Thursday, October 22, 2009

Stopping Damage from Mites and Thrips

Hello Daylily Friends,

I am so pleased to finally have my Greenhouse in good order. The 1,050 seedlings are growing so well. All of the remaining plants in the Greenhouse have been put into 3-gallon buckets, and these are also growing very well. I have not been spraying to stop pests or anything else. I wanted to finish the total work in the Greenhouse before I started spraying for pests such as spider mites and thrips. Well I almost waited too late, but I finished the chemical work this morning, and I thought I might show you how I approached the task. First, you should see the work of mites. They are really very tiny spiders that are difficult to see. They are found on the bottom of the foilage and they do considerable damage. I'm showing a picture of mite damage on some of my foilage. I am not showing thrip damage. This damage is usually to flowers and I have no damaged flowers. However, it is important to eliminate them early so there is no problem next spring.

The very best chemicals that I have found to deal with mites and thrips are AVID and OVATION. AVID kills mites dead, but only supresses thrips. There are many types of mites such as: European Red Mite, Two Spotted Spider Mite, Carmine Spider Mite, Southern Red Mite, Spruce Mite, Tarsonemid Mite, Cyclamen and Broad Mites, Eriophyid Mites, and Rust and Bud Mites. So, mites are a real problem. I might also say that my list of mites is "not exclusive." In the Greenhouse the mites just explode in numbers, and chemicals are necessary for control and elimination. I also like OVATION because it kills mite eggs and early mite stages. These chemicals are readily available and they get the job d-o-n-e. I'm showing a picture of both chemicals.

I usually use AVID and OVATION with my 4-gallon, back-pack sprayer. I mix 1/2 teaspoon of OVATION for my 4-gallon container. I am showing a picture of the amount of chemical that I use. I then use 2 1/2 teaspoons of AVID for 4-gallons. I am also showing a picture of the amount of this chemical that I use. It is important to use only the amounts of chemical I have stated. More is not better. It is poor judgment to use more than is needed. This will harm the daylilies, but will not kill more mites. I am again showing pictures. Let me also hasten to add that when anyone, anywhere, uses these chemicals, the instructions on the containers should be followed. Since I use these chemicals in the Greenhouse, I keep at least one Greenhouse fan running to pull any discharge from my sprayer away from my body and out through the fan. It is important not to damage yourself when you're trying to control mites and thrips.

There is one other chemical that I use has as its active ingredient a substance called "Bifenthrin." It also kills mites, and more importantly, it kills thrips. It is a very effective chemical, and will even kill termites. So, if you have ants in your greenhouse it will kill them as well. The Bifenthrin is very inexpensive but it has to be shaken before each use. I always make sure that I do this because I want the chemical to be effective. I normally use about one (1) ounce for three (3) gallons, but because the "shaking process" causes bubbles in the chemical, I often use closer to two ounces for four gallons. This chemical is not a toy. You must be sure that you likewise handle it according to instructions. I do not say this to cause too much concern. I have been using the chemical for about three years, and it has produced very good results: no thrips! Here are two pictures.

There is one other ingredient that should be used: a "spreader sticker." This means something that will hold the chemicals onto the daylilies. I have used stickers that were not that helpful. Sure, they made the chemicals stick to the daylilies, but they also damaged the growing tip of the daylilies. I just did not like having to go through this experience. So, the sticker that I now use is "dish washing detergent." I just squirt two small streams into my 4-gallon sprayer, and this has worked well for me. I would also say that you do not have to drown the daylilies in the chemicals I have described. A light spray underneath the foilage, and a light spray across the top of the foilage is effective. Spraying is critically important in a Greenhouse. You can get away with avoiding chemicals outside the Greenhouse, but you must use them in the Greenhouse. If chemicals are not used, then the mites and the thrips will literally destroy your daylilies.

Well, as of today, the mites and thrips are "under control" in my Greenhouse. So, good evening from Kennesaw Mountain Daylily Gardens.



  1. Bill,

    I just don't know how you get all these handsome men to pose for a picture with you.


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