Saturday, January 9, 2010

Indoor Flora and Fauna

At first, MOH and I saw this little spider-like being running around on one of the chocolate mint shoots, and we thought it was the teeniest, tiniest itsy-bitsy spider. To be fair, MOH saw this first, not me.
The web it was making when we first saw it.
Turns out these are several itty bitty spider mites, not the sorts of things one wants to have on plants.
Here's one of the little nasties up close; you can see not only the strange legs, but some of the little hairs coming out from its body.
Another view...
...and another enlargement. I googled "tiny green spider" and finally came up with photos of spider mites, at which point we went directly into eradication mode. These appear to be twospotted spider mites (Tetranychus urticae). Hopefully, they won't be too hard to kill. They suck the blood, I mean juices, of stems and leaves, and are generally undesirable.
Here's one hanging out on it's little web. Oh, so cute.


Julia said...

Ah, yes, those little buggers. Soapy water (the organic choice) won't do much good, but a general bug spray (Bayer do one over here - I'm sure they're ubiquitous) should tackle spider mites.

I'm battling scale insects on my indoor plants at the moment!

Silver Fox said...

Thanks for the recommendation - many sites just say use soapy water or a strong jet of water, which would knock down these plants. The mites didn't show up until I recently added new potting soil with a repotting. The soil should be sterile, but now I'm wondering...

Good luck with your fight!

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

I got a commercial spray that was specifically for spider mites, and it did the trick pretty quickly. I thought they were spiders too, at first, and let them hang around longer than I should... (I have a "don't kill spiders unless they're exceptionally hairy and scary" policy).

Silver Fox said...

I think I'll run down tomorrow and get a spider mite spray - I don't see any mites or webs, but the lower leaves all look a little dull, and there could be eggs waiting to hatch.

Cath, I also don't kill spiders, except ones I think are poisonous, and for tarantula types, I put them outside (haven't had to do that for a very long time). I was actually excited to see such tiny, cute little spiders. Not!