10 years with spider mites and how I finally got rid of them.

Discussion in 'Bugs' started by coldrain, May 9, 2014.


    coldrain Well-Known Member

    I know what you're thinking.... "How dumb do you have to be to have spider mites for so long?" Let me start by saying that I didn't have spider mites the WHOLE time, just that it was an ongoing problem for the past 10 years and I would keep getting them. I used to insist on natural treatments and that's a lot of the reason why I would never fully get rid of the little fuckers. NATURAL TREATMENTS DON'T SOLVE THE PROBLEM. They only kill the adults and juveniles, not the eggs, and that's if you do everything 100% correctly. There are lot of ways to get crawlers off your plants, but if you don't wipe out the eggs it's all for nothing. I've tried everything. Zero Tolerance- doesn't work. Total waste of money. Home made habanero pepper spray- you need protective gear when applying it... oh, and it doesn't work. It won't kill the eggs. Pyrethrum TR- doesn't work as some strains of mites have built up an immunity. Regardless, it will usually kill crawlers, but not eggs. Attain TR- more toxic than Pyrethrum TR and you need to use great care when applying it. It does a good job of killing the crawlers, but it doesn't kill the eggs and in a couple of weeks you will have mites all over again. Azamax- It works on crawlers, but it's very labor intensive to apply as a spray. 100% coverage is required and, once again, it doesn't kill the eggs.

    The best way to get rid of mites is to completely clean out your room and start over. That means getting rid of your plants among other things. If you have an easy time getting new strains, fine. With my situation it's hit and miss. I have spent many years tracking down and acquiring the best genetics around, and if I throw them all away I'm screwing myself because I won't be able to reacquire. I need to work with what I already have, so tossing all of my strains is not an option. Containers and other equipment also need to be removed, cleaned thoroughly, and in some cases thrown away altogether. You need to wipe everything down right down to the power cord on your socket assembly. Mites can drop eggs anywhere. Doing what I described above can be a massive undertaking for some, and unless your are really thorough your grow could get infested all over again.

    So, I finally went with the nuclear option. I didn't want to resort to this, but I'm sick of having mites and nothing else works. I used a cocktail of 2 ml. of Avid and 1 ml. of Forbid. This not only wiped out the crawlers, but the Forbid is an ovacide which will prevent eggs from hatching. Another bonus here is that since these miticides penetrate the tissue you don't even need to achieve 100% coverage when spraying. I was still pretty thorough, but I feel confident that the problem is now taken care of once and for all. I've heard a lot of people freak out about Avid/Forbid, but if you apply them in a PROPER manner you shouldn't have to worry about any contamination.... skin contact or residual. 1) Make sure you wear protective gear (long sleeves, long pants, eye protection, plastic gloves and a dust mask) and be mindful of where you spray. I laid down some plastic, laid each plant on the plastic, and proceeded to spray so I wouldn't contaminate my grow room with this evil poison. 2) NEVER spray this stuff when the plants are in a 12/12 cycle. It doesn't even matter if no buds have formed yet. Consider any leaves that you spray to be contaminated and assume that they will stay that way. If you are 3 weeks into flowering and you spray this stuff, there will be residue present when you harvest and some of it could make it's way into final product. Your buds are supposed to smell good and get you high, not poison you or others. 3) If at all possible, only subject small clones to this treatment. It will take care of the problem and keep any residue off the new growth at the same time. Small clones can easily be dipped as well vs. sprayed. This is the best way to go. 4) If your plants are bigger and close to being switched to 12/12, it might be wise to wait a bit longer to flip them so the active ingredient that the plants absorbed can have time to dissipate. 75 days is the rule of thumb if you want to be on the safe side. 5) NEVER spray this stuff in your house or in any kind of a living space. If you are using a bedroom as a grow room, take the plants outside and spray. If you use great care and are not a fucking idiot you can safely use Avid and Forbid. A lot of the "information" I hear about these miticides in grow forums is based on paranoia, misinformation, or someone was dumb and got it on their skin.

    Again, I recommend cleaning out your grow room and starting over when it comes to getting rid of mites as I don't like to use poison as a first line of defense, but if that's not an option you can do what I suggested above.
    jessica d

    jessica d Well-Known Member

    good advice man i wonder if u ever tried predators?
    coldrain likes this.

    coldrain Well-Known Member

    Yes. Predators work well outdoors, but I personally haven't had much success with them indoors. Ladybugs don't work at all. They bonzai into the light bulb and burn up, or leave altogether. Most other predatory mites have drawbacks. They don't flourish in all climates. Some are slow eaters. The number one issue though is the fact that they don't kill ALL of the spider mites which can result in reinfestation.

    The Avid/Forbit combo I used seems to be working well. The new growth is clean and there are no signs of life on the old growth. I've started to prune them and cut off some of the older growth that has noticeable mite damage. I'm using gloves and minimizing contact with them for the next 5 weeks. Manufacturer info says that the residue totally dissipates within 30 days, so I'm giving it 35.

    Diabolical666 Well-Known Member

    I can kill spider mites with rosemary oil (diluted of course and non toxic). Agreed...lady bugs dont do anything but die. I got rust mites awhile back and was reading up on this site (was the only place I could find info on them) The dude said he had to move out of his house to get rid of them, I freaked when i read that. I went to my grow store and they recommended 2 pyrethrin bombs, setting them off 2 days in a row. It worked! Rust mites can only be seen under a scope at 30x magnification or more. The visual damage they do is devistating. Kills the plant from the bottom up because the female mites reproduce on the outer layer of the bottom stem base. Since you cant visually see the mites, its hard to figure out whats wrong if you never had em.
    MMJ Dreaming 99 likes this.

    ganjamanotie Active Member

    Glad you found a solution. I found a way, if caught early, can be done 100% all naturally.
    I simply pluck the tiny little bastards off myself. I get tweezers with a fine tip and a steady eye and 1by1 I pluck each one, and their eggs off. I then place a fly strip around the stalk of my plants. That way they get stuck on their journey from soil to leafs. I keep an eye on them for several weeks and quarantine the most infected ones.
    Like I said it's easier when caught early. If your plants are smaller it's also much easier. If you catch them at the beginning of the infection I could be mite free within the week.
    Also, try to keep temps 65-70 so they don't get out of control.
    bird mcbride

    bird mcbride Well-Known Member

    Everytime you bring a new seed(ling) of unknown origin into the op you are risking mite infestation. The mite eggs are carried in the seed.
    If you can remove the plant(s) from the growroom the grow room can be fumigated. By using a pump up gardening spayer filled with plain water and a paintbrush clean the mites off the plant(s) Be sure to cover the plantpot(s) with something while cleaning the plant(s) so the mites don't fall into the growing medium.
    I find it is safe to wash every surface in the grow-op with liquid raid that the plant(s) don't come in contact with.
    Seedplants are much more breakable than cloned plants so take care while cleaning them.
    Rafiki Farm

    Rafiki Farm Well-Known Member

    All great info. However, if used properly, and backed up with a basic non-invasive pyrethrin regimen - Attain TR DOES kill eggs. Applied it at 3 weeks into flower, harvested at 10 weeks - NO BUGS.
    MMJ Dreaming 99 likes this.

    SSHZ Well-Known Member

    So you know, the recommended LOWEST dosage on the Forbid 4F is 1.2ml per gallon......you were a bit low.
    MMJ Dreaming 99

    MMJ Dreaming 99 Well-Known Member

    Does this hold off spiders and russets going into flower?

    My bad experiences is I am fine going into flower using Forbid and they Flower is good until week 3 or 4 and then the shit hits the fan.
    coldrain likes this.

    chemphlegm Well-Known Member

    you didnt get rid of them any more than the last time you thought you did .

    you'll bring in more strangers, clones and such surely, and they will resurface . I dont want this to happen to you but
    I have a crystal ball

    I find prevention is so much easier and guaranteed and hope I never have this issue(10 years =no mites here!)

    (wow dude, how do you do it? everyone I know has them even the the guy we get our clones from and he's a good grower)

    coldrain Well-Known Member

    I'm glad to say it hasn't happened yet. Three years since that post and I haven't seen another mite. And that's not even the best part. I haven't had to use Avid/Forbid since that one application because I have been super vigilant about what comes through the door. I have brought in a few new ones, but I quarantine them for 30 days and haven't had to deal with anything other than PM. That seems to be a lot more common than mites these days, at least indoors. PM isn't hard to kick out of your room though unlike mites so no big deal there.
    chemphlegm and Los Reefersaurus like this.

    coldrain Well-Known Member

    Depends. If you're growing outdoors and are constantly being bombarded with invading bugs there will come a point when the amount of Avid/Forbid in the plant will not be enough to repel them. The 75 day rule of thumb that I mentioned might be a bit overly cautious, but tests revealed no traces of Abamectin (Avid) or Spiromesifen (Forbid). I don't know exactly how long it remains effective at keeping mites off your plants.

    If you are growing indoors you should only need to hit them once. Even if they are embedded in the room itself the Avid/Forbid cocktail will keep them off the plants long enough to break their life cycle. That's why it was one and done for me. I haven't had them since.

    Also, you mentioned Forbid, but make sure you use both Avid and Forbid at the same time. Now, someone told me the other day that there is a new Forbid product out there that makes Avid unnecessary, but I haven't been in the market for a while so maybe that's what you are using. If so, perhaps the reinfestation time is 3-4 weeks into flower plus whatever veg time there was after you applied the miticide.
    MMJ Dreaming 99 likes this.

    Dutchieman420 Well-Known Member

    Grow some nicotiana Rustica, tobacco makes a great organic pesticide. The rusticas have a much higher nic content u soak leaf n a gal of water for a few hours add tablespoon of Dr bronners after filtering out leaf. Add small amount of clove oil as well
    Use as a spray
    Not intended for regular use
    ttystikk likes this.

    ttystikk Well-Known Member

    Breaking the life cycle is effective; you just have to be diligent and hit them every 3-4 days for 3-4 applications. No need for heavy duty pesticides when doing this, just ensure you kill the mites with thorough and even coverage each application.

    The eggs incubate for about a week and the larvae need another week to grow up enough to let their own eggs. Using several applications at shorter intervals than a week kills the adults and larvae and coming back in a few days kills the hatchlings before they can lay more eggs.

    ttystikk Well-Known Member

    Shit is deadly on honeybees, even a tiny amount of contamination does them in. Therefore, please only use it indoors.
    Lucky Luke and MMJ Dreaming 99 like this.

    Dutchieman420 Well-Known Member

    It is more of an extreme measures for outdoors, be sure to spray wth water following the application f the Rustica clove oil spray
    It is very strong
    I am currently doing studies with this in variations for many many applications
    MMJ Dreaming 99 likes this.

    Dutchieman420 Well-Known Member

    I will put a product out eventually
    MMJ Dreaming 99 likes this.

    ttystikk Well-Known Member

    Just be aware of how bad it is for bees.

    Dutchieman420 Well-Known Member

    I won't argue with u without proof first but could u elaborate? I don't see it being any worse than the other sprays for spider mites. Nic is used when bee keeping the smoke detours them during collection. So it doesnt seem to kill em even at the high levels induced with smke
    MMJ Dreaming 99

    MMJ Dreaming 99 Well-Known Member

    Thanks. My ex-guru was a Forbid and rotate to FloraMite guy. Avid and Forbid sound like a better combo because FloraMite is pretty nasty to spray with. I am testing Big Time Exterminator which is pretty mild.

    Somehow they use yeast enzymes for killing and controlling spider and russet mites. You can also add tiny amount when watering for soil gnats,.
    coldrain likes this.

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