Organic pest control - Natural bug and insect repellents
How to Prevent Spider Mites on Tomato Plants
Spider mites are very little arachnids that are difficult to see without a magnifying glass unless they have multiplied so much as to be in colonies. When spider mites invade your tomato plants, they inflict small wounds on the plants that can eventually harm or kill them. The mites feed on the plant's sap, working from the bottom of the plant to the top, and on the underside of the plant's leaves. There is no particular season in which the mites are more prevalent; they are active all year. In addition, they change colors depending on their life stage, which makes them even more difficult to find when they are white or blend with the color of your plants. Keeping your tomato plants healthy and prevent infestation of spider mites takes regular attention and vigilant application of various control methods.
Detecting spider mites
Check your plants on a regular basis for any signs of infestation.Look for signs such as movement, or clusters of eggs. It may help to use a magnifying glass.
Ensure that any plants that you purchase are not already infected.Check them carefully before purchasing or bringing them home.
Preventing spider mites
Space your plants fairly far apart.Provide enough space so that mites cannot easily move from plant to plant. A few inches or centimeters will be far enough.
Keep plants misted (inside greenhouse and outside).Also, keep the humidity high (if using a greenhouse).
Allow the air in your greenhouse (if applicable) to circulate.
Install screening over any open windows (if applicable).This will prevent bugs and insects from entering.
Remove any already infected plants.Discard or burn these plants; do not compost them as this will spread the disease.
Prevent migration from plant to plant by using sticky paper strips.Place these around your pots.
=== Controlling spider mite infestations ===
Use natural predators such as those that feed on spider mites ("Phytoseiulus persimilis," "Neoseiulus californicus" or "Mesoseiulus longipes").It is important that you introduce thembeforethere is a large infestation, so that they can adequately control it.
Pick off any mites or eggs by hand.Destroy them by squishing or drowning. This works with only very mild cases of infestation.
Spray plants using a stream of water to knock mites off the underside of leaves.Be careful to not spray them onto another plant.
Spray hot pepper wax onto leaves (underside) to kill the mites.Repeat this application every few days. The spray will not destroy eggs so you must continue to apply to kill all the hatched mites.
Smother the mites by spraying with a 1/2 cup (113.4 g) of flour and 1/2 cup (118.3 ml) of milk mixed with 1 gallon (3.8 l) of water.Repeat this application every 4 to 5 days.
Spray plants with an insecticidal soap to kill the mites but not damage the plants.
- You can make your own insecticidal soap as follows: Mix together 2 tablespoons of liquid dish soap, 4 oz. ethyl alcohol (use the cheapest vodka you can find) and 12-16 oz. water. Transfer the resulting solution to a spray bottle. Spray on the tomato plants. You'll find that it works on other insects too.
Prepare a garlic mixture.Place 1 oz. (28.4 g) of garlic in a blender with 2 to 3 oz. (57 to 85 g) of onion, 1 oz. (28.4 g) of cloves, 1 oz. (28.4 g) of cayenne pepper and 1 cup (237 ml) of water. Blend to combine. Add this mixture to 1 gallon (3.79 l) of room-temperature water and spray 3 times over 5 days. This is a preventative measure but will also kill young mites.
Spray plants with a horticultural oil.This will suffocate the mites but won't damage the plants.
Use any popular insecticide spray if necessary.Follow the directions on the label for safety measures.
QuestionHow do you tell if a web was made by a spider mite?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSpider mites produce very small webs that almost hug the plant's leaves. If you look closely, you can also see tiny white mites crawling along the webs.Thanks!
QuestionHow long do I need to wait after spraying my tomatoes with Daconil if I have discovered spider mites?Top AnswererDaconil has a very long active length. It will be effective for 24 to 28 days.Thanks!
QuestionWhat can I use to kill mites on grass?Top AnswererTo treat a big surface of grass, the best way is diatom powder, which dehydrates the mites.Thanks!
QuestionCan I use methyl spirits instead of alcohol in the soap remedy?Top AnswererYes, of course. The efficiency will essentially be the same with a lower cost.Thanks!
QuestionWill Sevin 5 dust kill the mites?Top AnswererNot sure. Spider mites develop resistances to pesticides, and Sevin 5 is maybe too weak to get rid of mites.Thanks!
QuestionWhich type of chemicals are used for prevention in hot areas?Top AnswererYou can use every type of chemical that you would use in temperate areas except oils, which are likely to burn the plant.Thanks!
Of the three homemade solutions, should I stick to one or can I try a different one every couple of days?
- Be sure to always wear protective clothing when using any chemicals or insecticides, such as long sleeved shirts, gloves and protective eye wear. You may also want to avoid breathing any sprays by wearing a face mask.
Video: How to control spider mites in your garden - Tomato & Eggplant Spider Mite Control
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