I have a rather extensive collection of old bottles of pesticides, but
I'm out of Kelthane. :-( Also, I think "Black Leaf 40" (nicotine
sulfate) is not approved for roses.
What other insecticides are *effective* against mites? Some are listed
but don't work very well because mites are not insects. How about
horticultural oil? I have a bottle of dormant oil spray that I can mix
half-strength for a summer oil spray... Will that work? Thanks.
Bob, control of mites is possible with Neem oil, insecticidal soap or
a high purity horticultural oil. If you prefer chemicals, miticides
such as abamectin (Avid) or bifenthrin (Talstar) may help. If you use
a miticide, frequent chemical applications may be necessary and not
very effective if plants are not also washed with water.
Periodically washing plants reduces numbers of mites while preserving
their predators. When hosing off the plant, make sure to rinse the
entire plant, top to bottom, as well as the undersides of the leaves
using a hard spray of water. Once spider mites are knocked off of the
plant, they can't crawl back. The watering should be done in the
morning or early evening so that the leaves can dry before nightfall.
You don't want to trade the mite problem for fungal problems!
Hope that helps...
Thanks. I don't have any miticides. I think I'm gonna go with the
horticultural oil, alternating every few days with spraying the plants
with high pressure water. I have several insecticides that /might/ work
(diazinon, dursban, and cygon), but more likely they'd just kill any
predatory insects and ultimately make the mite problem worse.
Once the roses are healthy and growing good, the mites will lose
interest in them. But the roses are just now coming up and some are
still stressed-out from last winter.
Why do you persist in exposing youself to poisons?
I suggest you look for a natural insecticide like pyrethrum or Derris
Not all natural insecticides are very safe but the majority in common use
are far safer than the synthetic insecticides being pushed by the chemical
I suggest you look for an organic gardening newsgroup. It might even spare
you a big cancer down the road.
I very seldom use poisons; I don't think they are posing any danger
sitting in their brown bottles waiting to be used. I used horticultural
oil on the roses; that is considered "organic". But if termites attack
my house, I'll get out the chlordane (outside, not in the house). If a
sudden plague of bean beetles ravages my garden, I'll be ready for them
with any of a dozen chemicals. But that doesn't happen very often.
People who dump bags of "weed 'n' feed" on their lawns every year scare
me. When the "Chem Lawn" truck comes around, the whole neighborhood
smells like 2,4-d. But I use commercial fertilizer on my lawn -- at
about 1/3 the recommended rate -- and control the weeds mostly by proper
mowing. I put a light application of high nitrogen down in the spring,
then mulch the the clippings to recycle that nitrogen all season, then I
put a light dose of balanced fertilizer down in the fall as a
"winterizer". I mow the grass kind of high to preserve moisture. I
spot treat with 2,4-d when necessary (particularly stubborn dandelions),
but I haven't had to in several years. My lawn is as green as anybody
else's, at a lot less expense and a lot less taxing on the environment.
I don't see anything wrong with occasionally using small amounts of
chemicals, where they are biodegraded rather than running off or soaking
into the ground water.
I'm headed that way, slowly, with my apples. Been reading up on IPM. I
pick up all the drops every year and pull off any "mummies" in the
winter. Gonna try using red sticky traps this year. But I don't see
how I can avoid one dose of diazinon in July (otherwise the apple
maggots will ruin every single one), and one or two sprayings with
fungicide in the spring. That's still better than the 6 or 8 sprayings
that the Extension Service recommends. I stop spraying by the end of
July and it's OK if the bugs get a few in August, they won't have time
to ruin them all.
My neighbor has a sickly mature apple tree and just lets them rot, so
good hygiene with my tree doesn't help all /that/ much. I've got new
neighbors living there this year, maybe they'll either take care of
their tree or cut it down.
It is a heck of a deal. By nature, most of us just want to kick-back and
enjoy the fruits of our labors but it seems that there is always a
learning curve waiting around the next corner. Maybe in the course of a
conversation, you could mention to your new neighbors, how you take care
of your tree.
Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
Mites can be a challenge and it helps to understand their lifecycle.
Apply different kinds of miticide spray every 4-5 days (preferably in
the morning) for effective control. A good magnifying glass will help
monitor the progress.
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