Hello Doc,
I've got spider mites and I'm struggling to get rid of them. I have been using a neem oil soap mixture and that knocks them back well enough but the problem continues to recur even after I've started preventative measures from bring any more pests into my indoor garden. All my plants are in veg stage right now. What can I do to rid myself of this problem once and for all?
I assume you read my post about spider mites. (LINK)

I had a mite infestation and I only got rid of it at the end of the semester when I killed/harvested all my annual plants and I physically wiped every piece of the leaves and stems of plants I kept alive with a 10% alcohol solution (rubbing alcohol - isoproppyl). I also then cleaned the infested room with a 20% bleach solution and let it sit without plants for a week. I kept the light on to keep the room warm so if I missed any mites they'd starve rather than sit in the cold and wait.

What I did with the 6 plants I kept is I took each plant out of the infestation room, wiped it down in a different room, let the plant sit in the wiping room for a day until I came in the next day with new cloths etc. put the plant in a 'clean' room with a light and then went and got another plant to wipe down. This took me a week but I finally got rid of the mites. The problem is they can hide on the underside of a leaf and not get sprayed, or even on the floor or the wall or in the soil.

If you can’t wipe all your plants down after you remove them from the room your next option is to slow growth and start over with EVERYTHING new, and sterilze the room. If you want to slow growth and get a harvest Keep the humidity high and the temperature low, put double sided tape on the floor around plants and make sure plants do not touch each other as mites need to walk to get to a new plant. You could keep using the neem but you could also try and order predatory mites. These will not get rid of spider mites most likely, but will keep their numbers down so that you can harvest your plants. Then when you harvest the plants you need to wipe down the room and keep it plant free for as long as you can.
 I say all this is assuming you are growing something you will consume. If you have plants just to look at, then I suggest you use a systemic insecticide that you water the plants with. This will make the plants toxic to mites (and you or any one else that consumes the plants) so it works great on plants that won't be consumed. If you have other house plants that you don't consume then you may want to give them some systemic insecticide to make sure that mites or other insect pests are not eating them and waiting for your indoor garden to get going and move back in. Keep your pets in mind when using insecticides, I don't like to use them but they work.

I am sorry to say there is no easy solution, wipe down the plants to remove mites, then get predatory mites or keep using insecticidal soap to get a harvest then start over after you clean everything with bleach, alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide.

Good Growing,
Dr. E.R. Myers

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