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Thread: Urgent--Need Safe Spider Mite Control Recommendations

  1. #9
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Get some dry ice and put 'em in a RubberMaid storage container with lid. Put a chunk of dry ice in there and close the lid. Leave it for a couple of hours and the fumigate the suckers with CO2. You might be able to baking soda and vinegar as a source of CO2 if you're careful about splatter and overflow.

    The CO2 won't hurt the plants and will kill the eggs too.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

  2. #10
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Oooh, that's a good one, NaN. I'll have to try that next time I get an isolated infestation.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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    Quote Originally Posted by Not a Number View Post
    Get some dry ice and put 'em in a RubberMaid storage container with lid. Put a chunk of dry ice in there and close the lid. Leave it for a couple of hours and the fumigate the suckers with CO2. You might be able to baking soda and vinegar as a source of CO2 if you're careful about splatter and overflow.

    The CO2 won't hurt the plants and will kill the eggs too.
    Wow NaN!

    That's so brilliant you should patent it! I trust you've tried this method with success?
    That's just so awesome for terrarium plants I have to wonder why someone didn't suggest it earlier! Thanks for a fantastic idea!
    "There is no pain as great as being alive,
    no burden heavier than that of conscious life. "
    -Rubén Darío-

  4. #12
    agentrdy's Avatar
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    Well, taking all of the comments into account as well as some more research I did, I will post my course of action and also make some more notes so that this post can be searched and solutions found in the future.

    -Generally, plants are at risk only from severe infestation (i.e. leaves turning yellow and falling off). Spider mites favor water-stressed plants in low humidity circumstances (i.e. the average sunny windowsill's humidity), so keeping your plants healthy is the first step to limit predation (they favor my lithops and myrmecodia over the water-laden CPs... I've also kept a "moat" in my CP container by filling them constantly to the soil surface and drowning anything I can't already kill above ground). Also, older plants fare better than younger plants. Mites can kill seedlings very fast however, which is why I worried.
    -Rubbing alcohol on a Q-tip works very well to kill quickly.
    -Press your fingers on the over- and undersides of the plant leaves, squish all bugs, and slide your fingers out to the leaf tips to smash anything on the plant. They nest under the leaves, so anything seeming like it has eggs should be clipped off and thrown outside.
    -I used a combination of the above two techniques about 3-5x daily and the problem has been drastically reduced.
    -Mite predators live outside. Putting plants outside should, at the very least, enable you to take some predatory mites back inside with you.
    -Quarantine infected plants. I grow in empty grocery store yogurt/sour cream/ice cream containers with lids on them. The benefit works two ways: I can clamp the lids on infected plants to keep mites from spreading, and I can also lid the uninfected plants.

    The process was labor-intensive, but it has seemed to work for the time being and in about a month or so the plants will be moved outside to enjoy the warm temperatures and the mites will no longer be a problem because their predators will keep them in check.

    Hope nobody else gets these nasty buggers.

    NaN--The CO2 trick seems great, fast, and cheap. More CO2 in the air even makes your plants grow faster (commerical GH owners use that trick on a larger scale). However, for tropical plants (when I get the time and spare plants I will experiment with it someday) wouldn't the dry ice lower the temps in the container beyond what they can stand? Also, you might just be building a big plastic bomb (I used to put dry ice in 2 liter coke bottles as a kid and they can be pretty potent). Like I said though, it's too intriguing an idea for me not to try it out later and I'd also like to know what your experience with using it is.

  5. #13
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Re: CO2

    Leave the lid off for a time. CO2 is heavier than air and will displace the the oxygen. The lid and container should have plenty of flexibility to handle any expansion. If not, most likely the lid will just pop open. If there are no air currents around you may not need a lid at all.

    Plants will not photosynthesize CO2 in the absence of light. Either get a dark colored container (such as a trash can) or do it in a dark room.

    Temperature drops depends on the size of the chunk of dry ice and how well the container insulates (not very well if polypropylene or other commonly used resins).
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    The ingenuity of growers always amazes me. DRY ICE! I love it! Where can one obtain the stuff?

    For my part, I always relied on Orthene. I was very nervous about using it initially, but following the dilution instructions found zero impact to any of my cultivated Drosera species or seedlings. Not as cool as dry ice though.
    "Grow More, Share More"

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  8. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamlin Dawnstar View Post
    The ingenuity of growers always amazes me. DRY ICE! I love it! Where can one obtain the stuff?
    Ice houses, meat packers, beverage/party supply stores. Markets and big liquor stores might carry it. You gotta ask for it because it is cold enough to "burn" if not handled carefully. If not they can tell you where to go
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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