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fuchsia gall mites - problem solved

jim_wood
May 27, 2008

I hope I'm neither redundant with this information nor mistaken regarding the results... but after several years battlling the nasty Fuchsia Gall Mites I have evidently succeeded in eradicating them from my plants... or so it seems!

The magic bullet is "Bayer Advanced Tree and Shrub Protect and Feed." This is a liquid concentrate, unlike the same manufacturer's product for roses, which is a dry granulate. This product is a systemic insecticide, but does NOT come with the usual warning about using it on or near edible-crop plants. In fact, it comes specifically recommended for certain nut trees. This was good news for me, as some of my fuchsias are close to shade-providing fruit trees.

A couple of my plants are particularly prone to the gall mite and would develop the characteristic wrinkled and distorted leaf growth year after year. One plant, in deep shade and under a bird feeder, was much worse than all the rest, perhaps from bird-dropping-borne mites.

It has now been several months since I used the Bayer product, following the instructions that came with it. All growth since about two months ago is totally mite-free. Even the older, woodier parts of the plant, which were the worst-infested, have put our new, clean growth.

The stuff isn't cheap, but Wal-Mart carries it at the best price, and if you go to the Beyer Advanced Website you can find a coupon for either a $5 refund (32oz size) or $10 refund (64oz size). My $5 check came today, which prompted me to share this information.

Comments (12)

  • fengshui05

    Hi could you please send me the name of the chemical in there -as I'm writting on a book and I would like to give this info to all fuchsia gardeners. In Uk, France and Northern Germany also people have problems with the gall mite.

    regards,
    H.J.

  • jim_wood

    Sure enough, H.J. The label says the active ingredient is Imidacloprid in a concentration of 1.47%. If you like, I can send a scan of the label. Contact me off group at electrojim(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

  • fengshui05

    hi Jim,

    That really helps. Thank you very much.
    regards,
    H.J.

  • stevebrickley

    Jim, I have had success using Imidacloprid in a systemic insectcide produced by Gordon's called ImidiPro. It is used as a soil drench and as a foiler application with local systemic penetration. It can take a few weeks to start working. Also, I have use Abamactin in a miticide/Insecticide produced by Syngenta called Avid 0.15EC. Avid also works on the dreaded Pacific Bamboo mite and not to mention spider mites. I obtain both products mailorder from Florida from Sunshine Gardens, George and Hope Lewis, email hope at hglumis@comcast.net. They are a lovely older couple that are quite knowledgeable. These products are expensive, but a little goes a long way and Sunshine sells them about as reasonable as it gets. Hope this helps. -Steve

  • bahia

    Isn't anyone worried about the impact of a using such a strong systemic on the hummingbirds? It is one thing to use these chemicals on plants such as bamboo that don't attract birds and beneficial insects, but I wouldn't feel right about using them on fuchsias which are accessible to hummingbirds, especially if your bird feeder is for hummers...

  • anneow

    I am also concerned about the hummers. Does anyone know of less toxic gall mite control?

  • lynnstarrs

    This chemical is implicated in the deaths of pollinators and is illegal in the European Union. Recent research, published in a top science journal, Nature, links it to a decline in birds. A SIGNIFICANT decline.

    You can find an entry on Wikipedia which provides references--some scientists think that studies of its effects have been "deliberately deceptive". There are worse things than gall mites. I so enjoy the hummingbirds and bees that visit my garden, and I am so happy that they have one safe place.

    Here is a link that might be useful: imidacloprid linked to declines in bees and birds

  • lynnstarrs

    This chemical is implicated in the deaths of pollinators and is illegal in the European Union. Recent research, published in a top science journal, Nature, links it to a decline in birds. A SIGNIFICANT decline.

    You can find an entry on Wikipedia which provides references--some scientists think that studies of its effects have been "deliberately deceptive". There are worse things than gall mites. I so enjoy the hummingbirds and bees that visit my garden, and I am so happy that they have one safe place.

    Here is a link that might be useful: imidacloprid linked to declines in bees and birds

  • kittymoonbeam

    I had the same dilemma. Miites were killing the plants but I refused to poison the hummingbirds. If I killed off plants and brought in New ones, hummingbirds brought the mites back from local infected plants starting the whole process again. I had to wait for all the local infested plants to die or be removed. It took many years but finally I can grow them poison free as I did years ago.

  • lisascenic Urban Gardener, Oakland CA

    I just cut my fucschias to the ground in the winter and they grow back fine. I'd hate to injure hummingbirds.

  • mickeymantle

    Imidacloprid is also illegal in Eugene Oregon as are all neonecatins

  • Debbie Lefkowitz

    There are now many, many mite resistant fuschias and more coming all the time. I have at least seven beautiful mite resistant fuschias in my garden. Much better option than toxic chemicals.

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