Red spider mite damage
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Old 02-19-2021, 05:52 PM
Orchidtinkerer Orchidtinkerer is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 436
Red spider mite damage
Default Red spider mite damage

Hello people,
I just want to share my recent horror to discover I have red spider mites again!!!
I hate these things and I thought I knew what to look for but it seems they went unnoticed this winter and have spread to 3 of my phals.
I am really annoyed they broke out in my bellina corner, this plant I am going to show is a very special one, the flower is quite unique so I am really sad to see this one attacked this bad, it was also very expensive, I'm also annoyed I did not react sooner thinking it was winter stress but it has turned out to be spider mites.

The reason I never suspected spider mites is because none of the plants are new and I still have no idea where they actually came from. I am suspecting possibly from a violacea I added 9 months ago.

So they can stay dormant for a very long time before you notice you have a problem!

I want to show the sign to look out for in this post, ie a grey ring around the base of the plant - I will show a picture - all 3 infected plants have developed this grey ring where the mites have predominantly been feeding.

The thing is the spider mites are impossible to spot, ony if you wipe a wet white tissue over the leaves can you spot them (the tissue turned orange)

So here is my poor bellina which I am hoping will be able to make a recovery now that I have treated the plant

Please be aware these are disturbing pictures, nobody wants to see an orchid suffering but fingers crossed it can still recover.

The first picture shows a few dead mites on my finger, you might think they are spottable but it is really tricky on a dark leaf.

The next picture shows the effect of the damage caused

And the last picture shows the grey ring you need to be looking for - this for me was the only real sign they were being fed on, they have nibbled all around the leaf base and I am suspecting I am down to the last leaf on this phal. It will be a long recovery so don't leave it till the last minute like me, if you spot the grey ring which I had already in december then you have red mites and the plant will only go downhill from there.
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Red spider mite damage-img_0207-jpg   Red spider mite damage-img_0208-jpg   Red spider mite damage-img_0209-jpg  
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Old 02-19-2021, 07:30 PM
Nexogen Nexogen is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 673
Red spider mite damage

I have been struggling to get rid of these spider mites for a very long time. I tried with all kinds of solutions and I couldn't get rid of them (soap and alcohol, Avid, Floramite). Their attack is especially in winter. I have now ordered liquid Ivermectin. I'll tell you if it worked, in a few months.

Last edited by Nexogen; 02-19-2021 at 07:36 PM..
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Old 02-19-2021, 09:36 PM
Orchidtinkerer Orchidtinkerer is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 436
Red spider mite damage

yeah they are tricky to get rid of.
I have used bug-clear this time but I have got some stronger stuff I bought years ago that is I think banned here by now as it is so poisonous called floramite.
That certainly works but I won't be digging that out of storage unless I really need it.

I think wiping the leaves is important and repeatedly spraying as they lay eggs that can still hatch after treating plants.

edit: oh I see you've tried floramite already...

Last edited by Orchidtinkerer; 02-19-2021 at 09:41 PM..
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Old 02-19-2021, 11:23 PM
estación seca's Avatar
estación seca estación seca is offline
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Red spider mite damage

Join Date: Jun 2015
Zone: 9b
Location: Phoenix AZ - Lower Sonoran Desert
Posts: 12,444
Red spider mite damage Male

You can't get rid of them. They will return from outside your house. Relatively immune plants will host small populations. Every plant grower must always be on the watch for spider mites.
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Old 02-20-2021, 02:38 AM
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Leafmite Leafmite is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Zone: 5b
Location: Ohio
Posts: 9,850
Red spider mite damage

Years ago, I was very busy and did not really have much time with my collection. I was watering and noticed that my plants were in terrible condition. Whitefly, spidermites and something else. All I had was Malathion but I couldn't use that in the home. I grabbed a spray bottle of olive oil, doused all my plants with it and let them sit overnight. In the morning, I spent many hours cleaning off the oil with warm, soapy water. It was a pain to get the oil off of my plants but the result was better than I had hoped. The olive oil did a nice job of suffocating everything and my plants were pest free.

When treating for mites, remember that mites can quickly become resistant to chemical solutions. If you treat with a chemical, you need to treat all the plants and the growing area very thoroughly and, if the instructions say to repeat every week or three weeks for a time, that needs to be done.

You could try Neem Oil or Diatomaceous Earth if the chemicals do not work. Good luck!
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