Aquaponic Gardening

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Hi all! I have a bug  problem in my set up. They look like spider mites to me but are yellowish tan. I am trying to eradicate them with dr. bronner's peppermint soap with a little lemon eucalyptus oil mixed in but not sure it's doing the job. I am trying to avoid spending $ on liquid ladybug but if that is the only thing that will work I will get it. Looks liket he ingredients are peppermint oil and geraniol so thought the Bronner's might cut it. Any help is appreciated. I've harvested most of the veggies in it to get better access to the bugs. Also have a fruit fly problem.


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Pictures would be great. Spider mites are really tiny and pretty difficult to see. What does your damage look like?

Oh, and careful with that soap spray. Soap can kill fish by coating their kills, so you have to be cautious with your overspray.

Thank you. Not sure how to get a photo that is magnified enough. They have round yellowish tan bodies, looks like 8 little legs and protruding mouth part.
thanks for your reply

Well, I just wanted to get a picture of the damage, mostly. If you wander over to my page, I think I've got some spider mite pics taken with my microscope on there. How are you identifying them? Magnifying glass?

I'm pretty re these aren't spider mites now as I have not found any evidence of webs. I haven't seen them on the plants yet either, just crawling on the hydroton just under the surface. Will liquid ladybug work for other stuff if these are not the mites? I've been spraying the dr. bronners spray daily but my husband is beginning to be concerned that it's too much soap in the system. Anyway, here's some pics of the damage. The first to die was a basil plant that looked fine and then a few days later was completely dead, almost like they are attacking the roots.....also the fruit flies are out of control. Thanks for your help.


I'm thinking of getting some Spinosad (it's either that or beneficial nematodes....or ladybugs) you know if it's broadly effective for pest control?

thank you

Hi Christina,

I believe you spoke with JoAnne at The Aquaponic Source about this.  If it is root aphids, you may consider looking into beneficial nematodes such as the Steinernema feltiae variety.  I don't know if you can find them at your local gardening supply store, but, if not, here is an online option:  You will want to treat the problem as root aphids can lay "winter" eggs that can take 6 months to hatch.

Hope that helps!  Please keep us updated on the Community with how it goes.

Thank you very much Sampson! I plan to run out and buy some b.n.s in the morning.
I did spray with spinosad yesterday, not sure how long it takes to work but no noticeable decline in activity yet....
Spinosad isn't really effective against aphids as far as I know. But it's great for thrips and spider mites. It has something to do with the way they feed, I think.

And those fruit flies could actually be flying aphids; especially if the climate around your area has shifted recently.
We're inside, if that matters...the flies came first and have tony blackish bodies, come in on bananas etc. They've been a prob. In our house all winter, before system was setup.....

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