How to Get Rid of Russet Mites? Discover Surprising Effective Ways!
How depressing it is to see your favorite plants deteriorating despite all the upkeeps and nourishment it receives. Plant leaves are supposed to be green and flowers are supposed to be fresh and blooming, however, that is not always the case as you will sometimes discover that their leaves have suddenly dried up and curled from the edges.
Even my friends are already verbalizing their concerns about it. I understand what they’re going through. There was even one time wherein I thought that I am just giving inadequate care to my garden at it’s starting to wilt and die only to find out that some microscopic pests are eating my plants! This battle hence became personal to me and I that is why I would like to share with you, my readers, the different strategies I have learned from other pros who taught me how to get rid of russet mites.
Do you want to get to know russet mites even more? Do you want to understand its detrimental effects on plants? Do you want to know their habitats? What about finding out how to exterminate them and preventing them from coming back? Well, if the answer to these is yes. You came to the right place.
What are Russet Mites?
These very tiny pests are scientifically known as Aculops Cannabicola. They are considered extremely harmful for household plants and to those industries gaining profits from vegetation (e.g. hemp cultivation). Physically, aside from being so minuscule, they are translucent to opaque, with four legs. It is found to be as little as 20x65 micrometer big – that’s smaller than your hair strand!
In dealing with them, you have to take into consideration numerous main points. The basic problem with them is that they are very minute; you cannot see them using your naked eye. In order to view them, you will have to make use of a magnifying glass. These microscopic plagues have been causing wide-ranging concerns for different localities. Russet mites have a very intense life cycle; that is 30-days in an environmental temperature of 27 degrees Celsius.
One unique distinguishing quality of hemp russet mites is that they do not form webs after feeding on the plant.
Check this video on YouTube as it teaches us how to recognize Russet Mites
What are their Damaging Effects?
Russet Mites loves to stay on the tops and bottoms of leaves and stems wherein they can suck the nourishment out of the plant. Let’s talk about parasitism! They will not leave the plant unless it is already dead. In which they would just look for and transfer to a new plant to serve as their habitat.
They feed on leaves, meristems, and petioles of plants. This, in turn, would cause the leaves to curl and eventually russet. Lethality and chlorosis would follow in the long run, turning the parts of the plant frail.
On top of this, even the new growths will be affected as the source of food is compromised. Budding leaves and flowers would become deformed. With this, you will think that these are just due to a nutrient deficiency or this would just be a manifestation of plant stress but in fact, Russet Mites are the ones causing it.
Discoloration of the leaves (spots of yellow and bronze) is expected as they consume resin glands; sooner or later, a remarkable decrease of resin production will be noticed.
Did you know that gardeners/ farmers will only notice that their plants are pest-ridden once they see the abovementioned characteristics? Indeed, these Russel Mites are small but terrible!
How to Get Rid of Russet Mites?
- Throw them away! Isolate plants that are infected. Remove stems, and get rid of contaminated plants.
- Match them with their enemies! Ever saw the movie Aliens Vs. Predator? Well yes, the latter somehow look like these nasty opportunistic elements but that is not the point. There is another species that could actually help you get rid of Russet Mites naturally and that is Zetzellia mali. Another would be a fungus known as Hirsutella thomsonii.
- Suffocate them! Get large plastic bags and put the infected plant inside. Fill it with lots of carbon dioxide and seal. Make sure to let it sit for 2-4 hours.
- Poison them! As common as it is, cocktails of pesticides like sulfur sprays (please do not use this on plants that produce flowers) and pyrethrum-based sprays.
If you prefer natural substances, on the other hand, you may use oils from neem. Please be reminded however that this will only be effective at the first signs of infestations which are rarely detected unless you have the luxury of time to check all your plants every now and then.
How Can We Prevent Them from Coming Back?
Dirty practices and contaminated frameworks can lead to Russet Mite infestation. You have to regularly sanitize your greenhouse. Do not put new plants unless you have carefully examined them using tools that can magnify 14x or more. Remove dead plants and extremely damaged herbages immediately. Even if one plant is infected, they can easily spread as Russet Mites are extremely transferable through different mediums such as air and water splashes. They can even ride other insects to transport!
Ensure that your garden’s temperature would always be below 21 degrees Celcius to halt multiplication. Mites do not feel comfortable in humid areas.
Other experts vouch in using siliceous sedimentary rocks that disintegrate easily to a powder form. This is known as diatomite or kieselgur or diatomaceous earth. This highly porous, abrasive land form slows down the spread of Russet Mites.
Understanding the ‘enemies’ can help you strategize better. I would highly recommend a combination of the aforesaid approaches and sticking to your routine. Remember, you are going to deal with microscopic entities; this means that doing away with them will be complicated.
What do you think about my recommendations? Have you tried other ways on how to get rid of Russel Mites that were effective? Please share your techniques with us below!