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teeny weeny red bugs - HELP before dh sprays something BAD!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I have tiny,tiny little red bugs crawling all over my lettuce and tomatoes. Does anyone know what they are and how to get rid of them without poisoning myself?
I have never seen these in my garden before, so I don't know how to deal with it.
Also, is it true that lettuce doesn't like too much sun? I have the lettuce in a VERY sunny spot. Should I move it? I was thinking about moving it to planters. Can they be really close together?

I thought I knew enough about gardening - but I was fooling myself apparently. Can someone give me some help, Pleeeeeeez?!?!
thanx ~
Jenn
post #2 of 4
I'm not positive, but those sound like spider mites. A really great resource that you could take any gardening questions to though is the Garden Web, in the organic gardening forum. Here's the link: http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/organic/

Most lettuce is a cool season crop and likes a fair amount of shade during the summer. You can grow it close together if you're going to harvest it as baby greens, rather than letting full heads grow.

Good luck!
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
thank you Kel, the site was very helpful.
Jenn
post #4 of 4
Spidermites are pretty common in hot dry areas. You can tell you have them when the leaf starts to turn kinda yellow. Like the green is being sucked right out. On the underside you see little red bugs.

They can usually be obliterated with a spray of a little oil, I am talking VERY little perhaps 1/8 tsp per quart of water, a drop of dishwashing liquid and a tiny sprinkle of cayenne pepper.

One thing spider mites HATE is water. If your plant is in a pot, you can take it into the shower and shower off the mites. This will not correct the problem since the problem is the conditions that allow spidermites.

I usually get them in my garden towards the end of the season and if it is close enough to harvest, I will leave them. Tomato plants are notorious for them.

Most lettuce likes cool weather. Where are you and what kinda lettuce are you growing?

Ohh and tell dh that if he sprays insecticides for spidermites, it will kill the other bugs that eat them. So then you are sterilizing your plants of insects and opening the door to any kind of plant eating insect around. There has to be diversity in the garden and non-selective pesticides ruin the diversity.
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