Things You'll Need
Bucket or garden hose
Any mite presence in your plants may indicate a problem, particularly if your family member has an allergy to ticks or mites, as they all belong to the same arthropod group. However, predatory running mites are considered garden allies because they attack spider mites which can hurt the garden. Thus the presence of predatory running mites in your garden also indicates other mites which may be harmful to your plants.
Know what the predatory running mites are doing in your garden. According to the journal Experimental and Applied Acarology, predatory mites attack spider mites. Any concerted effort against predatory mites should include an attack on spider mites, because spider mites without a natural predator will attack your garden by eating the vegetable material that they find growing in it.
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Keep your garden well watered in order to reduce the natural food source of the predatory mite. If you have a garden that tends to go dry in the late summer, water it often so spider mites do not visit, unwittingly inviting their natural predators, the predatory running mite. Spider mites attack your vegetables when your plants start to suffer for water. The Hop Industry research group in Finland found that mites which attacked hops plants increased in the late summer when the fields were water restricted due to dry weather.
If you are in a water restricted area, collect water from your shower or bath to water your garden, particularly in hot, dry months when vegetable plants tend to suffer. Keeping your vegetables well hydrated will reduce the vegetable eating mites, and, therefore, their natural enemies, the predatory running mite.
Spray the leaves directly. When watering your plants, try to spray the leaves gently to remove spider mites from the leaves. Additionally, spray your garden's leaves with an oil soap that is non toxic but prevents spider mites from attacking your plants. When the predatory running mites have no food source, they will no longer show up in your garden.
If you prefer to use an insecticide directly against spider mites, the journal Experimental and Applied Acarology reports that the insecticide spinosad may be used effectively without killing predatory mites, suggesting that it is less harmful to other garden insects and animals than other commercial pesticides. Killing spider mites directly will also remove the food source from the predatory running mites, and, therefore, will encourage them to go elsewhere.
- Springer Link: Influence of leaf trichomes: Experimental and Applied Acarology Volume 45, Numbers 3-4 / August, 2008
- PubMed: Testing for non-target effects of spinosad on twospotted spider mites and their predator Phytoseiulus persimilis: Exp Appl Acarol. 2006;38(2-3):141-9.
- MAF: Sustainable hop farming an investigation into mite control, irrigation and nutrition practice: Hop Industry Research Group, Mieke Van Drunen, 2007