Controlling spider mites
  Re: (0...)
I have a problem with spider mites, mainly the black spotted ones. Each year they seem to get worse and by midsummer that have seriously damaged a lot of plants: morning glory, salvia, monarda, hydrangea, crocosmia, baloon flower and some of the annuals. Also green beans, eggplant and tomatoes.

Does anyone have suggestions for how to control these pests?

I live in southeastern Michigan. Most of my yard gets part sun (3-4 hours) and part shade each day. The soil is clay but we have been digging it and amending it with compost and lighter soils for many years so that is is friable and drains pretty well.

We try to avoid using pesticides generally and when we have used them on mite-infested plants they have not been very effective. I have read that pesticides don't work well with mites.
The most common advice I have read is to spray them off the leaves with a strong hose, but there are a lot of leaves to spray.
Thanks for your help.
  Re: Controlling spider mites by mltritt (I have a problem wit...)
Understanding the life cycle of the buggers will help figure out how to control them. Most often they are not much of a problem unless were they are is quite arid, dry. In low humidity areas they get thirsty and suck more plant sap, which is an aphrodisiac for them so they mate more producing more young, so your first line of defense is to raise the humidity around the plants most easily accomplished by misting. Insecticidal soap sprays can also help control these buggers. A last resort spray would be something with Neem Oil in it.
West Central Michigan along the lake shore.
  Re: Re: Controlling spider mites by KimmSr (Understanding the li...)
When you spray also. You spray 12 day apart. You spray 1 aplication, then 12 days later you spray again to get rid of the ones that hatched after spraying then you spray again and that should do it. Michigen Cooraptive Extention should have more information.
  Re: Re: Controlling spider mites by WJA (When you spray also....)
Spider mites may also be controlled with the release of ladybugs, green lacewings, or other predatory mites. I assume that some birds may eat them too. Try putting a birdbath or bird feeder nearby to lure them in for a mite-y meal. :p
The great thing about gardening is that you always get a chance to start over!

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