Q: I know it’s a bit unusual, but I’m absolutely sure I have spider mites on my tomatoes. I have no problem spraying the garden plants with insecticide, but I’d rather check with you about what to use on the Tomatoes since spider mites aren’t the easiest thing to get rid of and I want to be careful about what I use on something that I’m going to eat.
A: Two choices:
1. Wash them off. Spray plants forcefully with a Bug Blaster nozzle on a watering wand (click for sources); aim the spray at the undersides of leaves. Do this in the middle of the afternoon so the foliage can dry quickly and not be attacked by fungal diseases.
2. Organic sprays. Use insecticidal soap (click for sources) or horticultural oil (click for sources). The soap kills mites on contact. The oil suffocates them. Again, pay attention to the underside of leaves, where the mites are most numerous.