Tiny Buggies On Sunflowers & Webs?

Nifty

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As part of my chicken grazing frame experiment on BYC, I planted a few BOSS (black oil sunflower seeds) to grow in the house.

They've actually been doing pretty decently inside.

... except we just noticed a ton of what looks like "webbing" and tiny buggies.

I'm guessing some kind of spider, mite, aphid, or similar?

Any suggestions on what they might be and ways to easily treat them? Spray soapy water or something else? I'm not 100% opposed to using chemicals if that's the best option.

boss-bugs-1.jpgboss-bugs-2.jpg
 

digitS'

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Spider mites can be killed with an insecticidal soap spray. I have done that. Neem oil should also work.

Since the plants are indoors, sunlight shouldn't be a problem. I have felt it necessary to spray late in the day and to rinse sunflowers and others on the morning after spraying.

Since they are small plants, you may want to carry them out and hose them down first to blast as many of the bugs as you can onto the driveway. Allow the plants to dry before spraying.

Steve
 

flowerbug

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if you have any other indoor plants you value please isolate these plants from the others immediately! :)

i'll 2nd above @digitS' recommendations. also add if you can find predatory mites which will eat these.
 

Nifty

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Spot-on, thanks y'all!

Going to get work to isolate and destroy! :D
 

Zeedman

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Ditto @digitS' comments. Aside from one year where spider mites infected my bush beans, they have only been a problem when I've brought plants indoors after being outside. Once indoors, the predators that would normally keep them in check are no longer present, and the mites multiply rapidly. This has happened several times, when I tried to over-winter a plant from outdoors, or brought it in to finish developing seed.

The mites are very hard to completely eradicate, and as @flowerbug mentioned they can spread to other plants nearby. DW has dozens of houseplants; so sad to say, once detected, I remove & destroy infected plants as soon as possible. If saving seed, I isolate the plant until seed has been harvested, then put them outside to freeze. :(

If keeping the plants inside, insecticidal soap will reduce the mite population to controllable numbers - but not eliminate them. It will require observation & repeat treatments as needed.
 
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