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Old 07-31-2008, 02:25 PM   #1
ChrisS68
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Default Spider Mites

No sooner do I get the Japanese beetle scourge under control, then my plants have a bunch of spider mites move in. I had found a few on the Sterlings the other day, but it didn't look too bad so I figured I'd spray in a day or two.

Last night while looking at my plants, I noticed a number of leaves on the Saaz were looking pretty rough. Turned the leaves over and sure enough, there was the tell-tale webbing and little specs moving about. I tell you, one day you've got a few yellow spots on your leaves, next thing you know you're looking at the start of an all-out infestation. There was evidence of activity on the Hallertauers and Crystal, but not near the level of that on the Saaz.

Gave all the plants a good spray of pyrethrin-based insecticide. Hopefully it'll knock them little *&%@#s down a few notches.

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Old 07-31-2008, 02:35 PM   #2
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I have read that Spide Mites can triple their population in 8 hours on a warm day. They go from egg to mite in record time when it's warm out.

I had an infestation that nearly took out both my Hallertau Tradition and my Goldings. I was able to quickly eradicate them with a 2 stage defense.

1 Gallon tap water mixed with about 30 cigarette butts. Steeped overnite.

Dilute that at a ratio of about 2 cups per gallon of water and apply with a standard garden sprayer. Do this about once a week.

Spray the undersides of the leaves daily. Mites prefer to not be wet and will die or leave if conditions persist.

After a week and a half my mite problem was gone and my plants are still alive. I won't see a harvest from them but, they are still alive at least.

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Old 07-31-2008, 02:51 PM   #3
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I'm hoping I caught them before they did too much damage. It's just the first year, but the Saaz is really putting out a lot of burrs, and I'd hate for it to have done so well just to have it succomb to these lousy pests.

We've been having a pretty hot stretch of weather, with little-no rain, so that probably explains the rapid population increase. In hindsight, I think I recall reading somewhere that the use of sevin can be problematic; it doesn't do much for spider mites and kills their natural predators. I wonder if my use of Sevin dust to control the Japanese beetles didn't factor into it.

Anyway, the forecast says it's going to remain hot and dry for at least the next week, so I'm definitely going to have to stay on top of this for a while.
Thanks,

Chris

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Old 07-31-2008, 03:02 PM   #4
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My routine when I get home from work is to go and at least shower the plants with water. Making sure to spray the underside of the leaves.

This helps to keep pests at bay, gives the plant a drink, and is done early enough that the plant will dry off before sunset.

If the soil felt extremely dry prior to the shower I'll makes sure to give it a good soaking too.

Temps are steady in the 100's here and can quickly bake a full sun plant.

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