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Spider Mites?????

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DillaWilla

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What exactly are they? (Ok, I know they are bugs) Elaborate...How do you get them? How can you protect from gettin them? How do you kill them?:mad:
 

GanjaGuru

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Spider mites are closely related to garden spiders (they are arachnids, not insects) except that they feed off of a plants juices.
They are tiny, about the size of a period.
One pregnant female can equal countless thousands in the matter of a few weeks under optimum conditions.
They spin webs not to ensnare prey but to facilitate travel (moving from leaf to leaf, plant to plant).
They can't travel very far on their own. The main way they get into your growspace is because YOU bring them in, either from bringing in an infeasted plant or on your clothes if you've handled other infested plants.
The way they ruin a crop:
Populations skyrocket during flowering. A lot of growers don't notice them until they start seeing the weds.
Unchecked they will leave thick mats of webs (like cobwebs). And when the buds are harvested they will be full of dead mites and their eggs and there is no way to get rid of them. If you smoke these they will taste TERRIBLE because you're smoking insects eeewww. And if you use insecticide you'll be smoking insects AND insecticide. Double eeewww.
But sometimes there will be soo many mites that they'll kill the plants long before any imagined harvest.

How To Prevent Them
Never bring a plant into your growroom without first quarenteening it fot at least 2 weeks, spraying it with insecticide every other day and inspecting it daily.
Change your clothes, comb your hair and wash your hands before going into your growspace.
As a preventitive, spray lightly with insecticide during veg every 2 weeks
Closely inspect your plants at least 2 x/week. Use a magnifying glass.

How To Get Rid Of Them
Sometimes you simply can't--there's too many of them. All you can do is throw the plants away.
And if you ever do get them, you have to clean everything that any speck of dust could hide. That's one reason why people should tarp the floor of their growspace.
If you can discover them during veg, you can spray with insecticide every other day to 2 weeks, alternating with sprays of plain water. You MAY be able to get rid of them.
If they go into flowering with mites you're lost.

ADD:
While spider mites can exist fine outdoors, I've never had nearly as bad an infestation as I have inside. Compared to indoors, mites on outside plants have a much tougher life. Rain, wind, temp. fluctuations keep their numbers down, plus plants outside aren't packed in as tight as they are inside, and so have a tougher time spreading from plant to plant.
Inside you're providing ideal conditions for plants--and spider mites.

P.S. another way to combat mites is lower the temp. Reproduction is WAY slower if the tempsd avg 60 instead of 70. The last infestation I had I lowered the temps to 60 for the 2 weeks I was spraying.
 

Hick

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A female lays about 100 eggs during her lifetime. Depending upon climate conditions, the eggs hatch in as little as 2-3 days, and the adult stage is reached in 7-10 days. The females reproduction is greatly affected by climate and humidity with a significant difference in the days till their maturity dependant upon the temperature i.e.) egg to adult. For instance at 60 degrees Fahrenheit, it takes 30 days for the egg to become an adult, at 70 degrees 14.5 days and here is the astounding number - 90 degrees Fahrenheit they reach adulthood in just 3.5 days! So now imagine those populations increases over a month when the offspring start to reproduce less than a week after hatching - at 70 degrees she and her offspring number 13,000; at 80 degrees she and her offspring represent a staggering potential of 13,000,000 individuals over a single month - huge population increases!

Mites evaporate large quantities of water from their bodies, so they must **** juices from the plants. This is easier for them to do in a dry environment. Humid environments (above 60% RH) slow down their metabolism, life span and reproductive rate. Mites may be controlled somewhat by lowering the temperatures (at about 50 degrees Fahrenheit they start to hibernate), thus slowing down their life process considerable. Even if you only decrease the temperature during the indoor dark cycle (when it is easier to lower temperatures), the progression rate of the infestation is slowed considerable

and from PKJ...(thanks joe)
Solution: Phytoseiulus, biological red spider mite control.
Harmless to children, pets and wildlife!

Pronounced: FY-TOE-SOO-LUS
Description:
Phytoseiulus persimilis is a predatory mite capable of eating large numbers of red spider mites, it moves amongst the plants to find its prey.

It is slightly larger than the red spider mite. With a pear shaped shiny red body, it has long legs and is a quick mover. Young stages are oval and very pale pink.

Life Cycle:
Each Phytoseiulus can produce 50-60 eggs in 3 weeks. Egg to adult takes about 12 days at 20ºC (68ºF), and half that at 30ºC.

Many hundreds of spider mites will be eaten by a single Phytoseiulus during its life cycle, and it will eat all stages of red spider mite.

Phytoseiulus reproduces at twice the rate of red spider mite at 18ºC (64ºF) and above.
If all the red spider mites are eaten, Phytoseiulus will disperse and die.
 

GanjaGuru

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The problem with predator bugs is that they can keep a small amt. of mites for instance from becoming an infestation, but is there already is an infestation predators aren't much help. Predator bugs usually come in packets of 15--30 bugs. If put into a growroom with thousands of mites, they'll never make a dent before the mites have ruined the plants, even though they reproduce twice as fast.
I've used beneficial predators before. The instructions say "knock down any infestation BEFORE introducing beneficials".
 

Biffdoggie

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I put 3000 ladies in my space when I had them pretty bad and they kept them down long enough to finish flower just barely, and the end result was surely less weight due to them.
 

Hick

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Predator bugs usually come in packets of 15--30 bugs. If put into a growroom with thousands of mites, they'll never make a dent before the mites have ruined the plants, even though they reproduce twice as fast.
I've used beneficial predators before. The instructions say "knock down any infestation BEFORE introducing beneficials".
You're right, Predators usually won't erradicate an "infestation". They are most effective as a control measure when insecticides treatments aren't a reasonable option.(such as in flower) But via online search, I was unable to find a single retail outlet offering these beneficials in packets of "15-30". In fact, found none offering less than 100 and most were in the 1000-2500 range.
Benficials also require favorable conditions iin order to survive. Where spider mites might thrive in higher heat and lower RH, the pred's prefer a higher RH(60-90%) and temps in the 70 degree range.
Adult females have the ability to go dormant for a time after the photoperiod (daily hours of light) shortens, then re-emerge to lay more eggs a few weeks after the photoperiod lengthens again. That's one reason Spider Mites may keep reappearing, crop after crop on indoor plants.
At first oppurtunity, I suggest destroying any "possibly" infected plants, empty the room/growspace, and washing/painting, or at minimum, spraying it with a bleach solution.
 

MissMolly

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a good fan keep them away once youve done all the spraying
 

Hick

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I was recently doing a bit of online research on mites and came to a site at the university of indiana or something.
These folks said that mites need to transpire almost continually. They suggested using a bit of "wilt proof" on them as it slows the transpiration process down.
They also said that they have been successful using a mixture of 1/2 isopropyl alcohol to 1/2 water and spraying it directly on the plants making sure to cover entire surface top and bottom of leaves. let dry and then 15 minutes later hit them again with the same solution.

The site went on to say that they have seen very little harm to the plants treated and have had 100% success in killing the mites on the plants treated with this method.
 
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