Palm spider mites

CactusBoss(Zone 5a)November 27, 2013

I knew this would happen eventually :(. Can I use 1 part rubbing alcohol to 4 parts water to get rid of them. It's pure rubbing alcohol

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

You mean regular isopropyl alcohol (70%)? I use it as a 1:3 ratio but yours should do a good job, too. I suggest using it in a spray bottle so you can spritz it all over the plant. Concentrate on the underside of the leaves.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2013 at 5:25PM
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Boss, think to use rubbing alcohol treatment for those pests that have a hard shell....such as scale insects...the alcohol eats through the hard membrane and kills the pest.

Usually though, you wouldn't use such a strong solution as 4 to 1.....8 to 1 is considered average....10, or 12...even 16 to one can be used. That's 8 parts water to one part rubbing alcohol.

Try this:

Take the plant into your bathtub....or laundry tub...spray the plant from top to bottom.....bottom to top to the point of runoff with water from a shower spray. In summer, you use a garden hose.
Then use 8 parts water to one part dish SOAP...(not detergent)
So if you have a quart size container (32 oz), you would use 32 parts water---4 parts dish soap.
(16 oz water.....2 parts dish soap).....
Don't forget to spray (and let water drop) the soil....that's where the eggs are.
Do this every 7 days...for 21 days.....which should break the cycle of eggs/larvae/adult.
Then keep a vigil....spider mites spread very quickly.
Spider mites leave the tell-tale webbing ---that's how they're usually seen....they have such a fine body its hard to see with the naked eye.
When you move the plant....which by the way, should be isolated as soon as you suspect the presence of spider mites, do it ever so softly....they fly at the least intrusion.

Lime sulfur and petroleum oils are also effective.
Misting the plant regularly can keep spider mites under control as well.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2013 at 5:41PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Spider mites do not lay their eggs in the soil, but on the foliage....usually on the underside of the leaves. They do not fly.

Alcohol is very often recommended for spider mites. It's one of the first things that I usually suggest....but never at a rate less than 1:4 or 1:3. Some people use it full strength.

I must say that the ratio of dish soap to water in the earlier post is very high! First of all, dish soaps are actually detergents and are well known to be phytotoxic to plant tissues, especially at such high rates. It's typically dosed in a 2-3% rate, which would be about one tablespoon per quart.

True liquid soaps, such as Bonner 's, can be found at any healthfood store. Dish detergents are usually used but avoid the super grease busters or those loaded with dyes and scents which can increase the potential of damage.

The most effective and safest soaps are the commercial, insecticidal soaps! They are intended to be used on plants and come equipped with a real label!

But the scariest thing, goren, is your recommendation of lime sulfur AND a hort. oil. That's one excellent way to burn all of the foliage of any houseplant.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2013 at 10:41AM
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