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Thread: Cephalotus covered in little red dots

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    Talking

    I have a Cephalotus 'Hummer's Giant' that I recently moved to lower-light conditions, and as a result I've lost quite a few pitchers, which I'm not at all suprised at.

    I am suprised, however, at these little moving red dots I now see on my plant's newly forming pitchers. My first thought was that they must be spider mites, but I've yet to see any kind of webbing. I sprayed my plant with Seven just in case, but the little red guys didn't go away.

    It's honestly hard to tell if they're hurting my plant because like I said before, I just changed my Ceph's conditions and as a result I'm getting some dying pitchers and leaves.

    Do any of you have any thoughts on this issue? Let's just say I'd rather not lose my 'Hummer's Giant', so any help would be greatly appreciated.

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    Illinois droseraguy's Avatar
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    Sounds like spider mites to me. If you see webbing there's a bajillion mites so you may have caught it in time. The spotting sounds like a fungal infection of sorts. How's the air movement and humidity ? Mites tend to like dry, hot conditions, quite the opposite of a fungus infection.

    Either way keep us posted on the crawly critters and how your sevin works. I've got several vft's and a couple cephs. outside and need to treat them before putting them back in the basement for the winter. I was going to use the systemic Bayer product but if sevin works I might try that instead.
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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    I've got harmless little red arachnids(I guess they are mites, they look like mites) in the soil. I've never seen them on a plant before. If they are congregating on the pitchers, esp. the new ones, that's suspicious.

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    Cardiac Nurse JB_OrchidGuy's Avatar
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    It does sound like spider mites, but without a picture its hard to say. But if they are mites you need to make sure your using a mitacide to kill them. Does seven say it kills mites on the package? I know Merit DOES NOT kill mites and if you have a mite infestation it gets worse after an aplication of merit. What happens is the merit kills all the other bugs that keep the mites under control and so the mites explode in population. Mites do like new growth over older growth. IIRC. There are some mitecides you can use and there are also natural preditors if your willing to release them into your grow area. Your going to need to google them though. Good luck. Just make sure what you end up using includes spider mites. Oh one more things. ITs best to use 3 different things for the mites from what I am told. Mites build a reistance rather quickly and can be hard to get rid of. Do a search here I posted what someone elses on an orchid board told me about her regiment to get rid of mites.
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    Does anyone know the best, easiest to find spray that would kill mites? I plan on heading to Home Depot first thing tomorrow morning, since I have several new Neps arriving tomorrow and I would rather my tank be mite-free.

    If I don't get a response by the time I leave tomorrow I may just look for a spray that kills mites, regardless of how it works on CPs.

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    I've been reading around a little bit and I may just try submerging my Ceph in distilled water for the next day or so. This supposedly drowns the pests. I've tried it with a D. adelae before and it worked wonders on aphids.

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    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Careful with drowning them - it's an effective technique for many pests, but you have to be sure that the plant can survive a period of time underwater. Also, mites are incredibly hardy super-bugs and drowning them may not work - I wouldn't be surprised if mites took over the planet in a few million years. I know Cephs are prone to rot and thusly sensitive to water, so you should poke around and look for other people's experiences. Honestly, from my experiences with spider mites, you need to try a miticide, or maybe even throw the plant away before others get infested. Normally, I'm the last one to advocate giving up on a plant, but spider mites are serious business; they can decimate an entire collection easily, and they tend to come back again and again. I have one cactus that I've treated four or five times, and I'm pretty sure there are mites still living inside the various cavities that they've chewed out inside it. At the very least, quarantine your Ceph to keep the infestation from spreading. If you can move it outside, where it will be exposed to natural mite predators, that would be even better. (Of course, make sure it will have proper temperature and humidity before moving it.)
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    Thanks for the advice Seedjar. I have my Ceph submerged right now, but I won't keep it under for more than another hour or so. Tomorrow I'll see if the mites are back or not, or even if they are mites.

    What's so odd is that I see them on my Ceph and it doesn't seem like they're hurting the plant. They're just...hanging out there or something! Haha! I came across some info saying that sometimes CPs can get "infested" with harmless mites that just like to crawl over foliage and pitchers for no real reason. I'm going to hope that's the case.

    By the way, how are the plants doing?

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