Saturday, April 18, 2009

Red Spider Mites

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.


Rummi said...

Hi newtogardening,
found ur blogthru your signature on gcs.

i had spidermites problem recently cos of my mint collection (sm luv mints)...

the problem was fixed by an organic spray - 3-4drops of teatree essential oil to roughly one litres of water.

need to watch out for oilburnt. so do NOT spray at the 'peak of sun'

good luck ;)

Open Kitchen Concept said...

Hi Rummi, Thanks! I'm going to give this a try! Love your blog. BTW, how do u keep your place "clean" from "soil leaks" from the pots? I do my gardening in a balcony too and I have problems with the soil "leaking" out from my pots even though I've put in those black "filters" and cloth at the bottom of the pots.. Your balcony looks so neat! :)

Rummi said...

hihi, i hv 'soil marks' too on the balcony tiles. inevitable i guess as long as we allow the pots to flow out of pot freely. these r not very hard to handle in fact, just splash some water or sweep away when dry.

the worst are those tat come from burnt soil- yellow n staining! so i dun use burnt soil at all, n do not find it a 'compulsory' media.

hope tat gives a clue ;)

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