Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Between here and there
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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.