Balsam (Vanka wet, Impatient) is one of the most popular plants among flower growers. But it has one drawback: it is prone to spider mite infestation. This is a rather insidious pest, capable of causing irreparable harm not only to balsam, but also to plants nearby.
The parasite feeds on the sap of the flower, multiplies actively and is small enough to be detected. This is precisely its danger. If you find the parasite in time, the plant can be saved, but first things first ... What is this pest? How to deal with it? How to prevent its appearance? All these questions will be answered in this article.
Spider mite is a representative of the arachnid arthropod family of the thrombitiform order, is one of the most common of the tick family. It is a soft-bodied representative of an ellipsoid shape with a convex upper and flat lower body. Its color depends on many factors: most often spider mites are yellowish, brownish, greenish in color. Tick size: the length of the females is about 0.4 to 1 mm, the length of the male is from 0.3 to 0.45 mm.
This pest multiplies very quickly: within 10 - 20 days from the moment of oviposition, individuals are considered adults. Several generations live in a web woven by ticks. Their colonies are located under fallen leaves in a pot, under clods of earth, on the back of a leaf, on a frame and a windowsill. Often this pest can affect a flower just bought in a store, so do not forget about a two-week quarantine.
Important! In order to prevent a spider mite from affecting any plant, including balsam, it is recommended to disinfect it before planting it in a pot: treat the soil with fungicides or thermally, wipe the container and tools with alcohol or a solution of potassium permanganate.
Spider mites feed on the contents of balsam cells: the adult bites off part of it, and through the hole it drinks from all the juice. As a result of such vital activity, some of the cells are destroyed, and the intensity of photosynthesis decreases. In addition, spider mites can infect any representative of the flora with incurable viral infections and gray mold spores.
How to identify?
Balsam is one of the favorite delicacies of the spider mite, its green leaves and succulent stems attract the pest first of all flowers.
This parasite is very difficult to detect. Most often, the florist begins to fight the pest at the moment when the plant has already been badly damaged. The main sign of the presence of spider mites on balsam is the presence of black small dots on the leaves. (bite marks) and the presence of the thinnest film - cobwebs.
With a strong defeat, the leaves turn white, the flower is wrapped in cobwebs, and at the tips of its leaves you can see an accumulation of moving bodies of pests. At the last stage, the balsam loses its leaves and flowers without producing new ones.
It will not be possible to detect this pest on a pet with the naked eye: too small, and their color matches the color of the leaves. You can only see the female: she is larger than the male, and she is red.
Here you can see a photo of the plant:
Why do they appear on the flower?
The main factor provoking the appearance of a spider mite is inappropriate conditions for keeping balsam. This pest thrives in dry and hot weather. Ticks attack primarily those plants that do not receive moisture.
Important! The main preventive measure in the fight against spider mites is correct and regular watering: the top layer of the soil should always be moist.
A plant affected by a spider mite looks like it was doused with boiling water: the stem is reddish-gray in color, dried leaves and flowers that are gradually shedding (why else balsam can shed its buds and flowers is described here). The end result is the death of balsam. But other representatives of the flora, especially those that are in the vicinity of the affected flower, are at risk (fuchsias, roses, hibiscus). Parasites multiply very quickly and can easily infect almost all plants.
How to fight and what to do if you cannot get rid of?
It is very difficult to remove a spider mite, and here it is necessary to approach the solution of the issue in a comprehensive manner:
- If this pest is found, the plant must be thoroughly washed with water and tar or laundry soap.
- Cover the soapy plant with a plastic bag and leave for a day.
- After the time has passed, the soap must be washed off under a warm shower.
- All plants in the vicinity of the affected balsam must be subjected to a similar treatment.
- It is also important to wash the window sill and frame well with hot water and any detergent.
- If the measures taken did not give the desired result, then the flower must be treated with special chemicals.
Ticks are not insects, but spiders. Therefore, insecticides will not be able to help. In the fight against spider mites, it is necessary to use acaricides.
Of the most common acaricides, effective help will be provided by:
- Fitoverm - a biological product, the use of which is permitted indoors. It is safe for humans and animals. 0.5 ml of the drug is diluted in 0.5 liters of warm water, then the resulting liquid is poured into 5 liters of water, this solution must be sprayed with balsam up to three times, observing the intervals between irrigations of 3 - 7 days. If no positive effect is observed, then "Fitoverm" should be changed to another acaricide.
- "Aktelik" - a drug that infects ticks, penetrating the respiratory organs. 2 ml of the substance dissolves in 2 liters of water. You can spray the plant only once.
- Apollo - the action of the drug is aimed at destroying tick eggs. Dissolve 2 ml of the substance in 5 liters of cold water.
- Sunmight - 1 g of powder is diluted in a small amount of water, and then in 1 liter of water.
- "Anti-tick" - it is necessary to dissolve 10 ml of the product in 10 liters of cold water.
All of these drugs, except for "Fitoverm", are toxic and dangerous for humans and animals. Therefore, the processing of the plant must be carried out in special clothing outside the living quarters.
Attention! If none of the methods destroyed the tick, then it is necessary to get rid of the balsam: the risk of damage by pests to other plants is too great.
The main preventive measures include:
- Two-week quarantine of purchased or brought plants.
- Disinfection of soil, pot, tools when transplanting balsam.
- Systematic inspection of all flowers for the identification of pests.
- Regular watering and irrigation of Vanka wet.
- Systematic airing of the plant in the fresh air.
- Timely removal of affected plant parts, as well as dried leaves and flowers.
- 1 time in 3 months it is necessary to spray Impatient with a solution of "Fitoverma" (2 ml per 1 liter of water).
One of the popular folk ways to solve this problem is the following: it is necessary to water it abundantly and cover the bush with a plastic bag for 2 - 3 days. It is believed that a humid environment will kill all harmful individuals. In this case, it is important not to allow direct sunlight to hit the leaves in order to avoid their burns, and the whole flower can simply "boil" in such an environment.
Balsam, like any other flower, can be susceptible to disease. In order for you to have the opportunity to help your green pet, we have prepared the following articles for you:
- Why does the balsam not bloom and what to do about it?
- What causes balsam leaves to turn yellow and how to revive it?
It is much easier to prevent the appearance of a spider mite than to rid the plant of it. It is imperative to observe all precautions, as well as provide the balsam with the conditions in which it feels comfortable. Otherwise, the risk of losing your favorite plant due to pests and diseases becomes too great.