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Bad Spider Mites- Worth keeping?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I have two fava bean plants in a green house which adjoins and direction opens onto our apartment which we "inherited" with the apartment.  I'd love to keep them, except that they are very badly infested with spider mites.  I pulled several dead plants which died probably from a combo of mites and neglect while we moved.  I've cut back about 1/3-1/2 of both of these plants because the branches were dead from the infestation I think. I worry the plants don't have enough vigor left to bother dealing with the spider mites, and I want to get some other things going in there without spidermites.

 

Does it make more sense to pull everything, leave it empty for a bit, and hope the spidermites go elsewhere (not into the outdoor garden please!!  I haven't seen any outside) or into my houseplants in the house proper,  and then plant it up again, or try to treat it?  And how?  It's not totally waterproof between the greenhouse and our house, and I don't know that the hose would reach (we water with a can), so I'm not sure about spraying it down.  Thanks!

post #2 of 3

If it were me I'd get rid of them.  Two plants aren't worth the risk that they'll spread, and the "opportunity cost" of greenhouse space wasted on less productive plants.  That said, you could try wiping the plants down by hand with a soap-water solution.  This was my grandmother's suggestion when my houseplants became badly infested several years ago (stupid big-box store!), and she said it has worked for her in the past, but I gave up after mine came back twice.

 

Did your plants have mites before your move?  Or is it possible the greenhouse was infested before you moved in?  If you do decide to get rid of the plants I would also clean the greenhouse and everything in it very thoroughly, but I can be a bit neurotic about pests.  Maybe someone with some greenhouse experience could better advise you on that.

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Those plants were in the greenhouse, and infested when we moved. We haven't put anything in the greenhouse. I'm really really leaning towards pulling them out, washing it down with soapy water and letting it air out for a while without any plants.  Because honestly, the idea of wiping down all the infested surfaces on those two sick plants is so exhausting and overwhelming. I'd rather start over.  Any advice from other ladies on making sure the greenhouse is mite-free before I start again? Diatomaceous earth? I was reading about that for chicken mites, will it help with spider mites?

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