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  #11  
Old 08-10-2022, 09:44 PM
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Nuke the fu&*ers. If the infestation is bad, hitting with water, alcohol, or soapy water won't do a thing. Those remedies are good for minor infestations or for an uptick in spider mites.

Ironically, this weekend's video is about how spider mites are ravaging my Catasetums. I've never had spider mites in my collection during summer, though they can make an appearance during the dry winters. I wasn't really paying attention to spider mite damage and now I'm on the verge of losing plants because they got hit so hard. Seriously. Don't mess around with half measures if the infestation is bad.

There are many non-chemical and chemical treatments that do work, depending on the severity. I'm using Bonide right now, but you can find a ton of products on your local hardware store aisles.
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  #12  
Old 08-11-2022, 12:59 AM
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hey there! sorry, didn't notice this thread till now.... i HATE those things! for us, they are mostly a low level annoyance, to be honest. we had one outbreak last winter/spring, i think i made a post about it, that one phal was next to a parlour palm we had. and one day i just looked at the orchid and the entire crown/stem/base of all leaves was covered in webbing and bugs moving all over the thing...like overnight. that plant went into quarantine, but not until i used the trusty soap pray , i mean, soap Spray method (pretty much how we treat all infestations now). threee weeks of spraying about every other day. really strong soap for that one. looking closer to find a cause, the palm was so infested the undersides of the leaves were red, no lie! you cant imagine how quickly but gingerly that plant was thrown in the rubbish.

for the cats we have, honestly, i was spraying them but it was to the point that i just gave up. we have a space for those plants, handle them carefully, and if it seems like a lot all of a sudden i will soap them. but since they lose their leaves, meh, who cares!! perhaps they will never bloom for us because of this...

soap spray, and diligence, and hope...thats our mite method!! we have eradicated them from our main collection thanfully (or so it seems....its been about 4 months or more with no mites, thank dog!) take aways for me were that constant observation is needed, along with immediate action if even one mite is seen. along with finding the source. the parlour palm incident was an eye opener for us in that there can be a plant absolutely overrun with them before they start to spread out. it was wierd too that some plants directly next to the palm were totally bug free, but they just found a phal and took hold. thankfully we were able to catch it before it spread to others and the problem got bigger.

---------- Post added at 11:59 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:58 PM ----------

ack, sorry ob, a double reply, but i had a few follow up thoughts. first, false spider mites have proven harder to eradicate than the red ones. they appear to be gone now as well, thankfully, but that is the one we are really on the lookout for. the soap spray method takes longer and does not seem as effective for them. the three week or so mentioned above is for red mites, and that is extra time to make sure the eggs are dead, as most of the visible critters were gone after a week or so. and i will freely admit this method would not be suitable for a large scale outbreak or greenhouse situation. but for only treating a couple plants, it works great.

also what has really seemed to help us is the resident ACTUAL spiders that have taken up homes in our phals. since they showed up, our fungus gnat numbers have dropped considerably and also we haven't seen any real bugs (besides the glaring exception of the apparent cockroach! found on a flower last week). so...i am a huge fan of these little brownish spiders. i will try and find one and get a picture. but i strongly encourage natural pest control measures like actual natural predators! leave the spiders alone, hahahaha
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  #13  
Old 08-11-2022, 05:21 AM
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I've eliminated severe infestations with soap on the worst plants and plain water on everything else.
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  #14  
Old 08-25-2022, 10:12 AM
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Finally got around to a couple of pictures. In my second year of growing these Ctsm, I'm doing a woeful job. These are the two better looking ones after the spider mite invasion:



And the three scorched earth ones:



They're now outside. I've been spraying around three times a week with a Neem oil spray and a couple drops of Dawn dish soap. Have a rain barrel nearby, and I'm submerging them every couple of days. I'm at least a month along with this issue now.

Also, I'd noticed this spring a VERY sloooow start of new growth. All of them are less than half the size of last year's growth. I haven't a clue why. Makes me wonder if I'm going to lose the three in worst shape at this point. Any ideas? Growing same way I did last year with a larger pronounced growth on each one last year.

And a different question... would it be okay to go ahead and cut off the crispy leaves and hope it continues growing more bulk, with some new leaves forming? The crispy leaves are obviously not providing anything to the plant at this point.
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  #15  
Old 08-25-2022, 10:58 AM
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This year we had a drought all summer and RH was much lower than usual. I got my first spider mites on catasetums this year as well. I physically removed them for a few days and used Neem oil.

This was right before I was leaving on vacation, so I made a gamble and brought them indoors in my tent (with other orchids!). My indoor tent stays around 60-80% RH. I also bought live predator mites and released them in the tent. I hoped for the best and left on vacation.

Came back to no spider mites 13 days later. I used Nature’s Good Guys, but Arbico is also an option for live predator bugs. I’ve used live predator bugs twice with great success. It is a little pricey, because you have to pay for overnight shipping to ensure they are alive, but losing a large collection of orchids is also pricey.
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  #16  
Old 08-25-2022, 11:29 AM
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I use Arbico for stuff all the time, outside. Have been thinking about getting some predators for my orchid space, but haven't had time to research yet. My main concern is area is open to the rest of my house via a door I have to leave open for heat/AC, so research would be into not having the little predators come snuggle with me in the bedroom, laundry room, etc.
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  #17  
Old 08-25-2022, 11:46 AM
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That was a thought I also had, since my tent is indoors. But once they take care of the spider mites, they no longer have a food source and will sadly perish. At least that’s what I tell myself 😂😳. Honestly though, haven’t seen any indication they survived.
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  #18  
Old 08-25-2022, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterWitchin View Post
And a different question... would it be okay to go ahead and cut off the crispy leaves and hope it continues growing more bulk, with some new leaves forming? The crispy leaves are obviously not providing anything to the plant at this point.
I'll let the better Catasetinae growers jump in with advice... For for the ugly toasted leaves, I see no reason to not clean them up, they aren't doing anything. I'd be inclined to continue watering, but maybe start tapering those off a little...(I leave to others what timing might be best) As long as the p-bulbs stay reasonably plump, they'll be fine... the nice thing about this group is their habit of reinventing themselves every year.
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  #19  
Old 08-25-2022, 01:22 PM
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Well, Roberta, I'd rather they reinvented next year into big and better, rather than this year's reinventing season!
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Old 08-25-2022, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
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Well, Roberta, I'd rather they reinvented next year into big and better, rather than this year's reinventing season!
Odds are good... A new year, a new chance. Patience!
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