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  Oh NO! Spider Mites!
From: "Nyles" metopium at hotmail.com> on 2001.04.18 at 14:36:11(6200)

My Eastern Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) has a heavy spider mite
Can other aroids be far behind?
Is this a sign of the apocalypse?

I've been trying soap solutions.
It's too heavy an infestation for predatory mites.
It's very dry in Arizona, and some plants seem prone. This is a first for
the skunks.

Help me!....anyone?


From: jim singer jsinger at igc.org> on 2001.04.18 at 23:09:42(6208)
turn up the humidity, nyles.

At 09:36 AM 4/18/01 -0500, Nyles wrote:

From: Dan Levin levin at pixar.com> on 2001.04.19 at 15:12:43(6211)

If you're searching for an aroid-friendly miticide, I'd suggest using "Pentac".
Very safe as these things go, Pentac is mite specific and won't kill beneficial
insects (it's an acaricide, not an insecticide). It's slow acting initially; treated
mites stop feeding in a few hours but don't die for 1 - 3 days. Hence Pentac
is optimally used in a preventative type program or when an infestation is first

Obviously, your mite population has already become well established.
In this case you might consider mixing the Pentac directly with some other product
exhibiting a faster knock-down; Pentac is compatible with all common insecticides.
One aroid-safe product I can highly recommend is "Mavrik", a synthetic-pyrethroid.

Mix the two compounds together then add a spreader-sticker (now here's a good
application for your failed Safer's soap!). Follow up on days 5 and 10 with another
spraying and I can assure you: the pending apocalypse will be unequivocally canceled.
At least until next season.

Best of luck,
-Dan Levin

From: R2OT at aol.com on 2001.04.20 at 02:46:21(6216)
my aroids get spider mites i wash them all over with water daily for a
month.keeping the plants humid can help prevent mites .


From: George Yao gcyao at netasia.net> on 2001.04.20 at 15:19:11(6219)
Is there an online source of Pentac?

George Yao

From: "Nyles" metopium at hotmail.com> on 2001.04.20 at 17:53:02(6227)
Thanks to all that helped with my spider mite problem!

I tried to raise the humidity, as I do every year. In fact the "skunk
cabbages" are all sitting on trays of water since winter ended, and getting
misted regularly.

I guess you just can't fight the Arizona desert without a greenhouse.

I'm going to give in this year on my "eco-groovy" philosophy and go for the
big guns.
I'm off to get some Pentac.

Many thanks to all!


From: magrysbo at shu.edu on 2001.04.20 at 21:55:12(6231)
Desert conditions can be conducive to horticultural amendments. I hear from
orchid growers out there that evaporative coolers work very efficiently due
to the very dry outdoor air. It is possible, with heavy shading and an
ample supply of water for the cooling pads, to grow cloud forest and
montane species.
Bonaventure Magrys
From: jim singer jsinger at igc.org> on 2001.04.21 at 04:56:29(6234)
well, without a greenhouse, seems to me you're trying to humidify the
desert. if the plants were misted constantly, you might have a chance at
raising the humidity in their environment.

From: "Nyles" metopium at hotmail.com> on 2001.04.21 at 18:28:47(6235)
>From my posted message it would seem that I'm fighting the desert.

The plants are fairly enclosed, with a 4+ foot wall in front and the house I
rent on the other 3 sides. There is also an overhang about 2 ft above the
wall and covering all the plants. I wet down the outdoor carpet at least
twice a day to try and get some ambient humidity.

That's how I should have started my post....oops!

Now, in addition to this, I have all my "skunk cabbages" on trays of water.

PLEASE tell me I've redeemed myself in the eyes of my fellow aroiders

Really, thanks to all for the help!


From: StellrJ at aol.com on 2001.04.21 at 18:30:08(6237)
In a message dated Fri, 20 Apr 2001 1:53:23 PM Eastern Daylight Time, "Nyles" writes:

<< I'm going to give in this year on my "eco-groovy" philosophy and go for the
big guns.

From: Ron McHatton rmchatton at photocircuits.com> on 2001.04.23 at 15:37:52(6247)

The Home Depots in Arizona (as well as many other places in the
country) sell low volume misting systems (Arizona Mist is the Manufacturer)
that are idea for the situation you describe. These are the home owners
version of the ones used at outdoor restaurants in places like Tempe and
Phoenix. You can sit under or behind the misters and not get wet, but they
do a terrific job of spot cooling and humidification without driving up the
water bill. I have seen these things installed along the eaves of
enclosures like you describe and its not out of the question to raise the
humidity to well over 50% and the temperature down into the 70's. You can
get these kits in either pre-assembled modules or you can buy the heads,
tubing, filters, etc. and assemble a custom unit. They operate off of
house water pressure (no high pressure pump) and can be attached to either
a timer or humidistat through a solenoid valve (humidistats and solenoid
valves are available through any good plumbing or electrical supply
house....line voltage so you probably need an electrician for the


From: magrysbo at shu.edu on 2001.04.24 at 03:11:38(6249)
Sounds like a good idea, but a swamp cooler (vertical pad) built into the
side of the greenhouse would really do the trick in cooling the air (works
really great with dry desert air) as well as raising humidity. Some aroids
may prefer the cooler conditions rather than hot and humid, no matter how
humid it may be.

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