How can I naturally get rid of spider mites/mealy bugs on my coleus?

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Answered

I have been overtaken by spider mites and mealy bugs that have killed more than half of my beautiful coleus plants. I have tried rubbing alcohol and water, vinegar and water, natural herbicides, and nothing seems to work. They even attacked my purple velvet plant! This is war! I took them all outside thinking that maybe the bugs would eat them but going from inside to outside put them in shock! Any suggestions? I need some sure cure advice!

  4 answers
  • Matt Windley Matt Windley on Jul 04, 2019

    Dawn dish detergent and water

    • Cheri Tanner Cheri Tanner on Jul 04, 2019

      Thank you for answering my dilemma!Dawn dish soap does it all...right? Do you spray the whole plant? I was told those damn things live in the dirt also. What is the ratio? And have you used this before and it's worked?

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Jul 04, 2019

    Dip a swab in rubbing alcohol and wipe away the mites.

    • Cheri Tanner Cheri Tanner on Jul 04, 2019

      Thanks for responding to me. I've tried that. Those damn bugs are strong here in California! I was told that they also live in the dirt. Frustrating! I've been raising coleus for over 30 years and NEVER had this bad of a case of them!

  • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Jul 04, 2019

    Just cut them off and make sure what is left is clean(use cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to wipe off mealy bugs and kill them) then they/both will regrow nicely/healthy; make sure your other house plants are clean or the pests will continue to spread. use either pure Neem oil or an insecticidal horicultural soap; dawn/dish soap on plants will stop the plants from being able to breathe and photosynthesis also not good for soil kills healthy microbes in it. The problem is that NONE of them are insecticidal soap. If using dish soap – they are detergents, not soaps. If using liquid hand soap, the fatty acid salts are made from short chain fatty acids which are phytotoxic to plants – they damage and weaken plants. make sure plant debris is put in plastic garbage bag or burned because putting in compost or recycling just spreads unwanted pests

    • See 1 previous
    • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Jul 05, 2019

      No dish soap-------use either pure Neem oil or an insecticidal horicultural soap(get either at garden center,online or some decent hardware stores .............Do not use any dish soap: dawn/dish soap on plants will stop the plants from being able to breathe and photosynthesis,it is also not good for soil kills healthy microbes in it. The problem is that NONE of them are insecticidal soap. If using dish soap – they are detergents, not soaps detergents/phosphates kills plants & soil. If using liquid hand soap, the fatty acid salts are made from short chain fatty acids which are phytotoxic to plants – they damage and weaken plants.