This is a review of the four most effective organic spider mite killing sprays sold today. If you are consuming plants that are being treated for spider mites then you will undoubtedly want to use a non-toxic and organic product.
While there are many advantages to using these organic products, there are two potential draw backs. First, organic products typically have to come into contact with the insect or spider mite to be effective. This means that thorough coverage of the plant being treated for a spider mite infestation is a must; the plant needs to be soaked to the point of runoff. Check out the video in the previous post for proper spray techniques. Second, the cost of organic products is typically greater than non-organic/chemical alternatives. Is poisoning yourself an alternative?
If you will notice, the word “typically” was used to describe the two drawbacks. This one word “typically” is what makes one of the four products stand out from the others. So let’s take a look at the products.
The four products that will be comparing are, Liquid Ladybug, No Spider Mites, Quantum Apocalypse, and Spider Mite Killer. Each of these products has been proven to kill spider mites. No further discussion is necessary on this point.
As stated before, the two typical down falls of organic products are: the contact with the insect and price. The product recommended here does not have either of the downfalls that are associated with organic spider mite sprays. It is inexpensive and does not necessarily need to come into direct contact with the insect to be effective. This product will be looked at last.
|Liquid Ladybug- this product must come into contact with the spider mite in order to kill it. The product suffocates the spider mite.||In order to get the best price the next three products must be purchased in 20 gallon units. Liquid ladybug is $550.00 for 20 gallons. That works out to $27.50 a gallon. The retail price for 1 gallon is $99.95. This product can be purchased HERE|
|No Spider Mites- No Spider Mites™ works by penetrating and blocking the breathing holes of spider mites and causing immediate eradication by suffocation||No spider Mites is $649.00 for a concentrate that makes 20 gallons. That works out to $32.45 per gallon. The retail price for 1 gallon is $99.00. This product can be purchased HERE|
|Growers Trust Spider Mite Killer – Spider Mite Killer works hard to infiltrate and block any and all spider mite breathing holes, causing instantaneous suffocation, and thus, complete elimination.||Spider mite killer is $596.00 for a concentrate that makes 20 gallons. That works out to $29.80 per gallon. The retail price for 1 gallon is $95.00. This product can be purchased HERE|
|Quantum Apocalypse- works by penetrating and blocking the breathing holes of the spider mites thus causing immediate death by suffocation. In addition, organic cold pressed neem oil has many other modes of action (i.e. antifeedant) by which it kills spider mites and over 200 other garden insects. Click Here to read a great free book on neem and its effects on insects.||Quantum Apocalypse is $75 for a bottle of concentrate that will make 12-24 gallons of spray. Assuming the highest recommended application rate is applied, two bottles would make 24 gallons for a total of $150.00. That works out to $6.25 per gallon! This product can be purchased HERE|
As stated prior, the two limitations of most organic spider mite killing sprays were: coming into contact with the insect and price. It is evidently clear that this is not true in either case for Quantum Apocalypse. Quantum has the same exact suffocation properties, when compared to the other three products available, plus it has the antifeedant and molting inhibition properties which slowly kill the mites and other garden pests that are inevitably missed and not suffocated.
The plant needs to be drenched with any of the four products discussed here. This means the applicator is going to go through a lot of product. Paying 4 to 16 times more for inferior overall killing capacity seems absurd.
There are many chemical miticides available on the market. These chemicals pose a danger to the user and the environment; therefore they will not be discussed here. This site is dedicated to organic, environmentally and user friendly ways of eradicating spider mites. The advantages to using organic and environmentally friendly spider mite sprays are numerous. That said, there is one slight disadvantage that needs to be addressed in order to effectively kill the spider mite population living on your plants. Unlike man made chemical pesticides, even the best organic pesticides need to come into direct contact with the insect. This means that proper spray techniques must be used in order to thoroughly cover all surfaces of the plant where spider mites and their eggs may be hiding.
Before spraying for spider mites you will want to make sure that you have indentified the insect on your plants as a spider mite. The distinct positive identification is, webbing covering the plant, very hard to miss. If you get to this point (webbing), you have not been doing a good job scouting. Scouting should be done on a weekly basis with a magnifying glass. Simply start at the bottom of the plant looking at both sides of the leaves, working your way up to the top of the plant. If you are growing in greenhouses or indoor environments, make sure to check the back sides of the plants up against wall or in corners. Spider mites love to hide in these areas where there is less air movement. Between the description in the last post and the pictures below you should have no problem identifying the dreaded (not for long) spider mite.
A picture is worth a thousand words, but I believe a video may give an even better picture. Feel free to read this description, but the video below leaves no room for misunderstanding. For small-scale setups, a mist bottle would work fine, though a two-gallon sprayer is a more proficient way to obtain thorough coverage of the plant. When spraying, it is best to separate each plant from a group if possible, this will give the applicator the ability move around and cover all sides of the plant.
Here’s how to spray a plant:
- Start spraying the undersides of the leaves located at the bottom of the plant first.
- Work your way up the plant concentrating on the undersides.
- Once you reach the top of the plant you can start to work your way back down the plant covering the upper surface of the plant.
- The spray should be applied to the point of runoff.
That’s it, easy right? The only thing left to discuss is which organic spider mite killing spray to use. The next post will review some of the most popular products and give a recommendation on which one is the best.
Spider mites are more closely related to spiders and ticks than to insects. Mites in general use their piercing-sucking mouthparts to puncture plant cells and then withdraw cell contents. All mites are wingless, and their head and thorax are fused together. The body is compact, and oval to oblong in shape. Spider mites are small (<1.6mm) and typically difficult to detect without the aid of magnification such as a 10x hand lens. Some species are so small they can only be observed using a dissecting microscope. Gender in many mite species depends on fertilization of the females by males. For example, unfertilized eggs produce males whereas fertilized eggs produce females. Newly hatched young, referred to as larva, only have three pairs of legs. The larval stage is followed by two nymphal stages (deutonymph and protonymph) and the adult. Both nymphal stages and the adult have four pairs of legs. Several species of tetranychid and tarsonematid mites can be severe pests of many greenhouse-grown crops. The most common types of mites include the two-spotted spider mite, Lewis mite, cyclamen mite, broad mite and bulb mites. Two-spotted spider mites tend to be the most common.
The two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae, feeds within leaf cells, damaging the spongy mesophyll, palisade parenchyma and chloroplasts, thus reducing chlorophyll and moisture content and the plant’s ability to photosynthesize. This may result in characteristic symptoms such as leaf bleaching, yellow stippling, and bronzing. Even low populations may cause stippling on mature leaves. Extensive populations of two-spotted spider mite may cause leaf yellowing and distortion of terminal buds and flowers. In addition, there may be an abundance of webbing on leaves, petioles, stems and flowers. Two-spotted spider mite populations increase rapidly when temperatures exceed 80 F and relative humidity is between 20-40%. The life cycle from egg to adult can be completed in seven days at temperatures >81F. This reason alone is why you need to know how to kill spider mites when first noticed and continue to take preventative measures against this type of infestation. Inspect plants weekly for signs of two-spotted spider mite feeding injury. Look for spider mites on the underside of mature leaves, especially along the midvein. Initial infestations commonly occur in warm and dry locations in a growing area.