MITES and the African Violets

Be sure to read a MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) on a chemical before using it.
Goto Google and enter the chemical name and MSDS to find the MSDS on that chemical.
It's a good item to print out a copy of the MSDS for ANY chemicals that you are using on your plants.

I would first suggest taking any suspect plant to your county's local extension office,
they will check the plant out for free and that way you will know for sure that
you should treat for mites or something else.
There are many other causes that appear to be mites..

Please do not treat for mites unless you are POSITIVE that you actually have mites.

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Cyclamen Mites

Here are CLOSE-UP photos of a Cyclamen Mite

ALSO NOTE:
Everyone will tell you that you can not see a Cyclamen mite with your naked eye
But this is just not true, if you have 20/20 vision (but they are almost invisible)
(The debut continues on if you can see mites or not, some universite sites
states that you CAN see them, and yet some say you CAN'T see them)
Although a 20x or a 30x magnifying lens will make it much easier
Yes, they are very small, about 1/100th inch long, with good eyes you can see them moving.
You can gently blow on the leaves and look to see if anything is moving around

Look at this image of just how small a Cyclamen mite really is.

Cyclamen Mite will cause leaf distortion in the new/center leaves.
The newest growth/Leaves in the center of the plant bill become severely stunted.
Leave become brittle, very small and my be cupped. Color may change to bronze, grey or tan.
Leaves tend to curl UP with cyclamen mites and down with broadmites
Also Cyclamen mites do NOT like lights, so this makes it even harder to find them.

ALL Cyclamen photos above and insects itself was confirmed
to be Cyclamen Mites by our University Entomologist

SOLUTION:
Discard badly infested plants
Safer Soaps, but might be too hard on Violets
and/or treat ALL Plants with a good miticide:
Avid, Akari, Floramite or Pylon

Di-Syston by Bonide, it "MAY SAY" it kills mites,
but it DOES NOT kill "Cyclamen mites" which is the most common mites on African violets..
Plants treated with D-Syston still had Cyclamen mites even after 30 days of treatment

Broad Mites


See these larger on my Leaf Problems - Photo ID Page

A close up photo is here
From Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

Most but not all of the broad mite-infested plants had a strange yellow
or bronze-like coloration to the center leaves as well as the more obvious stunted appearance.
Leaves tend to curl UP with cyclamen mites and down with broadmites

SOLUTION:
Discard badly infested plants
Safer Soaps, but might be too hard on Violets
and/or treat ALL Plants with a good miticide:
Avid, Akari, Floramite or Pylon

Two-Spotted Spider Mite


Symptoms from this mite is similar to Spider mites
This mite can be seen with the naked eye, but are very small 0.2mm in size
Distortion of leaves, flowers and leaf buds are common
There may by the appearance of webbing covering leaves and/or stems
Webbing is noticeable in advanced infestations, look on the backs of leaves

SOLUTION:
Discard badly infested plants
Safer Soaps, but might be too hard on Violets
and/or treat ALL Plants with a good miticide:
Avid, Akari, Floramite or Pylon

Spider Mites
Leaves are turning yellow.
There will be webbing over flower buds, between leaves or under leaves.
If you look close enough you can see these moving around.

SOLUTION:
'ORTHENE' will help, Treat weekly so you kill the newly hatched eggs.
Or treat ALL plants with a good miticide like AVID

AVID

Avid is expensive, but one of the Best Miticides available.

Avid is somewhat systemic in that it penetrates into
treated foliar plant cells where it remains active
while the material that remains on the leaf surface rapidly breaks down.
(source: Texas A & M University, Agricultural Extention Service)

Usage is 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of water,
so the 8oz bottle will go a long way

It's VERY IMPORTANT to use Chemical gloves when working with Avid
Also wear long sleeves, pants, eye protection and a mask
After treatment is done, remove clothes for washing and take a shower
Even though spraying works very well, some people want to hand dip each plant instead
The advantage of this, is that you cover 100% of the plant with Avid
Plus you won't have to worry as much with breathing in the Avid from the spray mist
But still wear long sleeves, gloves and eye protection because you will still splash Avid

Trusted Sources of Avid and other Miticides:

Rosemania Avid 8oz $99.95
B. T. Growers Supply
Cape Cod Violetry - Call (508) 548-2798
John there can answer ANY and ALL your mite questions that you may have!

To learn more on mites check out these other pages:

GREENHOUSE MITES AND THEIR MANAGEMENT from Texas A & M

Colorado State University Cooperative Extension

STRAWBERRY CYCLAMEN MITE (good info)

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Copyright 1995-2004 Steven Reed. All Rights Reserved.
Images my not be used on ANY other web site without Permission,
Full Credit Given and Web Link to my site

To contact me Steverd@steverd.com