Red Spider Mites (indoors)

As usual, red spiders have attacked and killed most of my indoor plants this winter. I can overwinter just about anything until about late January or February, then the spider mites appear out of nowhere and destroy everything. It's just about time to start planting seeds, and I don't have them under control yet -- including the one remaining pepino cutting that's still alive barely.
How to get them under control? I know most insecticides are not effective because they are not insects. Will soapy water kill them? How about nicotine sulfate? (I still have an ancient half-bottle of that stuff.) Or just jack the humidifier way up so the air is almost dripping in the grow room?
I think I'll try dunking in *very* mild soapy water first, along with that humidifier thing.
Bob
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Old saved post.
Bill
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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
--
Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA



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On 3/3/2010 1:42 PM, zxcvbob wrote:

I have them on my gardenias. I periodically spray with water with a drop of dish soap in it. I think it kills them but not all and sets them back so they are not a problem if I spray maybe once a week. Few years back, I thought they had killed a gardenia but turns out it was a scale insect that responded to a systemic insecticide.
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I use a systemic. It works every time. None of the organics worked for me.
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D. Arlington wrote:

I sprayed the plant yesterday morning with Windex, then rinsed it off with water. The little webs were not back today, and the leaves were not burned... (fingers crossed)
Bob
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wrote:

I like to use warm water with a very small amount of dishwashing detergent added. Use as little soap as possible, just enough to break surface tension. Don't get the soapy water into the pots, plants do not like soap on roots. Spray every 2-3 days to get it under control. A one-time spray won't work on spider mites. Look for predators of this mite, spider mites can be difficult to erradicate but fairly easy to control. Spider mites hate water misting, but (most) plants enjoy it.
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