My arborvitaes are infected with spider mites. Using insecticide "soap" kill
most of them for a while, but it's impossible to kill all of them, so they
come back eventually.
I heard I can buy bugs to kill them. Any idea where I can buy them? I don't
think home depot sells bugs.
I live in Seattle.
Spider mites thrive in hot dry conditions. Hose down your arborvitae
every other day until you have them under control. Black lady bugs
(Stethorus species), both adult and larvae, eat mites. You could mail
order these or ask at your local farmer's coop. As you mentioned a
fine spray of soapy water helps too, try to spray under the leaves
from below. If none of this is possible or practical, you might need
to resort to using an insecticide such as malathion or dimethoate, but
mites are notorious for becoming resistant to the repeat use of any
Thrips are effective early-season predators, feeding primarily on
spider mite eggs. Spider mites provide an important food source for
predators such as minute pirate bugs and big-eyed bugs. Minimizing
early-season insecticide applications, which may reduce populations of
beneficials, will reduce spider mite outbreaks. Naturally occurring
predatory mites exert some level of control. In some areas, releases
of predatory mites have been used to manage spider mites in field
corn. If predatory mites are to be released, be sure to release the
appropriate predatory mite species for the area and time of year. Also
use the correct release rate and the correct timing. Definitive
guidelines have not been developed, but make releases before
significant spider mite outbreaks occur.
Peter, you can buy them at http://www.agricology.com/products/index.php
which is based in Wenatchee. I find them very helpful with beneficials and
other organic gardening issues.
zone 5, Eastern WA (and very happy to have a news server again!)
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