respraying insecticidal soap a week or 2 later did not get rid of the mites?
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:40 AM
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you are absolutely right! You can see them slowing crawling after third
concentrated spraying of miticies . But it seem that soaking them in the
chemical does the trick. 2 or 3 minute soak. I used two different type of miticies in the same treatment. Boy, the plant is really under stress. The
bottom roots dont seem to be living. Luckily my Mokara grow lots lots and
lots and lots of roots after that.
From now onward never ever buy any plant that has mites.
isolate new plant before introduce them to the rest of the family.
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Old 11-06-2007, 03:44 PM
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I have mites in the area around my greenhouse, so I think this is going to be an occasional problem for me, not something I will be finally rid of if I keep up the miticide sprayings. You have a better chance in a home, or in a greenhouse without a local population outside.

Digitalg, what kind of miticide are you using, brand name?
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Old 11-06-2007, 06:17 PM
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gee, that will be a tough one. I am using a agricultural miticies mean for the
commercial grower. I dont have the label on it. It is suppose to kill
the mites and the egg in one application. I mixed it with Dimethoate .
There specific miticies depending on type of mites.
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Old 11-06-2007, 10:46 PM
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Well, I was interested because you said it wasn't working. Unfortunately, mites can develop a resistance to any one miticide, so the commercial nurseries will use one for several sprayings, then change to a different type. Maybe your mites are already immune to the miticide you are using.
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Old 11-07-2007, 02:00 AM
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you could be right. I would be shopping for another type of miticies. Thank you
for your advise.
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Old 11-07-2007, 11:46 AM
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See if you can find out what you have from whoever gave it or sold it to you. And then you might ask them what they would recommend as a truly different compound type. If you do some research, you will find that they, the chemical industry, assigns a type number to the different compound categories, and you need to be sure that your next version is of a different category from the one you have, or you will be wasting your money. I haven't had to face this research project yet, but I do know that it is not really very easy to find this info.
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Old 11-07-2007, 06:23 PM
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i got it for free. He said this is the best. I remember seing a BIG spider picture
outside the box and a big red[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 11-07-2007, 07:26 PM
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What everyone is trying to tell you is that mites are not insects, therefore an insecticide won't work. Insecticidal soap, which is extremely mild for insects, therefore, will not work. You need a true miticide. You must kill the eggs on the leaves and in the soil. If you don't kill the eggs in the soil, the mites will keep regenerating.
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Old 11-08-2007, 07:45 AM
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well i got one infected with spider mites , just use one more application on the
plant. Hope this time they are gone for good.
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Old 11-08-2007, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 11Orchid126 View Post
What everyone is trying to tell you is that mites are not insects, therefore an insecticide won't work. Insecticidal soap, which is extremely mild for insects, therefore, will not work. You need a true miticide. You must kill the eggs on the leaves and in the soil. If you don't kill the eggs in the soil, the mites will keep regenerating.
Thank you, Orchid. This is exactly what I wanted to read; spelled out clearly and simply. I guess this weekend I have to head out to HD for the Bayer Advanced 3 in 1. Does this work on eggs too or do I have to reapply on a weekly basis?

ETA
Day 5 and still no sign of mites. I guess the eggs haven't hatched yet.
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Old 11-08-2007, 06:04 PM
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dont bet on it. Just apply because you can't see them.
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Old 11-08-2007, 06:52 PM
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I believe the Bayer is systemic, but you still should drench the soil. The usual advice is once every week, for three weeks.
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Old 11-09-2007, 12:26 AM
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For mites, the BA 3 in 1 is NOT systemic. It is systemic for the other pests, but not mites. At this point, I don't know if it kills the eggs or not. Be sure to cover every green surface of the plants, as mites are chlorophyll eaters, especially the under side of the leaves where they feed.
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Old 11-12-2007, 03:58 PM
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1 week has passed and no sign of mites. Still, I sprayed (soaking wet) the leaves and the undersides, stems and all thoroughly again this weekend. So far, so good but I'm scrutinizing every leaf daily.
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:11 PM
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you need to respray again. it has been ten days.
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Old 11-21-2007, 10:45 AM
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I just resprayed after 1 week, so it's been 2 weeks now (approaching the 3rd week). Still no sign of any mites. The one thing that bothers me is that the spray seems to be damaging my orchids. My den leaves got super floppy and transparent looking while one of my catts developed a black burn spot on a leaf.
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Old 11-21-2007, 11:44 AM
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Avermectin

I just bought this Avermectin. Dont know if that is more effective.
I did an experiment on red spider mites just now. The result surprises me.
I have 3 test tube with red spider mites in it.
test tube 1 soak mites in water.
test tube 2 soak mites in Avermectin
test tube 3 soak mites in Dimethoate

All mites appeared dead.(motionless) How can this be happening?
will look at the test tube in a few days and see if the dead mites rotted and
leave a empty shell.
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Old 11-21-2007, 01:13 PM
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The mites in water probably drowned.

One piece of information for chrono. Flat mites have a life cycle about a month long, so weekly spraying for them is too often. Not that it is so bad, but you will need to spray again in another 2 or 3 weeks. Sider mites on the other hand, for those of you with spider mites, have a life cycle on the order of a week.

My spider mite problem has been slowing down, with the cooler weather. Looks like the reinfection from outside my greenhouse has come to a complete stop. I had some infected plants outside the GH, and we had a hard time finding mites on them. Lows around 40F.
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Old 11-21-2007, 07:03 PM
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If it really drown. It would be a better methods than chemical pesticide.
However i also realize when I dip the spider mites in water some of them
float on water. So that will reinfect the plant when i pull the plant out the bucket.
That a good thing about cool temperature. It slow the mites problem.

Last edited by digitalgate; 11-21-2007 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 11-21-2007, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrono View Post
The one thing that bothers me is that the spray seems to be damaging my orchids. My den leaves got super floppy and transparent looking while one of my catts developed a black burn spot on a leaf.
I've never used Bayer 3 in 1 but the active insecticidal ingredients are also found in Confidor (Imidacloprid) and Mavrik (Tau-Fluvalinate - which is probably what's killing your spider mites). Both of these are fine for most orchids. The third ingredient (tebuconazole) is a fungicide that I have no experience with but I've heard of people using it on carnivorous plants so I can't imagine it harming orchids.

The damage your seeing could be due to the solvents/wetting agents in the pesticide. Most insecticides are designed for plants that are more robust than orchids. If applied in the heat of the day (or if the plants have been stuck in a hot windowsill or under lights for a few hours) the various wetting agents used in commercial pesticide preps can cause damage like you've described.
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Old 11-22-2007, 01:26 AM
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how anyone try predatory mites?
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Old 11-22-2007, 07:44 AM
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how about lady bugs?
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Old 11-22-2007, 01:31 PM
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I'm not sure mites are large enough to be interesting to lady bugs. Seems they would like something the size of aphids and mealies. If anyone could find out if lady bugs eat spider or flat mites, it would be nice to know.
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Old 11-22-2007, 08:05 PM
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I got this from an orchid nursery: Beenak.

Pests: Few things affect orchids but they need control or growth will deteriorate. The two main pests are Scale and Red Spider Mite. Less of a problem with Cymbidiums but serious with natives, Masdevallias and Odontoglossums are Aphids. Mealy Bug may affect plants in warmer glass house conditions. The simple effective and non toxic remedy is Eco-Oil (see Sundries) we use this exclusively for all our orchids and find it a joy to use and have no insect problems. Made from eucalyptus and other natural plant material this spray can be used without use of protective clothing and will not harm wildlife or the gardener. It can be used throughout the garden and is ideal for orchids in particular.

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Old 11-22-2007, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynthia, Prescott, AZ View Post
I'm not sure mites are large enough to be interesting to lady bugs. Seems they would like something the size of aphids and mealies. If anyone could find out if lady bugs eat spider or flat mites, it would be nice to know.

Some species of ladybugs are listed as biological control agents for spider mite (members of the Stethorus genus for example). The problem is that the name lady bug is applied to a variety of genera that vary in their preferred diet. The big problem with winged biological controls is that, unless you're releasing them into an enclosed area, you pay a mint for a small group of insects that head straight for your neighbour's garden on release. Predatory mites are probably a better investment. Of course, if you want to use biological controls, don't go anywhere near the pesticides mentioned in this thread for a few months before release.
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Old 11-23-2007, 02:40 AM
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that the good thing about predatory mites. They are also pesticides resistant.
Just like spider mites which is pesticides resistant
dear me, are they not all resistance?
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Old 11-25-2007, 04:08 AM
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I tried Abamectin. My spider mite is dead. A dead spider mite is a good mite.

I will resoak the plant in 8 days. For once this work!
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Old 11-25-2007, 12:43 PM
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As I recall, you were supposed to keep a bucket of corn or rice or some such grain as an alternative food source for the predatory mites so they could continue to live in your greenhouse even when they have done a good job on the pests. Seems that bucket would get moldy in my over crowded/tightly packed GH.
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Old 11-26-2007, 01:17 AM
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somebody pass this link to me .
Neoseiulus fallacis for Spider Mites - GreenMethods.com

I was thinking of putting flowers. 2 or 3 around the root.Since they feed
on pollen when there is no spider mites to feed on. I can buy cut flower
for $2 in a bag.
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Old 11-26-2007, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrono View Post
I just resprayed after 1 week, so it's been 2 weeks now (approaching the 3rd week). Still no sign of any mites. The one thing that bothers me is that the spray seems to be damaging my orchids. My den leaves got super floppy and transparent looking while one of my catts developed a black burn spot on a leaf.
Chrono: an orchid grower friend of mine told me to mix water,rubbing alcohol,mineral oil and a small amount of dish soap into a spray bottle. He puts his orchids outside all summer long and then sprays this to make sure there are no bugs. It would be safe for you to use and not harm your pets or your baby. I had give a little spray usually every couple of waterings. Hope this helps Flowerchild aka Cindy
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:27 AM
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alcohol and mineral oil is used to drown the mites Soap is to increase the surface
tension of water . Locally we also used that to increase the surface tension of
pesticides.
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Old 11-27-2007, 10:32 PM
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Chrono,where can these chemicals be purchased that you mentioned?I'm only familiar w/the mavrik.
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