Which predatory mites?
So I'm officially two weeks into flower today. However last Saturday I woke to spider mites on one of my plants!
I rushed it through emergency treatment (cold rinse, mild plant safe soapy wash, Hot shots bug strip, MASS CO2 for 3 hours and,... Neem oil).
This morning I did my normal hour inspection for mites on the flowering plants, just to see one mite(first sence treatment). Today is the final day I can spray Neem oil. So I've been thinking predatory mites to safeguard my last 6-7 weeks of flower.
Issue is they come in jars of like 1000 mites, and that is the small order. Also some species of mite can't handle dry climates, or cold climates. I'm worried my low humidity will kill them, or excessive heat...
What would be my best TYPE of predator mite? OR does anyone have any better ideas?
I live in Colorado and keep the flower room around 80F during the day(vented hood, isn't), night temps around 76F. Humidity is hard to keep up during the day. So 35% daytime and 45% at night. I can crank that up too. Tonight I sprayed the Neem and turned up my humidifier, so 98% right now.
Last edited by Vancefish; Mar-08-2010 at 00:57.
How many hot shot pest strips are you using and how big is you're room? I've co2 bombed my room using a co2 calculator to figure how long it takes the room to get up to 10,000ppm's, then I tried to hold it there at 10cfm, and it did not kill a single mite. The only leak I can possibly think of would be the a/c unit, plus a couple pin holes I missed in the ceiling, haha.
Originally Posted by Vancefish
I did play it safe by taking the co2 monitor out of the room so I could see how much leaked into the house, it was very minimal, it's too bad the damn thing only goes up to 2,000 ppm's, it sucks when you have to guess at bombing your room. I know co2 can kill the bastards, I've watched them die after being directly under a hose emiting co2 at 2cfm.
I ended up killing all of my mites with 2 pest strips in a 400sqft room.
If you add another pest strip or two but don't go overboard, chances are they'll die off, then you'll be telling me how smart I am again They really are a life saver up until flowering, haven't had a problem yet but I plan on getting the co2 bomb up to full speed as it seems like the safest way to kill them in flowering.
I totally exterminated my mites with a No Pest Strip in the room for 1 week. My room is only 20 sq ft. But the key is to entirely shut down ventilation (at least at night) to let the toxic dichlorvos vapors build up. I haven't seen a mite or a sign of them since and that was 3-4 weeks ago. Although, I was spraying with neem weekly prior to the NPS and I don't know if they were even still around.
If the NPS isn't working for you then you either aren't sealing your room and turning off your ventilation or your room is huge! If you're going to use the NPS make sure you do it right. Half-assing it is what can help these fuckers build up resistance to our arsenal of chemicals.
My room is 455 square feet. I'm using one pest strip, hung with a tack right behind the oscillating fan.
Because I'm not ventilating the hood yet I need BUKU air flow when my lights are on to keep temps under 85F. I'm currently using a small fan pulling outside (as in outdoor) air into the room during lights on. Once cleared of the poison I can just open the room to my house. Thus keeping the heat.
However each night I hang that poison strip as I said, then seal the room. It reeks of the stuff every morning.
My question is which predatory mites could INSURE I don't wake to webby buds in three to five weeks? (No poison after two weeks flowering is what I've read). Different species of mite live in different climates. Some die off if humidity is kept below 65% (risking moldy buds). Some die if temps are too high or low.
I don't want to buy the little hunters, just to kill them off in a couple days leaving me with spider mites AND $25 less.
I'm also not sure that mite I found yesterday was all that healthy. It is being poisoned with Neem and the Hot shots strip. I just don't want to loose the buds over not taking steps to insure they(the mites) die NOW.
Mite species, ( I made the actual list of mites blue so it's easily skipped )
Neoseiulus fallacis : These mites, like tiny spiders, eight legs and all, are voracious predators of several pestiferous spider mite species
N. fallacis can prevent and control, as said above, a number pest mites in a multitude of conditions. Some of the species they can impact include: the two-spotted mite (Tetranychus urticae); the carmine red mite (T. cinnabarinus); a two-spotted mite relative (T. evansi); the European red mite (Panonychus ulmi); the citrus red mite (P. citri); the southern red mite (Oligonychus ilicis); the Brevipalpus citrus mites (Brevipalpus californicus, B. phoenicis and B. obovatus); the six-spotted mite (Eotetranychus sexmaculatus); the Texas citrus mite (Eutetrannychus banksi); the tumid spider mite (T. tumidus); the Pacific mite (T. pacificus); and, perhaps, the Phalanopsis mite (Tenuipalus pacificus). Moreover, these predators may offer some control of the privet mite (B. obovatus), cyclamen mites (Phtyodromus =Steneotarsonemus pallidus), broad mites (Polyphagotarsenomus =Hemitarsonemus latus) and tomato russet mites (Aculops lycopersici), and other species. These mites also consume pollen — they can live on it!
Life and climate: The life-span of these predators is roughly 8 days in their immature stages, then around 1 month as adults. The conditions for optimum performance will be between 50-80°F with a relative humidity of between 60-90%. But these are optimum conditions, and not necessarily a prerequisite of successful implementation. Please note, however, considerably cooler and warmer temperatures will hamper reproduction and development a certain degree.
These mites will feed at temperatures as low as 35°F and as high as 100°F. However, at the low-end of the scale (less than 50°F), they won’t reproduce, and at the high-end they need very humid conditions to work with any efficiency.
My issue with these is they too are a spider(risking webs again), AND they too are hard to kill.
Phytoseiulus persimilis : These mites, like tiny spiders, eight legs and all, are voracious predators of most of the spider mite pest Tetranychus spp.
These guys turn on each other when the food runs out! Thus eating each other until you have NO mites!
The tiny 0.5 mm. hunter-orange female mites lay eggs amongst spider mite concentrations and their webbing (which is produced by the two-spotted mite), if present. They can lay up to 60 eggs! They hatch into minuscule larvae which develop into nymphal forms before reaching adulthood. These, too, are fierce predators, consuming many spider mites eggs and young.
The life-span of these predators is roughly 8 days in their immature stages, then around 36 days as adults. The conditions for optimum performance will be between 70-85°F (extended to 60-90°F) with a relative humidity of between 60-90%. But these are optimum conditions, and not necessarily a prerequisite of successful implementation. Please note, however, cooler temperatures will hamper reproduction and development a certain degree.
These look like the bomb bug! Sprinkle them around, they eat all other bugs AND the eggs. Then they eat each other until your bug free!
These say they do not make webs but DO use the spidermite webs for their own eggs!
Man, good luck to you. I was just going through this same situation and was looking for good info.
I've heard some people spray neem throughout flower and just stop like 3-4 weeks before harvest. I'm not risking it though unless I have to. You can also apply the neem solution by sponging it on each individual leaf... very time-consuming though I'm sure.
I'm with you on the predatory mites though. If I saw any sign of spider mites in flowering I was going to immediately get some. Can you buy them locally in CO? I've seen you in the CO section...
Also, is there anyway you could move your plants to a smaller room during night cycle? Probably not I'm guessing, but I've heard of people putting their plants in a confined space with a NPS while they're still small. If I were you I'd try like 2-3 NPSs in there. Sounds like you've got it sealed since you're using CO2. I also wouldn't have the oscillating fan on at all. If you must - and I think you said you must for heat issues - don't point directly at the NPS. These things work by diffusion and don't need any additional wind current on them. I guess it may help it emit the vapors faster? Not sure. But I think the stagnant air helps give a longer contact time between the mites and the dichlorvos. When dealing with toxins like this the contact time is extremely important. You need that cloud of dichlorvos building up in the room, rather than a stream of dichlorvos whipping around your plants.
I've heard a few people say that NPS don't work, but I think if you use it like this it will work. You may have to sacrifice optimum environmental conditions (no fans, excess heat, etc) for a few days, but it may be worth it if you don't have another means of control. I'd do it now before the plants start flowering too much and moisture/humidity becomes an issue! Fans off now won't be as big a deal as fans off in 3 weeks.
Lastly, although dichlorvos is pretty toxic, I'm convinced that it's pretty safe to use (if used properly) up until maybe 3-4 weeks from harvest. A lot of people will disagree, but I've read some toxicity studies and other links and I'd be comfortable smoking buds with NPS usage 4 weeks from harvest. Dichlorvos breaks down in sunlight (and wind/water also I believe). I'm sure the HPS does a number on it. I've also seen studies where it says dichlorvos is not taken up by plants. So, if it's not IN the plants and can't remain viable for long ON the plants, then it's not an issue.
However, I have heard of people using these in the fuckin' drying room!! And I think that is just wrong if you're selling the buds! They won't be exposed to sunlight, wind, or water anymore at this point and some dichlorvos could easily remain in the buds. The levels would be so low that it'd probably be harmless... would probably also be destroyed as you went to light the buds... but it's an unpleasant thought nonetheless.
Good luck! I hope you get those bastards wiped out!!
Yes I'm in Colorado. Not sure yet on where in Colorado I can get them. I'm sure I can somewhere. I just don't want a type the either dies in my climate OR is SO hardy I can't get rid of them later. Sounds like the type that eats each other will work! Now to find somewhere to buy them.
I actually got infested on a plant in VEG, all the way across the house. However I've seen them in the flower room since then. Thus before infestation I'm doing all I can.
I may go buy another strip. I think two might do it, just not a lot of cash flow right now. I keep buying expensive grow stuff, then have nothing for the little stuff.
Thus the spider mite thing. If they eat, and kill, and thus demo all the spider mites, then kill each other for food. PLUS they don't build webs? Sounds great!
Issue is, smallest order is 1000 mites online. I need like 50-100. SO, My boss gave me the spider mites (thanks boss) Maybe HE would like to buy me these mites!
Yeah, I think two will help you build the concentration in there fast!
Now, I'm having problems with fungus gnats of all things!! Those fuckers lived through a week of NPS... must've been burrowed in the soil.
Hey bro, I was looking into beneficial predators too today.
I know you can get predators at least at one hydro store in Denver. They said if you call/come-in and order them they can have them next-day for you!!! I don't know if you're close enough to Denver... hopefully. Oh yeah, and the initials of said hydro store happen to be BT.
lol...seems this is going around since the start of the green rush....ppl selling clones infested and no one is the wiser....I grew my first set mostly from seed and few clones..all did well...second set is mango and nyc deasil and since first ones did so well I threw in 2 more 600 s to really drive um home...man alls I can say is prior planing shoulda been more excersized....the increase brouht tepms up and rh down and walla.....perfect home for mites to rear there ugly lil eaters.
these just went into flowwer and I cut 2 compleatly out of the garden as almost every leaf was speckled with webbig on the back..then I cut the rest of the spoted leaves out and groomed the bases and turned the dirt and treated with a organic insecticide(ecosmart) that has sevral oils none neem however. I sprayed all the plants down top and bottom of leaves and let them set...found lots of dead ones but still some live ones...I did this during night time hours with a small flash lite...I brought temp down to 66 and and got rh to 78%....lights came on I went in and sprayed early with the ecosmart to drown any would be hide and seekers that would still be out in the open...other then that Ive just been saturating the plants with a spray bottle every few hours to make life as a spider mite on my plants as un hospitibale as possible.
Ill do this until my preditory mites arvie in the mail.
as for those...its my understanding that they reproduce twice as fast as the 2 spoted spider mite so theoreticly after so many cycles the spidermites should be araticated(theorecticly that is) and then the preditory population basicly implodes on its self as they canabalize each other...either way Im gonna get these ladys thru the flower and then not refil the room till I have thuroly cleand painted and cleaned some more.
after this lil ordeal I most definatly will be treating my clones/plants prior to ever noticing a single sign as part of the normal routine.
Ive seen some say that the crop is lost and to scrap it but with as many posts as I am seeing this is all to common and I find it hard to belive that mite parts arent in just about every bag of nugz you get...I just think some are good at controling them well enough that you never even know they are in there...Un cheaked however youll probly notice if you even get a bud off the plant...lol...good luck