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I've got Spider Mites, now what do I do?

Smokin Moose

Fallen Cannabis Warrior
Spider mites are probally the most prevalent pest to inside growers. There are many ways to erradicate these critters but can be broken down into two types of methods. These methods are chemical or organic.

With any pest erradication program where you are depending on a chemical, be it organic or synthetic, it is best to cycle between three different pesticides for optimal results and to ensure the critters don't build an immunity to them.

Chemical
I've found that spraying with a pyrethium based spray to be very effective. Buying one that is combined with garlic would work as a repellent to these pests as well. The only problem with this is recently there have been shown to be pyrethium resistant mites. The treatment regime with this should be at least one spray a week, but no more than two. Don't think that more poison concentration will help remove them faster as it may only lead to your dissapointment as you see your plants suffer from burning. When spraying make sure that the underside of the leaves get just a much of a generous spraying as the tops.

If things have got right out of hand and nothing else seems to work you can count on flea bombs purchased from local supermarket. Be warned as they are full of dangerous poisons and the use of these should be greatly avoided within the last few weeks before harvest. The regime for these are one a week until problem solved, this is usually one week but occassionally you will need the second one. Make sure to turn off all exhaust fans for two hours from the time that the bomb is initially going off. After this two hour period is over turn back on exhaust fans and air out room thoroughly. Do this when the lights are out as a room full of fumes has a habit of exploding when a heat source or spark is present. These are so effective because the actually break into every part of the breeding cycle killing mites in all stages.

The recent success in mite eradication has come from the availability of a pesticide called Avid. Many growers swear that this is the only thing that really works without reinfestation. It is extremely important to kill them off completely and not start breeding resistant populations.

Organic
The most popular of the organic pesticides in recent times is neem oil or neem based products. These do work well in most cases. The treatment regime for these is no more than every three days and should be avoided in the last couple of weeks due to the fact that it can give the flowers a dirty flavour when consumed.

One completely chemical free way to eliminate mites is by manipulating the humidity in your grow room to above 80-90% for no more than three days. Any longer than this and you're asking for mold. This works because the mites absorb the extra moisture in the air and literally explode due to absorbtion of too much water.

Another manual way to go about things is to go in every day and give the plants a liberal spraying with plain water on both tops and bottoms of leaf sufaces. This physically knocks them of and disturbs there patterns as mites may not move for three days at a time. With this, as with the previous method, beware of mold.

With any treatment using chemicals be carefull to follow instructions and follow good safety procedure. It's not the best feeling to be stuck in bed for a day due to inhalation of chemical vapours.
 

Weed420

New Member
I've had good effects with the HotShot bug strip. Hang for 10 days and then there all gone. Spider mites can be a pain because there growth literally explodes after a couple days and can devour plants. And straight water does work quite well too.
 

Weed420

New Member
Both neem and dish soap work well but be careful. No more than a tbls per gallon every 3 days. It doesn't take much to give them the raging shits and they die from dehydration.
 

Hogdady

Plant of the Month: June 2010 - Nug of the Month: July 2010
I had a terminal infestation and of all the products I tried (all mentioned here), the only success I had was with avid. If I completely submerge my clones when they go from 4x4's to soil, the little bastards are gone for the entire grow. Avid is very nasty shit and I hate having to use it, but it worked......good luck :peace:
 

Weed420

New Member
For the organic growers, straight water is still a good way to go. Spider mires hate water and drown easily. Just spray every part of the plant with a mist every couple of days and they'll die off. When the grow is done wash the room down with a lite bleach and water solution and let air out good.
 

Parallax view

New Member
I use a mild detergent such as palmolive dish soap in a 20 %soap / 80% water mix, sprayed on the underside of leaves and the stem and soil. Living in Hawaii offers optimal growing conditions outdoors, but also there are a myriad of pests, mites being the biggest offenders.

If I find my lower leaves rusty or turning a mottled yellow, out comes the jewelers loupe and nine times out of ten, I find a mite or two and eggs. The since they breathe throught their epidermis, the soap strangles them, the clear water spray will work to remove the present pests, but will do nothing about the small little black or brown eggs on the lower leaf surfaces.
 

BWC BayArea

Member of the Month: 3rd Place Winner
My question to u Parallax View

If neem and pyrithium can't kill eggs and need to be reapplied, how can simple soap accomplish this? Just curious especially when plenty of growers use dish soap as an emulsifier and spreader/sticker in conjunction with neem oil. I am anxiously awaiting a response. Keep in mind also that outdoors u have the advantage of pests' natural enemies helping keep the population(s) in check.
 

Parallax view

New Member
I really can't answer as I don't have experience with those products, only experience with landscape plants in which the system works. In Hawaii, we have a specie of black lady bug that is most welcome as they eat the mites and aphids, however you can't wait for them to do their work as the pests suck faster than they can kill.

Understand that this is my first plant in over 10 yrs, and all of that untrained, I have learned quite a bit here recently, but it was my first attempt at control. If they do get worse, I guess I will attempt a light spray with actual chemical, but that will spoil the experience for me.
 

Racefan

Well-Known Member
Best product out there to kill mites is still mite-rid. I've used it for years. Never needed more than one treatment. It's sold on ebay now too. A little bit goes such a long way. I was sent 3 bottles a year ago. gave one away and still have just under 2 bottles left.
 

Weed420

New Member
Re: My question to u Parallax View

If neem and pyrithium can't kill eggs and need to be reapplied, how can simple soap accomplish this? Just curious especially when plenty of growers use dish soap as an emulsifier and spreader/sticker in conjunction with neem oil. I am anxiously awaiting a response. Keep in mind also that outdoors u have the advantage of pests' natural enemies helping keep the population(s) in check.

Soap works on bugs just like it would with humans. It gives you the raging shits and you die from dehydration. Spider mites have a 3 to 5 day egg cycle so hit them every 3 or 4 days as the eggs hatch and you kill all the babies. There is no way to get rid of them completely because they hibernate in soil, so you have to be vigilant and keep an eye out for outbreaks.
 

BWC BayArea

Member of the Month: 3rd Place Winner
Re: My question to u Weed420

There is no way to get rid of them completely because they hibernate in soil, so you have to be vigilant and keep an eye out for outbreaks.
Not sure I agree. People grow in soiless and hydro to, they still have similar problems. U can get rid of them completely. Look at my journal. I did it. Also, can I have ur source of info? I'd like to read up on mites hibernating as well as inhabiting soil. Even if they did, that's what a soil drench and bombs are for. Never heard anything remotely similar. Anxiously awaiting ur response. :peace:
 
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