I am in desperate need of some help! I have a massive infestation of what I am pretty sure are predatory mites in my garden. They do not bother my plants at all, the only problem is that there are SO MANY of them that I almost hate to garden anymore because I come away absolutely CRAWLING with mites! I know they are beneficial for my garden but I’m sure there are billions too many. I hate to get rid of them all and have spider mites but is there any way I can decrease the population by say a couple of billion? Please help, this is my first year with a vegetable garden and I am frustrated and itchy!
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Pam: The first thing to do would be to have this insect/mite positively identified. I assume that living in Canada you have something equivalent to a Cooperative Extension Service where you could take a sample and have it identified, but if not you could contact a local university with an entomology department. If you have a favorite garden center/nursery with a knowledgeable staff, they also may be able to help. It is hard to give specific advice not knowing what we are dealing with, especially when it comes to a vegetable garden. Are these pests just in the vegetable garden that you are aware of, or are they in other parts of the garden as well? There are organic insecticides/miticides available and predator mites can be used to control spider mites, but it really is best to figure out what you are dealing with before spraying anything. Since they do not seem to be harming your plants, spraying them will not get rid of the problem. I hope this does not discourage you from having a vegetable garden in the future!