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Old July 10, 2017   #31
zipcode
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StrongPlant, did you get them this year as well?
In case you did, can you post a picture of leaves only half affected? (like ongoing).
I have an really puzzling problem, that looks like the russet mites pictures, except I can't find any (with magnification). The problem starts appearing about half way on the plant, so quite unusual for mites.
I will look today in other areas that are not affected, maybe they moved...
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Old July 10, 2017   #32
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StrongPlant, did you get them this year as well?
In case you did, can you post a picture of leaves only half affected? (like ongoing).
I have an really puzzling problem, that looks like the russet mites pictures, except I can't find any (with magnification). The problem starts appearing about half way on the plant, so quite unusual for mites.
I will look today in other areas that are not affected, maybe they moved...
They are much tinier than spider mites. They are cone shaped, and have 2 sets of legs. I would guess you might need at least 20X magnification to see them.
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Old July 10, 2017   #33
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StrongPlant, did you get them this year as well?
In case you did, can you post a picture of leaves only half affected? (like ongoing).
I have an really puzzling problem, that looks like the russet mites pictures, except I can't find any (with magnification). The problem starts appearing about half way on the plant, so quite unusual for mites.
I will look today in other areas that are not affected, maybe they moved...
Unfortunatelly these are the only pictures I have when the damage is quite significat:


The best way to identify them is to actually see them.They are impossible to see with a naked eye so as ginger said,you need good magnification(best to use a microscope,even a cheap toy one will do).Note that the mites are on the underside of the leaves and can also be found on stems.The mites are offten described as "torpedo shaped".

This year some other kind of mite appeared on my toms,I sprayed once with abamectin about 2 months ago,which is said to have the best effect on this specific mite:

http://www.extento.hawaii.edu/kbase/...e/a_lycope.htm

It worked,abamectin seems to be really effective on mites and it degrades quickly in environment so you don't have to worry about residue.Hope this helps.
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Old July 10, 2017   #34
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Default Various stages of Tomato Russet Mite Damage

Things to look for:

Bronzing of the stem.

Leaf roll. I know it can be a lot of things, but when otherwise healthy plants start to roll, get out the magnifying glass. What you use is a 30x jewelers loop.

Sometimes leaves look a little like early blight, but without the concentric rings.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Bronze stem.jpg (418.0 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg kind of like early blight.jpg (297.9 KB, 42 views)
File Type: jpg Leaf roll.jpg (327.3 KB, 41 views)
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Old July 11, 2017   #35
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Yeah, they're there. I was looking at the slightly yellowed leaflets, but I needed to look at the good parts of the leaf, they left those pastures long ago. They look more like small worms, and the colour makes them hard to see (transparent and yellowish).
The most close of what I see is this picture on the internet: https://www.annettemcfarlane.com/image/RM.jpg
The mites are already in the green leaf tip, and probably lots of other places on the plant.
This is gonna be a bad year I don't even know where they came from, I'm on the third floor. Definitely not from the pots, since the damage started from up on the plant.
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Old July 11, 2017   #36
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Yeah, they're there. I was looking at the slightly yellowed leaflets, but I needed to look at the good parts of the leaf, they left those pastures long ago.
Yes, to spot them, your best chance is to look at the stalks or leaves immediately above where the visible damage begins.
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Old July 11, 2017   #37
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Yeah, they're there. I was looking at the slightly yellowed leaflets, but I needed to look at the good parts of the leaf, they left those pastures long ago. They look more like small worms, and the colour makes them hard to see (transparent and yellowish).
The most close of what I see is this picture on the internet: https://www.annettemcfarlane.com/image/RM.jpg
The mites are already in the green leaf tip, and probably lots of other places on the plant.
This is gonna be a bad year I don't even know where they came from, I'm on the third floor. Definitely not from the pots, since the damage started from up on the plant.
They are often carried on the wind. I fight them every year.
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Old July 11, 2017   #38
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Does neem work?
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Old July 11, 2017   #39
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Does neem work?
Neem might slow them down a bit, but I have found Monterey Take Down Spray to be much more effective. It has pyrethrin and canola oil. I don't know if you can get that where you are.

An employee of a local hydroponics store recommended a product that was mostly isopropyl alchohol. These guys specialize in assisting customers who grow produce that is typically smoked. I have never tried it and wonder if it will hurt tomato plants, but you can find articles on the net concerning its use on spider mites and hemp mites (which are closely related to TRM). I might try an experiment on my Berkeley Tie Dye which is beginning to look sad.

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Old July 12, 2017   #40
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I have started an experiment this morning using a spray of isopropyl alcohol diluted 50% plus pyrethrin.

I sprayed the stem of Berkeley Tie Dye that exhibits the most symptoms.

I also sprayed Momotaro, which I had given up on. I was just letting it ripen up a few tomatoes before I pulled it. The Momotaro had previously been sprayed at least twice with a pyrethrin/DE combo, with no good result. The earthbox neighbor of Momotaro, a CP, was yanked a couple weeks ago.

If it works, I will let you know. If the spray kills the leaves, I haven't really lost anything. The Momotaro is a gonner, and I will still have two stems of Berkeley Tie Dye.
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Old July 12, 2017   #41
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I have started an experiment this morning using a spray of isopropyl alcohol diluted 50% plus pyrethrin.

I sprayed the stem of Berkeley Tie Dye that exhibits the most symptoms.

I also sprayed Momotaro, which I had given up on. I was just letting it ripen up a few tomatoes before I pulled it. The Momotaro had previously been sprayed at least twice with a pyrethrin/DE combo, with no good result. The earthbox neighbor of Momotaro, a CP, was yanked a couple weeks ago.

If it works, I will let you know. If the spray kills the leaves, I haven't really lost anything. The Momotaro is a gonner, and I will still have two stems of Berkeley Tie Dye.
I use the 10% Permethrin for livestock and vegetables at the rate of one ounce per gallon of mix. I also use 2 TBS of Dawn per gallon of mix and 3/4 cup of food grade DE. It has worked on all mite infestations but sometimes needs a second or even third application if the infestation is really bad. I have already had one infestation this year and wiped it out but I am sure they will return before long as the summer keeps heating up.

I have in the past used the canola and pryrethin stuff but found it had to be reapplied too often if the infestation was bad and got leaf burn in our near 100 degree heat. I also tried mixes with essential oils and various types of soap with some good results but those mixes had the same problem in that to be effective the amount of oil was somewhat hard on the leaves in the summer heat. I had the same problem with Neem and Neem and pyrethrin mixes. Before I found the mix I am currently using I had the best result by alternating and spraying every three days; but that gets really tiring and when you are spraying a lot of plants it becomes expensive.

The best thing about the Permethrin, DE and Dawn mix is if you mix it and apply it correctly and thoroughly to all surfaces, particularly undersides of the leaves, you usually don't have to reapply it more than once to control the mites. However knowing how easily mites can come back into your garden you may have to use it again before the season is over. Another thing I have found that I like is I can add some copper to my mix and get a fungicide application in at the same time.

Bill
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Old July 12, 2017   #42
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I use the 10% Permethrin for livestock and vegetables at the rate of one ounce per gallon of mix. I also use 2 TBS of Dawn per gallon of mix and 3/4 cup of food grade DE. It has worked on all mite infestations but sometimes needs a second or even third application if the infestation is really bad. I have already had one infestation this year and wiped it out but I am sure they will return before long as the summer keeps heating up.

I have in the past used the canola and pryrethin stuff but found it had to be reapplied too often if the infestation was bad and got leaf burn in our near 100 degree heat. I also tried mixes with essential oils and various types of soap with some good results but those mixes had the same problem in that to be effective the amount of oil was somewhat hard on the leaves in the summer heat. I had the same problem with Neem and Neem and pyrethrin mixes. Before I found the mix I am currently using I had the best result by alternating and spraying every three days; but that gets really tiring and when you are spraying a lot of plants it becomes expensive.

The best thing about the Permethrin, DE and Dawn mix is if you mix it and apply it correctly and thoroughly to all surfaces, particularly undersides of the leaves, you usually don't have to reapply it more than once to control the mites. However knowing how easily mites can come back into your garden you may have to use it again before the season is over. Another thing I have found that I like is I can add some copper to my mix and get a fungicide application in at the same time.

Bill
Thanks Bill. Are you dealing with spider mites or russet mites or both? I have learned how to control just about every pest and fungus that is commonly found here except the russet mite. If I can get just learn how to control the russet mite I will be a happy camper.

I have read many of your posts and have a lot of respect for your fortitude in growing tomatoes in a part of the country where you deal with many pests, fungus, etc., that we simply don't have here. Not to mention the heat and humidity.
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Old July 12, 2017   #43
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Thanks Bill. Are you dealing with spider mites or russet mites or both? I have learned how to control just about every pest and fungus that is commonly found here except the russet mite. If I can get just learn how to control the russet mite I will be a happy camper.

I have read many of your posts and have a lot of respect for your fortitude in growing tomatoes in a part of the country where you deal with many pests, fungus, etc., that we simply don't have here. Not to mention the heat and humidity.
I don't know if you want to grow them strictly organically,but if not and everything else fails,I would use abamectin-based spray.It is really deadly for all mites,especially to aculus.
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Old July 12, 2017   #44
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Both types for decades and spider mites almost every year. I always heard that they didn't like wet conditions but I have even seen them start up when we are getting a shower most afternoons and we rarely have humidity less than 75% except during droughts; but they don't usually get really bad unless they are allowed to go unchecked for a long time, attacking a sick plant or during very dry conditions. Last year there were times when it felt like the west instead of the southeast around here and it went on for months and I had the most devastating and almost overwhelming mite infestation I have ever had in over 40 years of growing tomatoes. The main reason most people don't think about mites too much down here is because most of them stop growing tomatoes by this time of the year and only a few try to grow in the fall. I have been growing in staggered plantings for so long that I get to see them at their worst in the months of July and August when it usually gets really dry and plants are suffering from age and disease so they are welcome hosts to the little buggers. Since I also try to grow fall tomatoes they can pounce on the young seedlings in late summer and destroy any hope of a fall crop if they aren't treated quickly and stopped.

Years ago before I became more interested in keeping my garden more organically balanced I would treat them with some pretty intense poisons which usually did the trick but with some really long wait times. The strongest poison I have used in the last ten years was quite a few years back during a really intense infestation when in total frustration at the lack of effectiveness of Neem, pyrethrin, soaps and essential oils I pulled out the Malathion and used it at the strength labeled on the bottle for mites along with a big dose of soap and it finally stopped them but not before damaging my leaves pretty badly. Malathion at strong concentrations will damage tomato leaves but I only applied it at the recommended amount but that was stronger than I had ever used it on any thing I was eating. I didn't like using that potent a poison in my vegetable garden so when I read about combining DE into the spray a few years ago I started trying it out at various combinations to find what would work best with Permethin which is a far less potent poison to mammals and with a short wait time to harvest.

If I see spider mites early in the season I will treat them with a milder version of my mix and then check every day several times a day on the plant that looked most affected by them and see if there is any further spread or indication of them spreading. If I don't see anything and the new growth remains uninfected by them then I just keep a watch out for the rest of the season and if I see a return of the little monsters I hit them with the full strength version immediately and two days later I will sometimes hit them again. Then I just wait and see if there will be any new occurrences of them. I try to remove and bag all the affected leaves the next day after the spraying to remove as many eggs as possible as a further precaution. Doing this in the summer can result in some sun scald to the fruit exposed to the full sun but the DE coating on them does seem to help with that. Unless they are constantly coming in on the wind this usually takes care of the problem for quite a long while but sometimes a third spraying is called for.

I only use this spray in the very late afternoon because I still want to harm as few bees and helpful insects like wasps as possible. I have been using this method for a few years now and have yet to let them ruin more than a few plants and I hope it keeps working because if it doesn't I don't have a clue what will.

Bill
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Old July 12, 2017   #45
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Thanks Bill.

It seems I do have them coming in on the wind. I am about 7 miles inland from the Pacific and we have a breeze just about all day, everyday from the west to the east. I can't really complain about that though. It is natural air conditioning.
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