If there are indoor plants in the house, the florist periodically has to deal with pest attacks, one of the most unpleasant and dangerous is the well-known spider mite. It has a very small size and is able to secrete a web, thanks to which it can move around, as well as protect its masonry. Ticks can live on a wide variety of cultures, as they are omnivores.
Reasons for the appearance
Florists often wonder where this pest comes from. A spider mite can appear on indoor plants for several reasons.
If new plants have appeared at home, they must be checked - it is possible that they are affected. However, due to the fact that the detection of ticks can cause difficulties due to their small size, inspection is not always effective. Therefore, it is best to quarantine such plants for a little over 2 weeks to ensure there are no pests.
Similar ticks can be found in the ground. In this case, infection occurs at the time of transplantation and rejuvenation of plants. Purchased land is no exception - it must also be cultivated before use.
Many of these animals live in gardens. Accordingly, it can be dangerous to place plants in gardens and balconies. Mites can also be wind blown through open windows, and most houseplants are located precisely on window sills.
It is impossible not to say about the dangers of old flower pots, which many flower growers prefer to store in pantries. They must be processed before use. Pests can also cling to the clothes of a person who has returned from the street.
Signs of plant damage
Specialists call the spider mite an ideal pest. It can reproduce very quickly, is omnivorous and at the same time easily goes into diapause, if the conditions are not too favorable for life. Clutches left by the female and covered with cobwebs can be found on the walls of the containers, on the leaves below, as well as in the ground itself. The eggs have a smooth shell. They can remain viable for several years, not dying due to adverse conditions, but simply slowing down their development.
The tick habit is indicated by the habit of the plants. The main sign is the presence of a thin web, which is located at the bottom of the leaf plate and is a protective barrier for the ticks themselves, as well as for their eggs and larvae.
If the lesion is very severe, the plant will be noticeably shrouded in such a net that collects dust and excrement from these small animals. However, some varieties of the pest practically do not weave a web.
Eggs are another sign of infection, but it should be noted that it is very difficult to see them. The fact is that the diameter of each is less than a millimeter, in addition, they are very light or even translucent . They are located in small groups, from 1 to 3 eggs in each, and are covered with a protective layer of cobwebs, creating the most suitable conditions for development. It takes 3 days for larvae to appear.
Such a tick eats plant juice. He can get it from anywhere in the flower. Small bright spots appear on the affected area, they are best seen on the leaves. This leads to a slowdown in photosynthesis and disruption of intercellular structures, respectively, their proper functioning becomes impossible.
These spots grow over time and lead to yellowing of the leaves. They dry out in small patches, and also become lethargic and inelastic. A cobweb is formed on top.
Finally, the last stage can be called leaf fall . The spots on their surface are connected, the sheet plate dries and falls off. The more pests on a plant, the faster they are able to destroy it.
To fight a pest, you need to know exactly how it looks. Such a tick is arachnid, its body usually has a length of 0.2 to 1.2 mm. However, some varieties can reach a size of 5 mm. The life cycle of individuals is from 8 to 40 days. About a week is required for the development of a viable tick from an egg, ready for breeding.
Most often it is difficult to consider the animal itself, its appearance is identified by the appearance and condition of the plant.
There are a lot of varieties, but not all of them affect indoor plants.
This variety can be considered the most dangerous and common. The main problem is omnivorous, with the exception of conifers.
These arachnids attack crops, and may well live on houseplants. Their size is about half a millimeter. Both eggs and adults are yellow-green in color. Cultures are eaten at the root. Several broods appear annually.
These pests have a particular weakness for indoor flowers. For example, roses, lemons, orchids and others suffer from them. Such mites are very thermophilic, therefore, they reproduce well at home. Females are brighter than males.
These small green-yellow pests are capable of reaching a size of 0.4 mm. For breeding, the most comfortable conditions are heat and high humidity. Of indoor plants, palms and citrus fruits are preferred.
A false tick is distinguished by the fact that it does not braid the plant with cobwebs. It is very small, approximately 0.2 mm. Coloring can be red or green. Such pests attack citrus fruits, orchids and palm trees.
As the name suggests, the pest is an adherent of certain crops. Most often affects cyclamens. If they are not found, he will settle on geraniums or gloxinia.
Cyclamen spider mite often settles in greenhouses. The most comfortable conditions for its active development are increased humidity and heat. Very small, able to reach a maximum size of 0.2 mm, so consider it quite difficult.
Accumulations of pests in appearance resemble dust.
Such a tick very rarely lives in garden areas, preferring indoor plants. It is not too complicated in terms of struggle, since it usually hides its masonry poorly. It can appear mainly on cacti, ficuses or citrus fruits.
Such mites are also known as the "flat body". It does not weave a web, for this reason it is not striking, and there may be problems with its location. Prefers to eat citrus.
Despite the fact that this pest is recognized as a lover of cereals, it can often be found on domestic plants. It has long legs and moves fairly quickly, affecting large areas. In apartments, he prefers to settle on ficus and pereromia.
Ways to fight
Destroying the spider mite is not a simple matter. It easily falls into diapause under adverse conditions, leaving it very quickly.
There are basic rules for pest control. Let's consider them in more detail.
The affected plant must be isolated from others. The pot and the place where it is located should be regularly treated. Earth during spraying is protected by polyethylene.
If individual sections of the flower have too much concentration of cobwebs and pests, it is best to remove them. It is also important to periodically replace the processing means so that addiction does not form. Repeated measures are carried out at the time indicated in the instructions, even when arachnids are not noticeable on the surface.
When the treatment is over, it is better to transplant the plant into a new pot. In this case, the root system must be treated with biological products, and the soil should be disinfected.
Chemical preparations require compliance with the dosage and frequency of use. They are divided into two subgroups consisting of acaricides and insectoacaricides. Experts believe that the strongest effect will be achieved if the compositions having various active components alternate between themselves.
When using chemicals, it must be borne in mind that this pest is not an insect, so there will be no result from the use of insecticides. Consider the most popular drugs.
Actellik is in great demand. It equally successfully affects both insects and arachnids, which are ticks. However, it is very toxic, therefore, when processing indoor plants, it is recommended to take them outside, for example, to the balcony.
This drug is very effective, therefore, it can be used even with severe infections. It destroys even exotic species of ticks, which are rarely found in our country. The only drawback is that it does not have a negative effect on the eggs, for this reason it will not work out only.
Another well-known acaricidal drug is Fitoverm. It is much less toxic than the previous tool, so it can be used even indoors. However, the plants that have undergone processing must be placed in a place inaccessible to children and animals. It is allowed to use the drug without a mask and gloves, the main thing - after spraying, wash your hands and wash properly. Affects larvae and adult ticks without killing egg masonry.
This drug may have another name - “Tick-borne”. It should be noted that maximum efficiency is achieved when the ambient temperature is from 22 to 28 degrees. Without this condition, exposure is greatly reduced.
If you want to destroy not only pests, but also their eggs, you can use the drug "Neoron" . It is quite toxic, so when using indoors, you need to take care of good ventilation. However, experts recommend using the tool repeatedly to exterminate all ticks. According to the instructions for use, the treatments should be at least three, and the interval between them should be from 3 to 5 days.
A similar effect is possessed by the Sunmight preparation , which destroys not only adults and larvae, but also egg masonry. The main nuance is that it is used only 1 time in 6 months, otherwise ticks will gain immunity. The impact occurs only in direct contact, this moment must be taken into account in the processing process, which should be carried out as carefully as possible.
Quite often , a drug called "Aktara" is used to get rid of the spider mite. It is very popular in the fight against various species of insect pests. However, experts warn that the spider mite is not an insect, so the tool may be ineffective. At the same time, many flower growers respond positively to the experience of using poison in this particular direction.
You can get a spider mite using folk methods. They are safer and can be used without alarm in a room where children and pets are. Appeal to home remedies is advisable in the case when the infection has just begun and the tick has not yet had time to exert too strong an effect on the plant.
Florists recommend the use of medical alcohol in the fight. It is diluted in water in proportions of 1: 10, after which a small cloth is wetted with the solution, which is processed on each leaf of the plant. This method does not affect egg masonry, but allows you to get rid of adult ticks.
I must say that this method can not be used on plants that have a thin and sensitive surface: fuchsia, rose or petunia. It is effective when the pest did not have time to lay eggs. This tool is suitable, for example, for the treatment of ficus or dieffenbachia.
In addition, the spider mite really does not like the effects of tobacco smoke . This method can not be called the safest for a person, however, in the case when there are smokers in the family, this bad habit can be used for good. It is enough to place the plant next to the smoking area.
Toxins and combustion products contained in tobacco smoke can have a negative effect on the tick. However, it is absolutely safe for larvae and egg clutches.
For the disposal of pests of various types, ordinary household soap is very popular. It is most convenient to treat them with plants that have large leaves. With the help of soap, thick foam is whipped, which is applied to the sheet plates and leads to the formation of a dense film that does not allow the tick to breathe and eat. Foam is left on the flower for 3-5 hours, after which it is carefully washed off in the shower with a gentle pressure of warm water. After water procedures, the plant must immediately be covered with polyethylene, which will prevent the rapid evaporation of moisture.
I must say that these actions will be detrimental to adult pests . This may require additional processing to get rid of the eggs.
This method of struggle is considered one of the most common and affordable.
Helps in combating spider mites and garlic. One large head rubs or finely chopped, after which it is poured with 3 liters of water. Tincture is prepared within 5 days. After this time, it is filtered and used to spray the leaves of the plant. The method is recognized as quite effective, but only at the very beginning of infection, when the number of ticks is still not too large.
The main task of gardeners is to constantly monitor indoor plants. Only in this case is it possible to notice the appearance of pests in time. We must not forget that all new flowers should only enter the rooms after quarantine measures, which usually last from 2 to 4 weeks . Also useful is the treatment of folk remedies.
So, one of the main preventive measures is a regular examination. The fact is that the pest can appear completely unexpectedly, being introduced, for example, through a window or with clothes from the street. You can use glasses or a magnifier for inspection.
The bottom of the leaves is checked most carefully, and animals are usually settled there. If the plant has dry and unhealthy parts, they should be removed.
It is also very important to observe a certain microclimate. Ticks feel as comfortable as possible when the air in the house is dry and warm. This is especially true in winter. Most often, plants are located on the windowsill, respectively, there are heating radiators nearby, which contributes to the overdrying of air.
Maintaining humidity can be organized in several ways. For example, a gardener can place basins with water around the apartment or use a special humidifier. Direct sunlight and drafts also adversely affect ticks, so you should regularly arrange ventilation.
If the room does not have enough sun, you can use ultraviolet lamps.
Spraying should also be carried out. They help wash away the cobwebs, and also cause a lot of inconvenience to ticks. However, you must not overdo it, because there are also such cultures that do not like moisture, for example, violets.
Monthly, the foliage of plants should be washed under running water. To do this, the ground is covered with a waterproof film, and the bush itself is poured with water from the shower. The pressure should not be too strong, and the temperature should be within 25–35 degrees.
We must not forget that any soil should be disinfected. The most common methods are freezing and calcining in the oven. These procedures allow you to destroy not only the larvae, but also the eggs, even if they are initially invisible.
Combating the spider mite is a very complex and time-consuming exercise. It is not always effective, and in some cases the plant may simply die. Therefore, prevention and detection of a problem at its earliest stages are very important.
To learn how to deal with spider mites on indoor plants, see the video below.