I wish there was something I could do to get rid of the #%$! spider mite on
my key lime tree. I give a thorough blasting shower once a week. I've
sprayed it numerous times with soap and twice with BioNeem in the past three
years. This morning when it was getting its regular Saturday shower...WEBS!
There's no other plants in the house with spider mite that I can tell...I've
even checked them over with my magnifying glass just to make sure I'm not
missing something...most of them also get a shower at least once a month
just to stay clean and healthy looking.
I grew this tree from seed and its now about 4 feet tall, very healthy and
full, except for the persistent spider mites...#%$!!!!
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.
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
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.
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.
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%.
Last night while sitting in my chair
I pinged a host that wasn't there
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
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~
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