Spider mites on indoor and outdoor plants are a typical issue. Their damage can lead to severe diseases and even the death of the plant. Follow our recommendations on how to get rid of spider mites and prevent the appearance of these parasites on your houseplants because they are tough to remove forever. We have gathered basic facts and tips for plant parents!
Spider Mite Signs On Your Plants
It’s hard to notice spider mites with the naked eye. Adult insects have eight legs and little oval bodies that can be colored. The following symptoms can indicate the appearance of spiders on your houseplant:
- Tiny yellow or brown patches form on the plant's leaves.
- When you look closely, you'll notice tiny, fragile webs in the corners of stems or beneath leaves, with little white spots sprinkled throughout.
- Some spider mites inject poison into the leaves, causing them to darken and deform. As they continue to wreak havoc on your plant, the leaves will turn brown or yellow and fall off.
How to Get Rid of Spider Mites On Indoor Plants
Fortunately, there are diverse methods to threat your houseplant from spider mites:
- Water spraying. You must repeat this treatment regularly to prevent the mites from getting control of the plants. Spray indoor houseplants with the faucet sprayer by placing them in a kitchen sink or bathtub.
- Make use of insecticidal soaps or oils. Insecticidal soaps designed to kill insects and other pests are frequently helpful against spider mites.
- Boost predators. Spider mites have many natural predators. A hands-off approach may be sufficient in outdoor settings, where various insect populations frequently keep mites in check. Big-eyed bugs, ladybugs, lacewings, and spined soldier bugs are all beneficial insects.
- Try on neem oil. It is a natural product derived from the neem tree. It is safe for humans and most animals but kills insects, pests, and mites. Neem oil contains azadirachtin, an active component that interrupts insects and mites' feeding, molting, mating, and egg-laying cycle.
- Try pyrethroid pesticide. Pyrethrin is a natural product of certain chrysanthemum flowers, and it is a safer pesticide in its pure form. Pyrethroid pesticides are created by combining natural pyrethrins with chemicals to boost pyrethrin's efficacy.
- Use a chemical pesticide to spray. You can kill spider mite infestations with various chemical pesticides, including malathion, bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, and kelthane. But use them only in case of extreme infections of plants, and only after unsuccessfully trying all other options.
We recommend choosing natural rather than chemical methods of controlling spider mites to do less harm to your plant.
Tips On How to Get Rid of Spider Mites During Flowering
Using chemical insecticides or neem oil on diseased plants at the end of the blooming period will do more damage than good. As a result, if you have spider mites on blooming plants, you may safely destroy them using carbon dioxide gas. Carbon dioxide is a safe, affordable, non-toxic, organic gas that aids in the control of pests. How exactly does it work? On the one hand, your green pets adore carbon dioxide, so this will be a pleasure for them. Increased CO2, on the other hand, will choke the spider mite infestation to death.
How to Prevent Spider Mites Infestation
Spider mites will keep coming back to your plants if the conditions you provide for your plants are good for them. If spider mites previously infested your plant, you would probably never get rid of them completely. So it's better to prevent this infection. Look up our Tips on How to Prevent Spider Mites Infestation:
- Regularly clean rooms where your plants live, especially before each harvest cycle.
- Keep the air at the house humidified. It aids in preventing severe infections. All plants, inside and out, would be less likely to suffer from spider mite attacks if they were watered regularly. Spider mites are extremely little pests, so you can easily wipe them away.
- As the blooming season comes, inspect your houseplants at least weekly to verify that they are healthy and free of pests.
- You have to thoroughly examine the potted plantings that spend the summer outside before moving them inside for the cold seasons.
- When possible, take your own cuttings. Others can carry spider mites. If you use someone else's cuttings, make sure to treat each one before placing it near other plants.
- Use sticky traps to detect pests early and decrease the likelihood of them accessing your plants.
These tips are simple and will help avoid the challenging fight against spiders.
Spider Mites Treatment Steps And Tools
The gardener needs the following items for treatment from spider mites infection:
- Rubbing alcohol at 70%;
- Dawn dish soap;
- Spray bottle;
- Watering can or bowl;
- Toilet paper;
- Clean water.
Begin treating your houseplant from spider mites using the following algorithm:
- Change your plant's location. Isolate it from others to prevent the infection from spreading.
- Remove any highly affected leaves.
- Cleanse the houseplant.
- To remove and destroy visible spider mites, use a combination of alcohol and water. Fill the spray container halfway with 1 cup of alcohol and 30 oz of water. Spray all the leaves and rub them dry with a paper towel.
- Choose a specific instrument on the plant. Applying the treatment will assist the plant in avoiding re-infestation and will kill additional mites and eggs that are not apparent.
- Spray the entire plant carefully. Spread the mixture to both sides of the leaves and the plant stems.
Repeat the treatment twice a week until the issue is gone, or change your tools depending on how your plant will feel. Please return it to others only when you are sure that the spiders on the leaves are gone!
Common Types of Spider Mites
Different types of spiders can harm your plants. We will add descriptions of the main species of these pests so that you can distinguish them:
- Twospotted spider mite. Warm-season mites also include two-spotted spiders. This pest has been found in approximately 180 different host plants, including field crops, decorative plants, home plants, and weeds. Females emerge in April and May, searching for the undersides of leaves on appropriate hosts. Each female insect may lay more than 100 eggs. These mites love hot, dry conditions and seldom reach harmful concentrations during chilly, wet months.
- Spruce spider mite. A typical cold season mite is the spruce spider mite. This insect can live on all species of evergreens, including spruces, pines, junipers, and arborvitae. The egg stage of this mite spends the winter adhering to tiny trees. Female mites lay eggs in the summer. They hatch, and the adults begin action when freezing temperatures return in the autumn. You may not see the discoloring and bronzing of plants until the heat of July, even if the damage happened in the preceding autumn and spring.
- False spider mites. Tenuipalpidae are also known as fake spider mites because they mimic spider mites or flat mites since their body is balanced compared to other mites. The majority of the species that cause harm to cultivated plants are from the families Brevipalpus and Tenuipalpus.
- Сyclamen mite. The cyclamen mite is a dangerous berry parasite and a widespread enemy of cyclamen, gerbera, and other ornamentals. Tarsonemid mites have a wider variety of feeding patterns than any other mite family.
Where do spider mites come from on indoor plants?
Even though it seems like spider mites appear out of nowhere, they may be present in your plants all along. The parasites come out only when the weather is favorable. They might come in on infected organic material, clothes, shoes, on your pet's fur, or blown in by the wind!
Do spider mites live in soil?
Spider mites do generally not dwell in the substrate. They can hide under the leaves for weeks. These insects mostly rely on indoor plants and pot soil for shelter and nourishment. However, since spider mites prefer dry conditions, keeping the soil slightly moist can help control them. They also can exist on plants and the ground outside.
Can spider mites live without plants?
Spider mites are pretty picky about living conditions. They prefer dry, hot, and humid air and soil. If you have these parasites on your houseplants, they will not infest an entire home. They can survive from three to eleven days without a houseplant.
What are the plants that repel spider mites?
Spider mites despise plants with a strong odor. To frighten them, plant herbs – basil, lavender, lemon balm, mint, rosemary, sage, eucalyptus, etc. Growing these herbs near your plants may fight pests; you may also use them to add an aromatic accent to your dishes or tea!
How long do spider mites live?
Spider mites' lifespan longing nearly three-four weeks. The egg, larva, nymph, and adult stages are this parasite's life cycle. Insects reproduce extremely quickly. Females begin producing eggs at nearly five days old, depositing hundreds of them over their life. It just takes 72 hours for these eggs to hatch.