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Spider mites are one of the most common pests on plants. They attack a total of 200 host plants, including 90 crops grown in Central Europe. Cucumbers in sheltered areas such as the greenhouse are particularly popular with them. Here they not only find a good source of food, but also optimal climatic conditions to spread. There are a number of ways to control pests on cucumber plants.

Getting rid of spider mites on cucumbers

Optimizing the greenhouse climate

One reason why the spider mite at Cucumis sativus The optimal climate is rapidly spreading in the greenhouse. In greenhouses it is dry and hot. Therefore, the first step is to optimize the climate in it. Try to shade part of the greenhouse as the mites love direct sun. This allows you to lower the temperature at the same time. At the same time, make sure that there is a regular exchange of air and that no heat build-up occurs.

combat with water

A simple method Tetranychidae / spider mites to combat cucumbers is water. This can change the climate from dry to humid, which the mites don't like. Due to the humid environment, most of them even die off. The problem with this method is that although the insect pests are controlled in greenhouses, the change to a wetter climate encourages fungal infections. Water as a remedy against spider mites should therefore only be used for a limited period of time.

How to proceed:

  • Rinse the top and bottom of the cucumber leaves with lukewarm water
  • Wrap cucumber stems with a transparent plastic bag
  • Remove bag after two days
  • Dispose of the bag in the residual waste

neem oil

The oil of the neem tree has proven to be helpful directly in the fight against mites. Neem oil comes in a variety of forms as a ready-to-use biological preparation or as pure oil for those who wish to mix their own anti-mite remedy. When using the pure oil it is important that the oil is diluted. To do this, it is mixed with water, which is why an emulsifier such as Rimulgan is necessary for the oil and water to combine. Spray the affected plants with the finished product or the solution you have mixed yourself.

Tip: Fertilize with nettle manure, as this strengthens the epidermis of the cucumber plants.

In the greenhouse, you should avoid using products that are based on pyrethrum. Although this is a biological means of combating spider mites based on chrysanthemums, these means are also toxic to beneficial insects.

field horsetail broth

An effective means of preventing spider mites is to strengthen the plant epidermis. Spider mites damage the plants with their mouthparts, causing the leaves to turn coppery brown over time. The harder you make it for them to damage the surface, the less likely it is that the pests will spread widely.

field horsetail

Preparation of a field horsetail broth:

  • Roughly chop the field horsetail
  • Put horsetail in a bin and fill with water
  • cover ton
  • Stir the broth daily for the first week

Tip: If strong odors develop, sprinkle some rock dust on the surface. This reduces odors.

The ratio of horsetail to water should be around 2:1. After several weeks, the herb has almost completely decomposed and you can spray the leaves of the cucumbers with it. For the application, the broth is diluted with water in a ratio of 1:10 and then the leaves are sprayed on the top and bottom.

promote beneficials

Damaging beneficial insects would be of little help if the cucumbers were infested with spider mites. There are a number of insects that eat mites. Therefore, the targeted use of beneficial insects can not only be an effective weapon in the event of an infestation, but you can also use it to prevent an infestation.
These insects help against mites on cucumbers:

  • Predatory mites (Phytoseiidae)
  • Flower bugs (Hemerobiidae)
  • Black globe ladybird (Stethorus punctillum)
  • Brown lacewing (Hemerobiidae)
  • Lacewings (Chrysopidae)

Lacewings of the genus Chrysopidae in particular are an effective weapon against mites. Lacewings can be bought as natural pest repellents. They are sold in the form of cards containing the eggs. You have to hang these cards in the greenhouse and the larvae will hatch within a very short time. Occasionally the larvae can be bought directly. Both larvae and adult lacewings are efficient in fighting spider mites.

prevent pest infestation

In addition to promoting beneficial insects in the greenhouse, it helps improve plant health. Regular use of nettle manure or horsetail broth ensures that your cucumbers not only develop well, the epidermis of the plants is strengthened. This makes it much more difficult for harmful insects such as mites to penetrate them.

A mixed culture that protects the cucumbers and makes the plants less attractive to insect pests is also helpful. The following herbs are primarily suitable as partners for Cucumis sativus:

  • chives
  • garlic
  • dill

These herbs can be used as underplanting for the cucumber plants and their intense scent can keep insects out to a limited extent. The herbs also develop well in the warm climate of the greenhouse, where they often have a slightly higher water requirement.

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