Feb 092010
 February 9, 2010

I am starting a new series for ‘Grower Tips.’ Essentially, I will post a question on my Facebook wall and see what responses come up. These tips don’t come from me; they come straight from Facebook fans, so take them for what they are.

The question posted this week was ‘What is the best way to get rid of spider mites?’ Here were the responses:

Shaun Paton — “F.Y.I. ladybugs hunt down spider mites, also the ladybugs do not harm the plant in any way, much better than using pesticide.”

Bryan Shanon Hercules Hart — “Zero Tolerance by Ed Rosethal; it’s all natural and smells great.”

Ellis Worthington — “Mark Heinrich swears by something called Mite-Rid.”

Tammy Freire — “Johnny we tried everything natural we could for a couple of years and finally had to go chemical with a product called Avid. It destroys the little sucker’s nervous systems. It made my hubby have a neurological seizure after he applied it so if you use it mask up, shower and detox! It has been 6 months and no mites though! Hallelujah! They are the borg! We were only getting an 1/8 a plant when it was at its worse. Now back up to 2 oz. + per plant!”

Phil Cannabisni — “In the past few days I read that someone puts a plant (forget which type) into the grow room and this plant is like caviar to spider mites so they are attracted to it, they then take the plant out every few days and replace it. Sorry I can’t give more details.”

Vinnie White — “Neem oil and dish soap.”

I would like to thank all of those that responded to the post, and to all of the readers that are dealing with spider mites right now, MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU! Feel free to post comments for any other tips and tricks dealing with spider mites!

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About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
  • neil morgan

    The plant philcannabisni is refering to is ”sweet hibiscus”…it is like finest nectar,to spidermites and they will leave your ganja plants alone. Failing that, Neem oil (cold press !) use half recommended strength and RINSE after about 2 – 3 hours…don’t use on budding plants. Failing that, work with them…brush carefully off cuttings. The plants will start to evolve natural defenses, anyway. Failing that, put them outside in warmer weather and let natural preditors deal with it. Failing that…then grow something else !!

    • megan

      i figured out a absolutely free way to get rid of spider mites and i can honestly say there is not one on my plant any more. i tried everything in all the forums the only thing that is free and works is what i did and its hilarious. so every day when i watered the plant i ran my fingers under all the leaves and just killed them with my fingers. they are just like those little red dot spiders just smash them. i did this for about 3 weeks every day andd they are gone.

      • DaveMan50

         Great your fingers are so small you can under the sun leaf’s on the buds! Well I hope you like smoking crushed bugs. And hole ones in the flowers.Get a joulers loop and look at the under side of your flowers. That is a 15/25X magnifier. Then get Pyrethium from your Hydro supplyer.

  • chenzo

    find some lady bugs/birds and leave them around… they eat spider mites, my mum does this for her roses

  • wwwtyrant

    After doing a google search for sweet hibiscus, I am back here. Perhaps you might know the scientific name of the plant?

    • http://www.theweedblog.com JohnnyGreen

      I have never heard of anyone using the sweet hibiscus plant, so I don’t know where to get it or even what it looks like!! I have always used ‘Floramite,’ which is a powerful, expensive chemical, but it works everytime. My friend had the worst spider mite infection I have ever seen, he did one application, waited a week, then did another application and he is mite free for 2 years now. It was like night and day. I know this stuff costs a ton of money, but you only use 1/4 of a teaspoon per gallon, and it works like a charm. Buying a 32oz. bottle is like buying a life time supply for you and your 10 closest friends, and it kills the mites forever. Other methods will kill the mites, but they always come back. Floramite kills those suckers for good. I don’t usually give my own grow tips online, but this product is so good that I don’t have any problem endorsing it.

      • http://www.theweedblog.com JohnnyGreen

        As with almost ANY spray, you can only use floramite during the veg stage. Spraying your plants with ANYTHING during the bud stage could cause some major health problems!

      • Tim

        I grow outdoors in the ground and very rarely do I see posts about outdoor spidermite controll and especially how to rid the little bastards from buds, 3,4,5 and 6 weeks in flower. I have been trying everything, (within reason) I cant vacum 47 plants from 4ft to over 10ft. It’s hard enough to spray em. I had to make my own home made sprayer. Now I can spray efficiantly by useing an atomizer tip useing 30 to 50psi
        Spider mites are resillant little bastards now days. I used spinisad, and then did a Azamax soil drench. Still have f ing crawlers, eggs but no webs, Thank GOD!!! I do a long harvest so after my first cut, I will either have to cut some a little early or let it go longer on the plant because I have to spray again to try one last time to get rid of those little destroyers.
        I have been keeping the webs off with alcohol, 70%Isopropyl 50/50 with ice water. It also kills alot of the crawlers and some of the eggs and it definately keeps them from webbing up my buds!
        I have been reading about Rosemary oil at a 2% solution. Only good things being said. Also Grapejuice. It is acidic, leaves a grapeish smell but I don’t want to add color or flavor. I have Brazilian Skunk and got it for it’s sweet hashy taste, super stone and pinkish,purplish, green color, grape juice seems like it would stain the bud?
        Any comments are greatfully appreciated.

  • Humboldt421

    I have heard that if you have a CO2 system in the room you can raise the levels to a toxic level….be careful as it can be toxic to humans too. Raise the CO2 up and hold it there for a few hours once a week or similar pattern and repeat.

    Sorry, I don’t have specifics on what level of CO2 and how long.

    • 420eric

      this does not work only slows them down

  • purplemeister

    Spider mites are a huge problem in NorCal — EVERYONE has them. Dip any clones you get from another person. Screen & spray your intake fans.
    Use floramite, avid, foggers, 50/50 rubbing alcohol & water, neem, safer soap, sucrashield, you gotta mix it up; the mites become immune to chemicals very quickly. Keep the floor of your room clean.
    Once you are in flower, you can apply azatrol systemically, but once you start to flush, the bastards will return!
    You can try ladybugs, but if you spray with 50/50 alcohol, you will kill the predator mites or ladybugs.
    Unfortunately, I can’t crank my CO2 super high/toxic level because the grow room is inside my house.
    I’m gonna try the hibiscus, but the last 2 weeks are the hardest. Last grow was not as bad as this one; for some reason it varies — could be the strain of mite.
    When you’re fighting them at the end, make sure you break up the webs. You can use a small vacuum.
    Once harvested the mites crawl up, so be sure to wipe the top of whatever you are hanging your buds on to dry and kill them!
    I read somewhere where someone hung their live plants upside down so the mites would be on the popcorn buds, but that isn;t gonna work for most people with a room full of plants.
    Always watch your plants closely and try to isolate the infested plant. You can rig a CO2 gas chamber for individual plants.
    Good Luck!

  • Froshty

    Blasting Co2 to 10000 ppm does not work, I’ve personally tried it, sealed my room pretty good, got a co2 controller that reads ppm s up to 9995 ppm. I unleashed the whole bottle and had a remote camera from another room to view the co2 readings which was locked at 9995 for 2and1/2 hrs then I decided to to air out the room(turning on intake and exhaust) soon room was back to 700 ppm, checked plants, spidermites happily still trucking along. Since then , I’ve been spraying with SNS-217 spidermite control, stuff works great kills them dead and dosn’t burn plants like other sprays, I even spray when lights are on (note) I’ve only sprayed in veg room under 600 metal halides so I don’t know if hps and spraying in flowering will burn or effect taste.

    • click

      there is a paper online
      http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/datastore/datastoreview/showpage.cfm?usernumber=1&surveynumber=267
      This will give you a little info on CO2 control, you have to work out the Kpa conversion but its hard to do as that is a pressure rating. Anyway if you go to that link and read down it gives another link to the actual research results. As you can see for 100% mortality you need high temps. At 68 degrees it takes about 8 days at high co2 levels to achieve 100% mortality.

      My personal experience is that during bloom, 12 hours at 10000 ppm will give about 60% mortality. Repeated every other day for a week will put you at a point where organic control measures can be implemented to keep the “Borg” at bay until harvest. I have had to do this several times. On single plants repeated apps of SNS217 will achieve control within a short time. Another option for control which has to be implemented early is hanging Hot Shot No Pest Strips. No these are not the sticky fly type traps. I think the chemical is Dicloros (spelled wrong). Just google the name Hot Shot no pest strips and you will find them. I get them at Ace or Home Depot. Ed Rosenthals Zero tolerance works well also on plants where you can sprey and are not in bud. Once in bud, and if possible, i promise you that the CO2 in combination with the no pest strips WILL work. I know that many people post many ways to get rid of mites. But if you are on the verge of infestation just do the math, the spidermites will win unless you get very proactive. For people that are growing MMJ please read the warnings for the N P Strips. I am okay with it but i know that some, if not a lot of people would not be. The only time you cannot achieve control with the myriad of products out there is in SOG where access to undersides of leaves is limited. I highly recommend the SNS 217. It does kill eggs. Not 100% as they claim. In order to make claims they have to test. Testing is not done on plants representational of the different settings consumers will encounter. It usually is done on leaf discs removed with a special tool called a leaf corer, i think. Anyway the SNS does work on eggs also, but like i said not 100%, but after 3 applications you will be well on the road.

      I have been researching and testing products for a long time as I cannot stand those little M…..krs. They are so frustrating. I can tell you that with a little effort proactively you can achieve control, but seldom irradication. Control is fine as long as you put in the effort to keep up a proactive regimen. After control is achieved i have had excellent results with once weekly sparse spraying of homemade mixtures. Hell even blasting with cold water works, but only after control is achieved.

    • Corrector

      actually if it didn’t work you most likely didn’t have a true sealed room. Professional grow ops have been using this technique successfully for years and they are raking in millions. novice’s should know what they are talking about before talkiong as it just clouds an already ‘very clouded’ info.stream with more crap.

  • mrdrums

    it is so simple make the environment unlivable for the Borg just lower the temp below 60 degrees and humidity above 6o and they will leave and if that doesn’t work make a wood cover for pot`s and wash them upside( the Borg doun`t like to be right side up) down with a jet of water from a hose in sink i have my sink above a toilet so leaves and everything down the john end of invasion. Groovy.a man no chem.and the plan-tie`s don`t mind a shower.bot 177 shower`s wooosh

  • http://www.howtogrowweed420.com how to grow weed

    these stupid spider mites DESTROYED my first garden. ughhh so lame. thanks for this great article on combatting these f**kers

  • stevo

    I have been using azamax and it seems to be working on the mites themselves but the eggs are the problem, so I used a product called pure spray green(98% protroleum oil) and that killed the eggs. using them together i have not done yet but have heard of people doing that……. 2 tbl of each product per gallon. good luck

  • http://www.cbmercantile.com DWeed

    Get the product “No Spider Mites” from cbmercantile.com – Apply once to kill the bugs and a second application 4 days later to make sure all eggs are dead as well. Solved my problem and every other grower that I know. The longer you wait the more damage will be done.

  • Pebbles0114

    I have mites iv been useing soap and water and co2 but still have them so what should I do now

    • DaveMan50

       Hay slick, It’s Neem oil and detergent (dish sope) Then use Pyretheum spray two weeks before harvest for a week. Spray up under leaf’s, wait 5/7 days and do it again. Pyretheum decomposes and you need to kill the new hatch.

  • arturo Gonzalez

    you peeps with a inn should try a sulfur burner it makes ur buds sparkle but it will kill all bugs

  • http://www.nospidermites.com Josh

    We had the same problems with Spider mites and have been killing them lately with a pretty awesome organic product called No Spider Mites. It is new. It is the best weedman_hydroponicSpider Mites Treatment on the planet! Check it out.

  • http://westsidelightandgarden.net Corey

    If your looking for the right nutrients and supplies to grow indoors successfully, then check out westsidelightandgarden.net

  • udgdc420

    Tried everything and then was amazed when I found a product called hotshot pest strip ,and its vapor …You hang it up above your plants or put it on the ground in your grow area :)) and its only 6.79 and last 4 months … All mites vanished …u must try it

  • http://whatreallyhappened.com Unethical Grower

    This is people’s medicine. What mentality sprays poison on medicine?

  • Craziefoxx

    I had mites in my closet grow room, and in the houseplants as well. There were tons in the soil, but none on the leaves yet (I’m assuming these WERE spider mites?). At first I tried using dish soap, and it did absolutely nothing. Next, I tried putting a hot shot pest strip in the 5×4 closet where the plants were. At first they seemed to hide in the soil, trying to avoid it, but then they ignored it after 3 days of it being there.Â
    I heard about using neem oil, garlic tea or rubbing alcohol, but I didn’t have any in the house. So I rummaged through the pantry. I came up with a diluted mixture of Safflower Oil, Garlic Powder, Apple Vinegar, and Tequila. I poured this into the soil, thoroughly wetting the entire surface. By the next morning, they seemed to be gone.Â

  • Strange Magic Mama

    I use a product called Mighty Wash- You can use it up to two days before harvest. Works like a charm every time.  Make sure to coat the under and top side very well and do it right before your lights go out to avoid any burning.

    • Jon_ray01

      That’s the same as dish soap and water

  • Mag

    Do you knat the Avi Water ratio i?

  • mag

    Oooops, meant Avid to Water ratio

  • How to kill spider Mites

    I like to use CO2 to control my spider mite infestation. It is organic, residue free, and extremely easy to use.

  • jack

    predators do work but only as a control they dont totally get rid

  • http://www.facebook.com/chuck.chipner Chuck Chipner

    Oh wow! I had never heard of spider mites until coming on this page, and I think one of the best ways to get rid of any bug is by hiring a good http://sacinc.net/heat company to do the job for you.

  • jason_the_great

    i tried a bunch fo the so called “natural remedies’ and seriously none of them worked. maybe i did them wrong, who knows, but my spider mites didnt die off completely. i tried lava mite after a friend recommended it and it worked great. i bought mine from http://www.lavamite.com i thoguht it was expensive at first but since it works as well as it says, ill pay it anyday!

  • joe

    a new all natural and organic product has recently been introduced to the market. quantum apocalypse is a neem based solution that just doesn’t kill spider mites but also aphids, thrips, mealybug, and powdery mildew. it is inexpensive in comparison to it’s competition and way more effective. it can be found at entomo419.com

  • marc michaud

    Green Lacewing Eggs is the safest and best bug controll out there.

  • deb

    There is a product made from Chrysanthemum Flowers for spider mites, thrips, aphids, gnats, mealybugs, moths, whiteflies, fern scalies, beetles and others. apply to edibles up to day of harvest. by Schultz Expert Gardner Houseplants & Gardens toxic to fish and care not to contaminate water.
    Perhaps some of it or a lot of it NOT from the flower. works good on rose of sharon. usually only use it once in a year, maybe twice.

  • Vatea78

    I am in my 6th week of flower indoor. These mites are infesting all my plants. I need an all natural solution to killing these bastards before I lose my flowers please help

  • Old Hat

    I did not bother reading all the reply’s, tobacco tea wish dish soap.
    1 gallon water,1 cup tobacco, 1 tablespoon dish detergent.
    I take the tobacco and make a tea bag, add that and water in large pot, bring to boil let steep for 1 hour, once cool add to gallon jug, add detergent, replace any water that boiled off, shake well, put in sprayer and go to town. Works well!
    the nicotine will break down and does not IMO pose health risks some of these other solutions do.

    • HouseofChristina

      Yes, seems to me someone else said use tobacco, they said “American Spirit” is ,…organic? no additives? Anyway, they said get a pack. You can make a nifty “bag” with a coffee filter. I also use a vacuum after misting with 50/50 alcohol to help identify any webs. I reused a nasal mist bottle and it makes a super fine mist and helps ” hi-lite” the webs-which are not so bad its obvious. After I vacuum, I defoliate anything I dont need, all shaders. One recommendation is to use Habanero peppers,…this is an organic way to control the pests, HOWEVER,…when you spray this concoction you are spraying THEEE MOST POWERFUL pepper spray, a submersion bath is a much better alternative!!!!! A plastic tote cut down or even boxes taped together with a plastic bag liner will work to “dip” the plants (laying down sideways and rotated), USE A COVER OVER THE BATH TO PREVENT SPLATTERS- this stuff is liquid fire. Last year we had no bugs whatsoever, my hubby used the vapor pest strip.