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Banana Plant Health And Maintenance Topics This forum is for discussions of banana plant health topics such as coloration issues, burning, insects, pruning, transplanting, separating pups, viruses, disease, and other general banana plant health and maintenance issues.


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Old 02-12-2010, 01:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Spider mite "primer"

Well folks, it is getting to that time of year where there is distant hope of a spring coming sometime, and also a time where by now, most of us are war veterans when it comes to spider mites. I was thinking, for the newcomers to our "sport", we should all put in our battle plans and experience with these little buggers to help them in identifying and dealing with one of the most serious threats to nanners and other plants. Whatever you have done to control them, whether it has worked or not would be appreciated, and keep in mind that what might work for one situation, might not for another. For the new beginners, spider mites ALWAYS comes as a suprise, but there are things you can do to get an early detection if you know what to look for. For an example, when I got started with nanners, I mistakenly thought a wilted appearance of the leaves meant the plant was dry, and kept watering to "perk" them up... Well, we all know the sins of overwatering, and this only made things worse as the poor plant ended up in a two front war.. corm rot, and trying to cope with the mites. Put in your stories... the more info to all, the more fun we will have with our nanners!
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Old 02-12-2010, 01:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spider mite "primer"

I say elbow grease, seven dust mixed w/ soap & water do the trick :^)
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Old 02-12-2010, 02:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Spider mite "primer"

Do you wipe it off, or just let it dry after app?
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Old 02-12-2010, 02:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spider mite "primer"

wipe & leave residue :^)
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Old 02-12-2010, 03:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spider mite "primer"

I use the Sandy Method (recommended to me by Sandy here on B.o): water (think she said a gallon, but I don't really measure things...just toss it together LOL) + 1 tablespoon of suave coconut shampoo + 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Put this in a spray bottle and thoroughly douse every portion of the leaves top/bottom. Repeat in a week or so and as needed after that. I haven't seen spider mites for MONTHS until recently I saw some small webs (but no damage) and retreated....nothing since.
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Old 02-12-2010, 04:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Spider mite "primer"

Yeah, whatever I have done, it seems to knock them down for awhile, but they will re-surface. Big thing for me seems to be the wiping method near the midrib and margins, especially on the leaf bottoms, to get rid of eggs. They also seem to go into a period of not much activity when light is low, only to come back when things get brighter... keep up the posts... we'll get 'em fighured out yet!!
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Old 02-12-2010, 08:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spider mite "primer"

Spider mites like low humidity and bright light. Like in my greenhouse with the pool with no exhaust fans or misters in the summer where it was getting up to 110 even this cool last summer.
The best thing I've found to fight them is 1T suave shampoo (whatever your fave scent is, I like coconut and I also like the orchid blossom one, or the aloe and waterlily scent) and 1T cooking oil in 1 gallon of water. Shake it up until it looks milky (emulsification). Spray it on the top of the leaves, the bottom of the leaves, on the stem until it's dripping off and well coated. If you have a lot of spraying to do, shake the sprayer often to keep it mixed up.
If the plants are real little, put it in a bucket and dunk them upside down in it. do this once a week until the mites are gone. Don't do it more often than that, It really doesn't help if you have good coverage. If you have a real bad infestation, make sure a few days later to wipe the mites and webs off the plants. Otherwise you keep trying to "kill" the same dead mites over and over again--because they don't fall off when you kill them. I didn't know that the first couple of years and I know I "killed" the same mites again and again for weeks!
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Old 02-12-2010, 08:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spider mite "primer"

That's okay, Sandy...they deserve to die repeatedly! Hate those things!
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Spider mite "primer"

Yes, I wholeheartedly agree... I have "re killed" them knowingly several times myself!!
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Old 02-13-2010, 08:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Spider mite "primer"

I have been using Volck by ortho with great success. I always usually wiped down my plants & that worked great "sponge" just with warm water but I have to many plants now..... This stuff, I just spray and walk away. Oooo & it doesn't smell like dead fish, no smell. Plus it really gives the leaves a high glossy look... The only problem I see so far is when I take the plants outside, serious sun burning is going to happen. But they look good now & no mites. With the greasy leaves &

they don't come back.
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:44 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Spider mite "primer"

The wipe down method can be time consuming depending on the number of plants you have, and definitely the secret to using chemicals is make sure they are not concentrated by much. I am semi retired with all kinds of critters around so I have the time for water and rub rather than endanger them with pesticides or chemicals. If you are on a busy schedule, all of your suggestions sound great. I guess the best approach for the newcomers is that if your plants have been growing ok up to a point and then stop, look wilted, start getting spots or yellowed leaves, the first thing is just to assume you have mites and go from there. Look with a magnifying glass, especially on the underside of the leaves for mite "dandruff", extremely fine silken webbing, reddish or brownish spotting or mottling. You will often see this before you see the actual mite, because they are so small, but once you see them, follow the suggestions of these great members... they will work!!
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Old 03-14-2010, 03:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Spider mite "primer"

Hi, Are there different types of spider mites. The mites on my ice cream are white and also make webs. They look smaller the those red ones I've seen outside. They seem to like to travel on the spine of the leaf like a highway. I sprayed with a product called green light fruit tree spray which is a broad spectrum insecticide, fungicide and miticide but there still there.
Thanks
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Old 03-14-2010, 05:48 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spider mite "primer"

Quote:
Originally Posted by tmc2009 View Post
Hi, Are there different types of spider mites. The mites on my ice cream are white and also make webs. They look smaller the those red ones I've seen outside. They seem to like to travel on the spine of the leaf like a highway. I sprayed with a product called green light fruit tree spray which is a broad spectrum insecticide, fungicide and miticide but there still there. Thanks Tom
I use the fertilome version and it works for me, I rarely need it for some unknown reason. :^)
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:54 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Spider mite "primer"

Hi Tom... Yes there are a couple of different types, but the ones that seem to nail most of us are the "two spotted" types, so named because of the two small dark spots in their mid section. Also, depending upon light, humidity and type of plant they are infecting, they sometimes come in varying colors. I have heard that if they are stressed in any way ( we could only hope! ) they may take on a dull reddish, or copperish color, but there are a huge number of mites of different species, some very beneficial, that are red or reddish. For the most part, they are light yellow, light green or whitish. Try the differnent suggestions found here for treatment if the one you are trying does not work. For the most part, if you have a large infestation, you will more than likely have to repeat treatments... Good luck.. when I set my plants outside for the summer, natural predators keep them in check. Summer is almost here!!!
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Old 03-15-2010, 04:15 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Spider mite "primer"

Could not say it any better than that.....
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Old 03-15-2010, 04:17 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Spider mite "primer"

So far the Dawn dish detergent in water method has worked for me.
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:45 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Spider mite "primer"

How much Dawn do you mix in per gallon of water?
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:34 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Spider mite "primer"

Tablespoon will do. I don't even measure, just a squirt & let it work.... I like the other stuff better, because it keeps your leaves alot more greasy witch totally stops mites but this method does work OK, for a while......
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:36 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Spider mite "primer"

Actually I only add a few drops per quart.
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:24 AM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Spider mite "primer"

Thanks! I tried the "if this much works, then let's try three times as much" approach, and pretty much nuked the whole bunch.. I think I suffocated the leaves. The only thing that saved the plants I had at the time was being close to summer, I put the "wreckage" outside and let ma nature take it's course. They came back, but it was close. I wouldn't exceed the tablespoon per gallon by much! Live and learn, right?
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