A variety of diseases and pests attacks plants and crops. Cultivators and growers always strive to protect them from such things. In case of an infestation, these pests are difficult to control.
Most of them can attack and damage plants. One of these pests is spider mites. Before flowering, you will easily control them, for instance, by using sprays and chemical pesticides.
However, nobody wants the flowers and buds of the plants to be attacked by spider mites during this period. This is because it can be a little difficult to get rid of them during the flowering period.
Spider mites are annoying pests, which appear in their most significant number during the flowering period. You need to know that the buds form during flowering, which means a bountiful and good harvest.
When mites attack your plants while flowering, you need a unique method to deal with them. If you want to know how to get rid of spider mites during flowering, continue reading this article.
How to Get Rid of Spider Mites During Flowering
Pruning is the process of physically picking the spider mites and removing leaves from an infected plant. Pay special attention to such plants and then deal with pests if the infestation is even less using this method.
Cut off the leaves, which their surfaces are severely significantly affected. Leaves affected by the patchy attack and has webs must be cut. The plants conserve their natural resources through pruning.
Therefore, remove spider mites by picking them with the hands, but follow safety precautions. You can also use the vacuum tube.
Repeat this process several times until no more leaves are left affected by spider mites. If the mites are not removed, they can infest and attack the plants again. Crush the mites in case your conduct uses a manual picking process.
Again, these pests are microscopic, making them difficult to see with naked eyes. Therefore, it is better to use the pruning method in the early stages of infection.
If possible, increase airflow and reduce temperature to slow the reproduction rate, as mites thrive well in warm climates. If you’re using a vacuum cleaner tube, empty it into the sealed bag and throw it out in the garden. Another great option is to burn a bag to protect these plants.
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2. Alcohol solution wash
Another way to get rid of ticks during flowering is the use of alcohol solution wash. With this method, you can need to wash the plant with a hose.
A 9:1 mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol is used to eradicate the eggs and spider mites. Use a soft showerhead, as you do not want to damage the flowers and leaves of the plants.
Pay attention to the leaves’ underside because this is where the spider mites and eggs live. Alcohol in water kills most of them and their eggs. Webs are also washed away. For one plant, you can clean the leaves with a mixture without spraying.
Some people use water to kill mites and their nets. Water is not enough to stop an attack. The reason is that this makes the mites be exploded rather than killing them. Therefore, these pests go back to the leaves and re-infest.
3. High-pressure water
The most natural way to get rid of spider mites is by spraying high-pressure water on the plants. This does not entirely solve the problem of the mites, but it can help remove the protective web and control more than one from the plant.
Try the garden hose or direct stream from the spray bottle to get rid of bugs and their webs. Remember lifting the leaves to spray the leaves’ underside.
Please make sure you use adequate water pressure to control the mites, but don’t apply much pressure because it can damage the succulents during the process. You do not need to damage the plants when trying to protect them from other pests’ damage.
4. Neem oil
Neem oil is the most natural and popular pest control solution for succulent gardeners. Although neem oil is natural, it can irritate the eyes and skin. Therefore, avoid direct contact.
Always wear gloves when applying to the plants to reduce the risk of irritation. Also, this oil can be toxic to the cats if ingested, so put it away from the furry friends.
Because neem oil is a natural compound, it is not toxic to the plants or friendly insects like bees and other pollinators. Typically, this is because the insects need to consume neem oil to act as pollinators, and pesticides do not feed on the succulents. While neem oil fights parasites, it also disrupts the hormonal system of the insect when consumed. This makes it hard for parasites like mites to reproduce, lay eggs, and grow. This property of neem oil is most helpful in slowing down the spider mites’ reproduction rate.
When you use neem oil on the plants, it may be hard to apply it to the areas affected directly, mainly if you use it as a spray. To reach the spider mites, you need to lift the leaves or turn the plant over.
Unluckily, neem oil is not a one-time treatment. You will need to apply it every two to three days until the mites’ infestation is done. Typically, this can take a while because your plant is likely to have multiple generations of spider mites simultaneously.
5. Use insecticidal soap
The insecticidal soap is the correct method to get rid of spider mites because it penetrates the insects’ cuticles. This causes the cell to lose moisture and collapse.
Typically, the soap work by drying them out. Also, you can make homemade insecticidal soap if you are the DIY type. If you want to prepare it, dilute the soap with water. Just some drops in the spray bottle can be enough. Make sure you are using the proper soap and not the detergent.
Usually, most of the hand soaps and dish soaps offered in the shops are detergents and not soaps. Detergents are unsafe to plants, so be sure to use suitable soap in the insecticidal soap mixture.
Some brands like Dr. Bronner’s, Ivory Snow, Shaklee’s Basic H, and Ivory Liquid are true soaps. Try to avoid soaps that have chemicals like fragrant.
Use insecticidal soap by applying a spray under the leaves. The plant may need to be tilted or turned to ensure uniform coverage. Remember that the spray must be in direct contact with spider mites to be effective.
6. Predatory mites
Predatory mites are another way to fight spider mites. This is a suitable method because these predatory mites eat mites that do not plant.
Keeping them in the garden is a great way to control the red mite population. Good predatory mites can eat most of the spider mites before they reach your plants. It is crucial to note that the predatory mites are good at preventing infestation than killing them.
Unluckily, these insects cannot eat enough to survive a large number of mites at once. If succulents suffer from the spider mites during the flowering period, try other methods to control the infestation before introducing the predatory mites.
This gives them the best chance to take care of others. Also, remember not to use neem oil or insecticidal soap if you are using predatory mites. Typically, these pesticides work best on every mite.
7. Diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous earth is another way to get rid of spider mites during flowering. It is a brittle substance made up of fossils of small aquatic organisms. It acts against pests similar to insecticidal soap.
The sharp edges lead to the insects’ exoskeleton abrasions, which allows diatomaceous earth to enter and dry out the spider mites.
Again, if you are using predatory mites, you should avoid using the diatomaceous earth. Nevertheless, it can be a great way to add the protective barrier to succulents as it works on different insects, not only spider mites.
8. Chemical pesticides
Even though spider mites are stubborn pests, it is not recommended to use chemical pesticides whenever possible. Many natural solutions can help to solve this problem without going to these harsh chemicals. Chemical pesticides not only put the plants at risk but also damage them.
Pesticides inhaled or absorbed through the skin can cause many health problems for gardeners of all ages. Also, spider mites tend to be resistant to chemicals with regular use for an extended period.
This means although they can work initially, they no longer respond to pesticides together with their population as the mites continue to grow.
Spider mites are small pests, which destroy and infest plants within a few days. It’s better to get rid of the spider mites because they can cause a big messy, making you not harvest.
Using chemical pesticides is not a suitable method because if the chemicals can be absorbed in the plants, they can be harmful to people and other valuable animals. When you use the above methods to get rid of spider mites, you will not regret the outcomes.