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Spider Mites?


Well-Known Member
I reside in the southeastern US and had a problem last year with what appeared to be spider mites. I tried some tobacco tea first but did not like the smell or the thought of tobacco anywhere in my plants and to be honest I did not notice any reduction in these little pests. I then set loose about 300 lady bugs into the grow room and while I did notice a reduction in the number of mites, the lady bugs seemed more interested in anything else in the room to eat. For example, I examined a bud that was heavily laden with spiders and placed several of the lady bugs right there. Two of them flew off immediately and the 3rd one at least went into the bud but I didn't see it start ravenously eating anything like the spiders or their eggs. In the end when I harvested there were still some spider mites and their webs left on the buds.

I used a 30X mag lens to see and there were definitely these infinitesimally small creatures crawling around in the buds and I could see webs, strands of white threads too. As I look at other pics posted on spider mites I cannot say that these creatures were what the other posters were fighting. But I think that since I saw webs, it's safe to assume they were spider mites. But again, my tired old eyes and even with a 30X lens I could only see the tiny little dark spots that were definitely moving and the webs.

I have another, much smaller grow going on now and darn it, I'm seeing these little creatures on the buds again. This time I'm using a product recommended by another poster on this forum called "All Natural 3 in 1 Garden Insect Spray". It claims to be all 100% organic and can be applied up until the day before harvest. It's main active ingredient is Rosemary Oil. So I mixed and applied it as directed. One week later I still saw mites, but there seemed to be fewer of them. I applied again as directed, 7 days between applications, and the next time there were fewer mites noticed. I'm now one week after that 2nd application and wanting to be sparing with this stuff on my buds I'm examining them again very closely. This 30X lens lets me see the pistils in great detail but these creatures are so small it's hard to see them in focus. And just about the time I get one in focus the slightest head movement on my part can make them go out of focus which makes me think they're in there and still moving around. I will make another application tomorrow, the 7th day since the last application, and then examine the buds again closely all next week.

My point is, that in this area of the country, is what I'm seeing actually the creature known as Spider Mite? Are there many variations of this species, or could it be that I'm faced with something entirely different, even though it's obviously some kind of very tiny spider. I really hate spraying anything except fresh water on the plants. And I will be careful not to apply this anymore than I think it's needed.

Also, I just visited a local hydro supply shop and they had a 60X lens. The clerk and I tried to see through it but it was just impossible to get anything into focus. I even went back to their grow tent display which had some large cabbages growing in them and I just couldn't get anything into focus with this thing. Plus, they wanted around $50 for it. I also asked them about a 600w HPS bulb and they wanted $50 for it as well. I am afraid that these mom and pop shops are going to be put out of business because you can buy things so much cheaper on-line. They sell a 60" x 60" x 78" tent for almost $500. I just bought one last week for only $179, same size, same quality. And it arrived with free shipping in less than 7 days. I'd like to do business with the local economy but the savings available on-line are making that very hard to do.
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