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Old July 8, 2016   #1
StrongPlant
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Default Aculus lycopersici-tomato russet mite

Well I wouldn't call this a common pest as there is not even a separate thread for this pest.That is,until now,but I just had to do it because the greenhouse is absolutely saturated with them.They're killing my tomatoes faster and faster as time passes by.I've begun investigating and reading about this perticular mite,but there's not much information out there.I've never used pesticides and I don't want to start now,so I've tried several things.
Yesterday I gassed the entire greenhouse with smoke from burning dried up grass and branches for a couple of hours.Some plants were a bit harmed by it,and have dried up top leaves,as the smoke was thickest at the top.But to my surprise,after taking a leaf and looking it under magnification I could still see plenty of mites alive...I've also tried exposing them to UV light from a UV tube to see if it kills them,but it did nothing.
Today I wondered if water could wash them away,so I took an infested leaf,and looked it under magnification just to make sure there were plenty of mites on it,and of course there were.Than I took a hose and sprayed it with water,not too strong,for a couple of seconds.After looking at the leaf again,I couldn't find any mites.It seems water can wash them off,but it certanly doesn't kill them.
I'm now thinking about washing all of the plants with strong shower of water once/day,and after some time applying mice trap glue at the base of the stems to prevent them from climbing up(at least some of them,because apparently the wind can transfer them as well).From what I read it looks like they can't handle too much cold,so I will till the soil in the greenhouse in the middle of the coldest month here to allow it to deep-freeze.
Well,these were all experimental methods to see if they might work.I would very much like to hear if anyone else had a problem with them and how did they deal with it,or if someone has any effective way to kill them without using pesticides.Any texts found on the internet about them would be appreciated,too.
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Old July 8, 2016   #2
ginger2778
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You could try Met52. Its looks very pricey, except you only use 1/2 teaspoon per gallon. It is a fungus that colonizes and ruptures mites and other insects. Keep it in the dark to preserve it.

I caved in and use pyrethrins, they come from chrysanthemums. Not all pesticides are harmful, and there are organic ones. My philosophy is that after all my hard work and expense, I do not want to lose to an insect infestation. Soapy water mixed with vegetable oil drench on under and over side of all leafs and down the stem to the soil line are very good at suffocating them and rupturing their body waxes. You must repeat that every 4 days for 3 times.

You can also buy predatory mites, just google it.

Once you have success, new growth will come up from the roots, spray it too, and you will get a crop.
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Old July 8, 2016   #3
geoffrey44
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Agree with Marsha
We have been using pyrethrins for many years... They are non toxic and derived from vegetative material... We use it on all our edibles at first sign of problems,.. and on roses for aphids.
They are contact effective and will need reapplication when the problem reappears or after rain.
Only thing that got our whitefly infestation under control last year.
You should be able to buy it as a concentrate then dilute as per directions
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Old July 8, 2016   #4
Tracydr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrongPlant View Post
Well I wouldn't call this a common pest as there is not even a separate thread for this pest.That is,until now,but I just had to do it because the greenhouse is absolutely saturated with them.They're killing my tomatoes faster and faster as time passes by.I've begun investigating and reading about this perticular mite,but there's not much information out there.I've never used pesticides and I don't want to start now,so I've tried several things.
Yesterday I gassed the entire greenhouse with smoke from burning dried up grass and branches for a couple of hours.Some plants were a bit harmed by it,and have dried up top leaves,as the smoke was thickest at the top.But to my surprise,after taking a leaf and looking it under magnification I could still see plenty of mites alive...I've also tried exposing them to UV light from a UV tube to see if it kills them,but it did nothing.
Today I wondered if water could wash them away,so I took an infested leaf,and looked it under magnification just to make sure there were plenty of mites on it,and of course there were.Than I took a hose and sprayed it with water,not too strong,for a couple of seconds.After looking at the leaf again,I couldn't find any mites.It seems water can wash them off,but it certanly doesn't kill them.
I'm now thinking about washing all of the plants with strong shower of water once/day,and after some time applying mice trap glue at the base of the stems to prevent them from climbing up(at least some of them,because apparently the wind can transfer them as well).From what I read it looks like they can't handle too much cold,so I will till the soil in the greenhouse in the middle of the coldest month here to allow it to deep-freeze.
Well,these were all experimental methods to see if they might work.I would very much like to hear if anyone else had a problem with them and how did they deal with it,or if someone has any effective way to kill them without using pesticides.Any texts found on the internet about them would be appreciated,too.
The best thing I've found for mites is sulfa. You really have to keep them shaded or rinse it off before the sun comes out. The other things I've used are Azamax and dog flea/tick spray with growth regulator.
Probably the most effective method in a greenhouse would be to release either lady bugs or green lacewings.
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Old July 11, 2016   #5
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I like what I read about pyrethrine and met52,but it seems they are very difficult to find them in my area.I will keep searching and trying some experimental methodes as well.

In the meantime,does anyone have a clue wheter elevated CO2 levels in the greenhouse would kill this pest? The greenhouse is not big so I could easily raise CO2 levels well above 1% for extended period,but would it actually do anything to them?
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Old July 11, 2016   #6
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I doubt raising the CO2 would do anything for the infestation.

If you can collect lady bugs locally (I often see them on trees with aphid problems), Tracydr's suggestion might be a great non-toxic solution.

Perhaps one of our other EU members can add suggestions that better match the availability of materials in your area.

Good luck!
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Old July 11, 2016   #7
StrongPlant
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Originally Posted by PhilaGardener View Post
I doubt raising the CO2 would do anything for the infestation.

If you can collect lady bugs locally (I often see them on trees with aphid problems), Tracydr's suggestion might be a great non-toxic solution.

Perhaps one of our other EU members can add suggestions that better match the availability of materials in your area.

Good luck!
Thanks,I just found out that the CO2 levels need to be over 60% for up to 4 weeks,so I think I will cross that one off my list.

I found a bio-pesticide that seems to be avaliable in my area,it is based on a fungus beauveria bassiana.This particular strain is ATC 74040.Would this work?

Damage caused by aculus lycopersici:


Most of the plants from these 2 rows only made it to the 1st fruit truss,everything above was completely destroyed.This is after the removal of leaves that were completely dried up.I burned them just to be sure.

Last edited by StrongPlant; July 11, 2016 at 11:27 AM.
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Old July 20, 2016   #8
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I was thinking for a while now about novel physical methods of removing pests from my garden,and I came to an idea to mix up some kind of sticky liquid that would become stickier as it dries,sticking the mistes and suffocating/immobilizing them.I tried to make a mixture of plant mucilage(from my cactuses) but it seems that to be effective I need a ton of pads from my poor opuntias.Today I was thinking about gelatin,if I'd make a mix with water and spray plants with it while it's still warm(liquid) it would harden on the plants and suffocate the mites.What do you guys think about this? Do you have any idea for a better sticky recipe? Btw the stickines needs not to be osmotically active because it might draw water out of the plants,that is,no sugars or anything like that.The problem with gelatin is that I don't know for how long it would stay on the plants,and it might clog their stomata to the point of killing them.I might just try this on 1-2 plants and see if it does anything.I would appreciate any input from anyone and new ideas on more physical means of control.
As to why I don't like chemical means of control,I have my reasons and am too tired to explain them right now but I'll tell if anyone is eager to know.
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Old July 20, 2016   #9
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Marsha, or any of you, can you direct me to a pyrethrum spray that is pure? Do they even make it that way or does it all have petroleum in it?
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Old July 20, 2016   #10
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Originally Posted by BigVanVader View Post
Marsha, or any of you, can you direct me to a pyrethrum spray that is pure? Do they even make it that way or does it all have petroleum in it?
It all has something in it that was used in the extraction process. What on earth would you do with 100%? The concentrates have 1%!

Here's a website for growing your own mums and extracting the concentrate yourself.
http://eap.mcgill.ca/agrobio/ab360-0...NG%20PYRETHRUM
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Old July 20, 2016   #11
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Why not use food grade Diatomaceous Earth in powder form or mixed with water as a spray? It kills mites in my garden extemely well. It kills every bug extremely well also but if you are not using beneficial insects it would work and be cost effective without chemicals or extracts.
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Old July 21, 2016   #12
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Why not use food grade Diatomaceous Earth in powder form or mixed with water as a spray? It kills mites in my garden extemely well. It kills every bug extremely well also but if you are not using beneficial insects it would work and be cost effective without chemicals or extracts.
Can't find it in my area
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Old July 21, 2016   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ginger2778 View Post
It all has something in it thapt was used in the extraction process. What on earth would you do with 100%? The concentrates have 1%!

Here's a website for growing your own mums and extracting the concentrate yourself.
http://eap.mcgill.ca/agrobio/ab360-0...NG%20PYRETHRUM
I'm sorry I didnt mean 100% strength, just something that is pure without kerosene in it. I may actually try that make your own thing. I could just do the hot water thing and I bet the strength would be above 1% per gallon.
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Old July 21, 2016   #14
ginger2778
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Originally Posted by BigVanVader View Post
I'm sorry I didnt mean 100% strength, just something that is pure without kerosene in it. I may actually try that make your own thing. I could just do the hot water thing and I bet the strength would be above 1% per gallon.
I hope you do, that would be very cool if it worked.
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Old July 21, 2016   #15
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Originally Posted by StrongPlant View Post
Can't find it in my area
You should be able to get food grade diatomaceous earth online if no one has it locally. I use a mix of 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup food grade DE mixed in a separate container with water and strained into my sprayer. I then add 2 TBS of Dawn per gallon of water along with the pesticide Permethrin. This mix without the Permethrin should help you a lot. The Permethrin is a mild poison used on dogs for fleas with a short almost non-existent wait time to harvest. The Permethrin like Pyrethrin is a quick contact killer used to eliminate many of the adults so they don't continue laying eggs. This has been the most effective means of slowing or stopping mites that I have found in over 40 years of gardening.

Good luck finding some DE and from the looks of those plants you need to do something soon.

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