key lime tree

I wish there was something I could do to get rid of the #%$! spider mite on my key lime tree. I give a thorough blasting shower once a week. I've sprayed it numerous times with soap and twice with BioNeem in the past three years. This morning when it was getting its regular Saturday shower...WEBS! There's no other plants in the house with spider mite that I can tell...I've even checked them over with my magnifying glass just to make sure I'm not missing something...most of them also get a shower at least once a month just to stay clean and healthy looking.
I grew this tree from seed and its now about 4 feet tall, very healthy and full, except for the persistent spider mites...#%$!!!!
Val
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Where do you live Val? My Kaffir Lime has problems usually in early winter as it gives the soft shell (Scale) time to get it together. Sometimes. Once it is warm and the plant is outside no problem.
Bill who has been known to scape the creatures off.
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Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA


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In article

If you want them all gone, and it is inside, get a large clear trash bag, big enough to put over the tree and completely cover it.
Order the smallest set of lady bugs you can find on the web (but at least 50).
Cut the container for the lady bugs open, but do not dump them out - cover the tree with the bag, and tie it off on the pot. Then using a small knife - make a few small holes in the bag - to equalize the pressure between the two.
Wait - one egg cycle for the ladybugs to do their thing. If it is spider mites - about 3 weeks for the full life cycle - eggs are about a week.
If you don't like lady bugs you can try - Phytoseiulus persimilis - commonly called spider mite destroyers.
I prefer lady bugs, because they are large enough to remove when done - and they go after everything.
I normally put a straw in the bag and then use it to water - if needed.
Doug
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Val
Bill and Doug gave great answers. I thought I will give you some insight on many common tree problems. maybe one thing might help you.
--
Many tree problems are associated with the following: They are Case
Sensitive.
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I live in Seattle. This tree is in a large container, a house plant 8 months a year. I put it outside during the summer and so far haven't had a problem with scale or any other pests, even the spider mites seem to be gone when it's outside. I always give it a good soapy shower and dig D.E. into the top soil of the container when I bring it back inside in early fall.
There's a nursery near by that sells lady bugs, I'll give that a try. Even if it doesn't work lady bugs are pretty darned kewl. Maybe that's why I don't have a problem when it lives on my balcony in the summer. I always have loads of lady bugs out there in the warmer weather.
Val
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I am not a tree or garden expert but if I were you, I would try to get rid of any nearby grass before showering the tree.
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I am not a tree or garden expert but if I were you, I would try to get rid of any nearby grass before showering the tree.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote in
oups.com:

i somehow doubt she has much grass growing in her house (her key lime is indoors), but why should she be sure none is nearby? what do you suppose grass has to do with spider mites? Val, how's the humidity around the tree? IME, spider mites thrive when the humidity drops below 30%. lee
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Last night while sitting in my chair
I pinged a host that wasn't there
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I was a little puzzled by the grass comment as well Lee, though I've never heard a lawn harbors spider mite, my apartment is four stories up and my 'garden' is a balcony. I'm sure it's the lack of inside humidity even though I mist daily and the little buggers aren't a problem when the tree is outside. The daily misting is what alerts me to the webs. The indoor humidity most likely is lower to that outside but I have orchids that bloom and thrive and a maiden hair fern that stays quite happy and healthy. These plants are usually the first to show signs of low humidity. I have a massive ivy growing very near to where the lime tree resides inside. Ivy is a notorious host to spider mite but mine has never had a sign of any, none of the other of my many house plants ever have spider mites, that's what seems so puzzling.
I'm going to try the "intensive lady bug counter attack" suggested and see how that works. If it doesn't I guess I'm just resigned to constantly lugging this tree into the shower as I have been ~sigh~
Val
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