Types of Miticides for Ornamental Plants
Mites are not spiders but are classed as arthropods and are among the most difficult garden pest to control, mites are closely related to ticks and spiders. The adult mites have eight legs and a piercing-sucking mouthpart that is like a hypodermic needle which they inject into the plant’s cells extracting the sap or the fluids.
Science estimates that there are at least 48,000 species of mites that can be found worldwide making this group a large family. Mites can be found just about anywhere, some of these places include crops, caves, pastures, salt and fresh water, thermal springs, and soils. Mites consume animal and plant matter, feeds on fungi, and assists in the decomposition of decaying organic material.
Some mites have also been known to affect human health, some of these health-related issues are minor to server skin irritation such as skin rashes, asthma, hay fever, and eczema which requires medical help. However, what I want us to turn our attention to are mites that affect ornamental plants and how to control them.
Ornamental plant mites
There are about four major types of mites that attack ornamental plants, the names of these mites include tarsonemid mites, false mites or flat spiders, eriophyid or gall mites, and the spider mites.
Signs of mite damage
Signs of mite damage on garden plants are as followed.
- Curled yellow leaves
- Brown wilted leaves
- Webbing or spider web of infected plants
- Foliage or leaves that are speckled
- Leaves take on an appearance that’s mottled
Miticides are chemicals that are used to control the spread or reduce the population of mites in the garden, there are many types of miticides that are sold on the market. Reading the label carefully will help you in choosing which miticide is best for your type of garden plant/plants that need to be treated.
When choosing miticides as with other chemicals to treat garden insect pests it is always best to start with the least toxic because the goal is not to contaminate the air or harm beneficial insects. Miticides that are extremely toxic can also be harmful to humans and pets so remember to start with the least toxic first.
‘Danger,’ ‘Caution’ or ‘Warning’ is what you will read on the label of miticides, products label caution are the least toxic while products that are labeled danger are of higher risk and should be avoided being used only under extreme conditions and even then should consideration be given in the purchased of them but the rule to follow is still to use and work with the least toxic.
Before applying miticides read and follow the manufacture’s direction for the best results failure to do so can result in further setbacks and even death of your plant.
Mites can build up resistance if the same miticides are being used over and repeatedly, all chemicals have active ingredients that are reasonable for the knockdown of garden insects pests. Different types of miticides also have different types of active ingredients therefore it’s best to use different types of miticides to control the spread of mites with the same toxicity level of which is the least toxic.
1. A great way to safeguard your ornamental plants against mites is to keep them growing healthy, mites are drawn to and thrive on garden plants that are weak and under stress which means make sure that your plants are getting what they require to survive such as planting them in the right location, the right soil, giving them the right amount of water, keeping them properly pruned and giving them the right amount of fertilizer. Taking these steps will ensure that your garden plants stand up against mite attacks.
2. All miticides should be kept in the original container.
3. Store the container in a well-ventilated area and away from children and pets.
4. Don’t use miticides on rainy or windy days because the rain can wash away miticides causing them to lose is effectiveness, applying on windy days can cause drift off-carrying miticides to other areas that it is not intended for.
5. Miticides are contact sprays and therefore must come in contact with mites for control, mites can be found hiding on the undersides of plant leaves. When applying or spraying get total coverage.
6. Purchase and use only what you need, mixing more than is needed can lead to wastage which can encourage contamination.
The names of some Miticide brands
- Avid 0.15 Miticide Insecticide
- Floramite SC Ornamental Miticide
- Forbid 4F Ornamental Insecticide Miticide
- Mite-E-oil Insecticide Miticide Spray
- Floramite SC/LS Ornamental Miticide
The final word on types of miticides
Now that we have discussed spider mites and other types of miticides it is time that you start using this guide especially if you have a mite problem. Our garden plants need our assistance in growing their best, in order for them to go to work for us, we must go to work for them by helping in any way that will promote and maintain their health. So let’s win the war on mites by following this guide, your garden plants will love you for this and will reward you greatly.