I found out yesterday morning I had a red spider mites problem... on the GCS forum, it is also called RSM.
Now, I hate pests.. no, actually, I'm intolerant of any pests - ants, spiders, lizards (Argh!).. When I started gardening, I found out that some plants are a magnet for pests - like my lovely yellow hibiscus, she is a magnet for white flies.
And so I dutifully spray all my herbs with an organic insecticide, actually a bacterial insecticide to be precise.. and I spray all my other plants regularly with insecticide and pesticide. So, whilst my yellow hibicus still gets lots of white flies attracted to her, the problem is under control.
But since I came back from my trip, I noticed my plants were looking a little forlorn. My special mints (orange mint, chocolate mint and EDT mint) looked... erm... dusty. I thought it was because of lack of water. But then, as I casually flipped the mint leaves, I noticed some faint webs..
"Oh no!" I thought. "Bad sign!"
And I was right. It was a bad sign. Under many leaves were small dark red specks. So tiny I didn't can't tell if they are specks of soil or insects. But I blew on them and they moved. Oh dear....
I've heard that red spider mites are one of the most feared pests of a gardener. Some species are incredibly resistant to insecticide. But they hate humidity and cold water.
So, I've tried to kill those I can see with my hands (and a tissue) and have sprayed 2 rounds of insecticide. I'm also trying to spray on my plants more regularly to increase the humidity.
Hopefully, that will keep the problem under control.
Sigh.. I hate pests.