My petunias appear to have a mite problem, what can I do?
Petunias attract a few mite species, but the cyclamen mites (Stenotarsonemus pallidus) often cause the worst damage. One of the smallest mites to attack ornamental plants, these tiny arachnids hide in moist, shady plant areas, such as in unopened leaves or flower buds. Cyclamen mite saliva contains a substance toxic to petunias, causing stunted, twisted and distorted foliage at feeding sites. Plants often suffer from premature flower or bud death. These mites are hard to treat with pesticides since they live within plant areas where the chemicals cannot reach; and that spray is damaging the flowers. The experts at the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension recommend getting rid of mites by dipping petunia plants in a warm water bath. Make sure the water temperature is right at 111 degrees Fahrenheit and keep the plant submerged for only 15 minutes.
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