The Spider Mite life cycle starts on the leaf and ends on the leaf however some may use the soil to access the plant stem. When temperatures exceed 75°F, Spider mites can go from hatch to adult in 3-4 days. It is extremely important to get control of the crop as soon as possible. Eggs can be seen with a microscope but often are misidentified as trichomes. Generally speaking, the Spider Mite egg is slightly larger than the trichome with a more rounded appearance with some species showing a black dot or dots. Eggs will turn from clear to opaque to orange after treatment signifying their transition from healthy to death.
- Before applying any pesticide, make sure the plants are fully hydrated.
- Flush the plants well with water and showing a good amount of run-off.
- Wait 1 hour before application.
Professional Pesticide Applicators Note: Many infestations come from stress caused by excess fertilizer in the growing medium. Check EC/PPM of the last few ounces of run-off from the pot. It must be the same EC/PPM as the water you used to flush with. Repeat the flush procedure until you get matching numbers, then treat for insects.
- We recommend you spray the surface of the soil to penetrate ¼ inch down to where the insects may be crawling.
- Spray the leaves and stems for crawlers, breeders, and eggs making sure that every square inch of the plant has been treated. Treat all plants in the greenhouse.
- Infestation application or to gain quick control of the crop. Spray three times on day one, wait for the spray to dry between applications. Then, spray once a day for the next three days, then spray once every three days until you observe a pest-free crop. Note: Since you chose the infestation application method to gain quick control of your crop, you now know you are prone to extreme pest attacks from incoming plants, guests, workers, or a source unknown. If you have pest issues you have plant quality and harvest quantity issues. In the end, the company that supplies the market with the most consistent produce wins. Just like buying fertilizer, weekly pest treatments are part of the cost of doing business.
- Alternate application for this pest: Apply Protection Plus once a day for three days and then go to spraying once every three days until the infestation is under control.
- Spray the plants every 7 days throughout the plant’s life as part of your IPM (Integrated Pest Management program). This will assure you that there will be little chance of pest problems.
- Dosage should stay at 4 ounces (120 ml) per gallon of water. These insects are hard to control.
- If possible, use an airless sprayer. They emit a very consistent fine spray without a lot of pressure behind it. This will allow the plant’s leaves to not move around so much that you miss hitting the pests. 100 ft super light-weight hoses and extra reach attachments are available. Use the orifice supplied for fine mist applications. Make sure the sprayer is rated for food crops.