Got a spider mite problem? Get your head out of the oven. Today we're going to teach you how to get them out of your garden forever.
You may not even notice spider mites at first, but you’ll know you’ve got them if you see tiny yellow dots on the leaves or little tents of webs on the top of your plants. Once you have them they can do a ton of damage and they are almost impossible to get rid of, but I guarantee you can beat these little suckers with a simple three step process. Let’s get started.
For step one, you’re going to need a wet/dry shop vac. First thing you're going to do is open up the shop vac, take out the filter, and pour a little bit of your favorite mite killing product in the bottom. We suggest, of course, our own Dr. Conrad’s Super Natural Spider Mite Prescription because it's the most natural, effective product money can buy, but any product will do for this step.
Once you’ve got the product in the shop vac you want to start at the top of your plants and gently suck off all of the webs and mites you can. Do this every day if you have the time. Once you're done sucking them all off, simply dump all of the dead mites and eggs somewhere outside. This is one of the reasons we created Dr. Conrad’s. A lot of supposedly natural, essential oil based insecticides still use surfacants and emulsifiers like lauric acid and polyglycol oleate, and there are no long term studies on what ingesting that stuff or dumping it on your lawn does to you, your loved ones, or the environment. Our stuff is just essential oil, so you can use it all the way up to day of harvest.
For step two we’re going to mix up some spray and give the plants a nice long shower. It’s important to get really good coverage, and remember to keep shaking your sprayer. If you're using Dr. Conrad's you only have to use 1 ounce per gallon, and you only have to do it once a week or so.
Now, you can just do these two steps and you’ll be able to keep any infestation at bay, especially if you can get the temperature down as low as possible (spider mites love the heat), but if you’ve ever fought spider mites you know that just when you think they’re gone they show back up again. So this is where we throw in the knock-out punch – predatory mites.
There are two species of mites you want to get – phytoselieus persimilis, and neoselieus californicus. We order them direct from a company called Green Methods, and we’ve always had great results. After you’re done with your spray, while the plants are still wet, you just shake the beneficial mites on to the tops of the plants. You can also put them in little paper cups and hang those in the canopy and these bad boys will climb right up and start killing. If you're using a different product than Dr. Conrad's you will only want to spray water on the plants before applying the predatory mites.
The persimilis are like your ground troops. They sweep through your garden and eat every spider mite they can find. The californicus are more like lone snipers who just hang out in your garden for awhile, killing any new spider mites that you might inadvertently bring in later. We like to reorder californicus every three weeks for a few months after we’ve had an infestation, but that might just be overkill, because we’ve never seen any spider mites survive this three step process.
We hope this post helps deter at least a few suicides. Happy gardening!