Pest Update - Spider mites & Caterpillars

Hibiscus (spider mites) - Today I noticed several yellowing leaves on a hibiscus plant that was otherwise doing very well. To make sure, I inspected the underside of the leaves closely and found a few spider mites. Good thing I looked! The infestation isn't very big, but I want to "shock and awe" them to prevent a larger problem like last year. Last year was horrible, the infestation was so bad, the hibiscus plants were practically sticks because all the leaves fell off. Well that was last year, so this year I'm bringing out the big guns, Forbid 4F. Last year I purchased a small 5ml bottle of Forbid 4F on eBay and this is the first time I have a chance to use it. It's a highly recommended product that offers knockdown and residual control of all kinds of mites and whiteflies. I guess the boy scout in me always wants to be prepared. =)

Nicotiana (caterpillars) - Another round of inspection led me to the Nicotiana plants, which haven't been blooming for awhile. I immediately knew something was wrong when I noticed small feces all over the leaves and blooms hollowed out. It only took a few minutes to find many caterpillars all over the plants, mostly at the tips of new growth. Not sure what species of caterpillar they are. They were eating the inside of flower buds mostly. A quick trip to Home Depot and I purchased some Southern Agriculture Thuricide, it's a product that contains Bacillus thuringiensis (BT). BT does not kill on contact, but rather must be eaten by the caterpillar to be effective. After a day or two, the caterpillar stops eating and dies. BT cannot be applied during daytime hours as it degrades rather quickly in direct sunlight, so applying in the late evening is best. BT is also safe for beneficial insects, birds, and animals.

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