Spider Mites and winter care for young strawberry plants

(Question)

Plagued for 5 years with spider mites on indoor plants, have tried everything to get rid of them but nothing works.  Have captured a Lady Bug and put that in there about 3 weeks ago.  It is still there.  Trying to find another for a mate.  I don’t know what they eat and I want them to live.  I can’t find any info at the library.  I’m hoping it will eat the eggs and the mites.

3 or 4 Baby strawberry plants in 4″ pots.  Separated from parents on Aug 7th.  Should I bring them in before the frost?  Should I bring them in and put them on the window sill?

(Answer)

Lady Bugs will eat spider mites and their eggs if there are no other food sources around but it takes a fair number to control an infestation.  You could use insecticidal soap or horticultural oil to control them. Make sure to follow the instructions provided.  Healthy house plants discourage infestations so if you have any weak plants, consider discarding them and replacing with healthier plants.

Strawberries should not be brought indoors for the winter.  They need the cold to trigger dormancy for the winter months.  If you have an unheated garage, you may consider placing the pots in there for the winter.  Water them sparingly and keep them in the dark as much as possible.  Bring them out again as the weather starts to warm in spring.  Alternatively they can be planted in the ground and mulched with 3-4 inches of mulch to protect them from the extreme cold.