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Red Spider Alert

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Red Spider Alert

Post by Ausrose on 9th December 2013, 20:22

With the recent spikes in the temperature I though it only a matter of time before the dreaded red spider mite reared its ugly head. Today when I was watering my pots I noticed my one and only Mudgee Red had a severe infestation. Tomorrow I'll give the area where the Mudgee Red is a dose of Natrasoap and on recent experiences that should do the trick.

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Re: Red Spider Alert

Post by neptune on 9th December 2013, 21:03

gave mine a spray last Saturday.....they are rearing their ugly head....will hit them again next week....
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Re: Red Spider Alert

Post by paulh on 9th December 2013, 23:42

Don't get me started on mites, this year I have had to change my approach 3 times to get on top of them, they seemed to be amuned to how I usually kill em off.
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Re: Red Spider Alert

Post by Ausrose on 10th December 2013, 05:34

Paul I have dreadful trouble with red spider mite in a bed of Tineke. This year I concentrated on the problem and sprayed with Vertimec after the first temperature spike and followed it up with a second spray of Vertimec 6 days later. Since then I have attacked any mite hot spots with Natrasoap all indications are I am winning.

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Re: Red Spider Alert

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 10th December 2013, 06:05

I am glad I do not have that trouble, if I did I would have to use something strong. Because of our open paddocks and areas I think we miss out. My bit of lucerne gets them as well as the grapes. The only bug at present here is grasshoppers, only the small variety. They are every where because of the dry pastures and no other food sources.
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Re: Red Spider Alert

Post by paulh on 11th December 2013, 23:04

Ausrose wrote:Paul I have dreadful trouble with red spider mite in a bed of Tineke. This year I concentrated on the problem and sprayed with Vertimec after the first temperature spike and followed it up with a second spray of Vertimec 6 days later. Since then I have attacked any mite hot spots with Natrasoap all indications are I am winning.

Thanks Ausrose for that info..... I'll have a look at Vertimec on the web thanks
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Re: Red Spider Alert

Post by Ausrose on 13th December 2013, 16:07

Things have taken a turn for the worst and my roses in general are under attack from red spider.

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Re: Red Spider Alert

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 13th December 2013, 16:17

I am unsure of how you want to control them, but when we have a bad infestation we double the dose of Sulphur in the cool of the morning or very late afternoon, which does get rid of them, hope this helps.
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Re: Red Spider Alert

Post by Ausrose on 13th December 2013, 18:54

Thank you David. I thought this time I might try a general spray of Natrasoap which I've only used on hot spots in the past with success. I do have Pyranica, Vertemec and Omite however I am trying to get away from the toxic chemicals as much as possible. From time to time I do use Wettable Sulphur for mildrew and from what you have said this should help keep the red spider in check and this is more than likely happened as I used it ten days ago and the area I used it in is relatively free of red spider.

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Re: Red Spider Alert

Post by Ausrose on 20th December 2013, 17:10

The onslaught by red spider mite continues right across Australia according to the information I've received over the last week.  My latest information comes from Bruce Chapman in Melbourne who found a number of hanging baskets that contained miniature roses awash with mites yesterday.

At this stage I have them under control amongst my roses using Natrasoap but it's a battle.

The big question is:- Why are the mites apparently in such plague proportions?


Last edited by Ausrose on 20th December 2013, 18:10; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Red Spider Alert

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 20th December 2013, 17:37

Doug, I know that you live in what I would call "suburbia" how much rain. how much green grass, how many Christmas beetles, grasshoppers, It is my belief things are dry and they are using the rose for thier cycle if that makes sense.
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Re: Red Spider Alert

Post by Ausrose on 20th December 2013, 18:15

David it makes sense. One theory I have heard is the amount of red spider mite is directly proportional to the amount of mulch we are using as it harbours the mites before they ascend the rose bushes.

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Re: Red Spider Alert

Post by maree on 20th December 2013, 19:09

Okay , so do you mean that the mites are in the mulch when we buy it , or do they just breed there , i'm watching carefully for them , i know ear wigs like mulch , and they are such tricky things to catch , have tried various methods without much success ...
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Re: Red Spider Alert

Post by neptune on 20th December 2013, 20:01

Ausrose wrote:


The big question is:- Why are the mites apparently in such plague proportions?


Why would you eat at MacDonalds,....when we supply them with a banquet like we find at the Crown casino....
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Re: Red Spider Alert

Post by betsyw on 20th December 2013, 21:04

And so my question is: Why are rose so attractive to so many pests? I call them pests, but they are part of the ecosystem,of course.

Up and down the phylogenetic tree. Mammals, insects, fungi. From six-legged to eight-legged, to four legged, to spores of all stripes, roses seem to be the first or second course of the garden banquet.
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Re: Red Spider Alert

Post by silkyfizz on 21st December 2013, 12:45

Does Natrasoap kill off other things along with the red spider mites? I haven't seen any of these horrors thank goodness, touch wood. From my reading about red spider mites on roses, using chemicals to kill the mites only exacerbates the situation by killing off predatory mites. This may explain sudden populations of red spider mites after spraying. Having diverse plantings near and around our roses, like perennials, helps encourage healthy populations of predatory mites. Maybe our tendency towards rose monoculture is just an invitation for red spider mites to come on in and throw a party?


Last edited by silkyfizz on 21st December 2013, 20:33; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Red Spider Alert

Post by maree on 21st December 2013, 14:18

I agree with you there Silky , but then i haven't had a explosion of red spider mites , if you go to the Eco Garden website you can order these predatory insects and they'll gobble those pesky mites up thats probably my first choice ...
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Re: Red Spider Alert

Post by Ausrose on 22nd December 2013, 10:39

A couple of years back I was given predatory mites by the the managress of OCP to trial. I distributed them amongst my roses and waited.  Because I refrained from spraying to give the predatory mites a go my rose suffered badly with blackspot and were defoliated thus the predatory mites lost their food supply and I assumed they had perished. Six months later I noticed my azaleas were clean as a whistle. My first reaction was the AQ has been spraying the azaleas however when I asked her about she said she hadn't. I was now faced with a mystery of why all of a sudden the azaleas were without lace bug damage.  My conclusion was the predatory mites had migrated from the roses to the azaleas when the roses defoliated and had cleaned up the lace bugs. The point I make is predatory mites do a job on red spider mite and the like however it is difficult to have them survive because of other problems and replacement is expensive.


Last edited by Ausrose on 22nd December 2013, 15:58; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Red Spider Alert

Post by silkyfizz on 22nd December 2013, 13:32

Ausrose, I agree that replacement of purchased predatory mites is expensive. All the more reason to create a habitat conducive to predatory mites so they are always on hand to do their job. Having said that, I think I'd hit the panic button if I was confronted with the sort of damage I've only ever seen in photos.
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Re: Red Spider Alert

Post by neptune on 22nd December 2013, 15:15

silkyfizz wrote:. All the more reason to create a habitat conducive to predatory mites so they are always on hand to do their job. .

Hmmmmm....interesting , silky.......you import the predatory mites to take care of the red mites.....so that is their food source.........so how would you make it conducive to them if you take away their food source.....?
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Re: Red Spider Alert

Post by silkyfizz on 22nd December 2013, 17:35

Neptune what I'm suggesting, and this is only gleaned from the reading I've done, is by having a diverse range of plants, especially perennials, you are encouraging a range of insects etc to create a balanced ecosystem. In that there will be some spider mites and some predatory mites to keep them in check.Other predators, such as lacewing larvae, predacious thrips and ladybirds can help keep the populations of mites down. If you buy predatory mites en masse, of course when they demolish their food source inevitably they will diminish in numbers unless there is a habitat and adequate food conducive to their survival.
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Re: Red Spider Alert

Post by maree on 22nd December 2013, 17:43

Neptune , i reckon OCP are the best people to ask that question , they are very helpful , i have rang them in the past , but in saying that i would imagine that once they ran out of food in the garden , they would probably source the neighbours garden , but i'm like Silky , i have a very varied garden , with lots of different species , so i am sure they could find something to eat . They cost $35.00 plus postage per species , so wit all the money you spend on other products , would you be ahead , i wonder !!
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Re: Red Spider Alert

Post by neptune on 22nd December 2013, 17:46

Thank you , silky....I wasn't sure how it went as I don't have a lot of bugs here.....
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Re: Red Spider Alert

Post by silkyfizz on 22nd December 2013, 17:58

Neptune I seem to have a lot of bugs, no idea whether they are all beneficial, but to me that's a healthy sign, with little damage evident in the garden. Sometimes I find a grub or caterpillar on something and squish it a bit and then throw it on the lawn for a bird to find. Today I found a large brown loopy caterpillar eating a leaf on my Graham Thomas rose but I decided to leave it. It hadn't done much damage and looked close to cocoon stage. I wonder what sort of butterfly it will turn into? I love butterflies in the garden and have a lot of swallowtails at the moment. Lots of birds too and that's the way I like it.
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Re: Red Spider Alert

Post by Ausrose on 23rd December 2013, 03:51

For sometime I have suspected certain roses have an immunity to red spider mite. In one of my rose beds I have White Spray and Tineke and I have noticed the White Spray is relatively free red spider even when it is rampant in the Tineke bushes. At moment I have 5 pots of Ruby and 5 pots of Hilde side by side. The Ruby are smothered in mites yet the Hildes are untouched. Does this mean if Hilde is used in a breeding progam could roses immune to red spider mite be developed.Perhaps you may like to comment Warren.

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Re: Red Spider Alert

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