How to Get Rid of Spider Mites for Beginners

Do you want to know how to get rid of spider mites? Several methods might help to forget about these pests. Spider mites are arachnids usually mistaken for insects, but they are more related to ticks and spiders, extra small, and hard to find. Some of their species can dwell indoors, while others outdoors.

You can find them in different color palettes, from red to green and brown. They are a huge problem for indoor and outdoor plants. However, you still can try getting rid of spider mites on plants if you know your options.

How to Get Rid of Spider Mites Without a Problem
  • Recognize these mites and depart them from other pests;
  • Use essential oils and natural methods as your first step;
  • Use alcohol;
  • Spray the mites with the water;
  • Use specific insecticidal oil and soap if you have severe infestation;
  • Buy pyrethroid pesticide for severe cases;
  • Try the neem tree oil.

Guide to the Spider Mites Determination

If you are looking for the best way to get rid of spider mites, you have to make sure that these pests attack your plants and not something else. Treatment from these ticks is unique and may not be suitable for ants, for example. Once you’ve caught them or noticed the signs of their activities, you have to pick the most suitable remedy for your specific case.

What are spider mites?

Before you learn how to treat spider mites on plants, you need to check out whether you deal with the right pests. Spider mites are small and look like many other pests at first glance. They are related to spiders, ticks, scorpions, mites, and harvestmen. Their size is 1/25 or 1/60 based on the type, which is the size of the sugar grain. So, if you don’t have a sharp eye like an eagle, you will need a magnifying glass.

These insects are highly active during the summer and warm autumn days. They prefer to live in warm and dry climates. Mites easily crawl from one plant to another, feeding on it. Sometimes they can use people or animals to ride when they need to get to another plant. It is highly important to find them before they destroy your favorite plants.

Spider mites at end of leaf

What causes spider mites?

You may want to know how to get rid of spider mites indoors, but before that, you have to understand what attracts them to your house in the first place. Mites feed on plant moisture, which kills the plant but saves generations of pests from hunger. Although they don’t spread any disease and usually don’t cause any threat to the people, they can destroy the crop. They can appear from:

  • The new plant you’ve bought from the store;
  • The outdoors, where indoor plants spent the summer time;
  • The old soil that you use to repot the plant;
  • Veggies and fruits, or even flowers you’ve brought from the garden, can carry mites too;
  • The pests can be attracted to your house and crawl through the open window or door.

How To Identify Spider Mite Damage

Unfortunately, numerous pests and insects can leave similar traces. You need to make sure that these are the traces of spider mites get rid of which is your job. You may want to check out the places with a magnifying glass.

Here are the signs that you have spider mites:

  • There are yellow or white specks on the plant’s leaves;
  • You notice the web on the houseplants that can be either on leaves or under them;
  • Leaves are starting to fall off;
  • If you take the paper plate and place it under the leaf you suspect has mites on it, gently tap it, and see the little specks on the plate falling down, you have the infestation.

Ways to Get Rid of Spider Mites (Naturally and Chemically)

There are several ways you can get rid of mites. Make sure that you pick the one that suits your case. If you have small children in the house, it is better to use a natural and eco-friendly approach without chemicals. If you have a severe infestation, you can use insecticide that will kill mites in no time.

Natural way

essential oil into bowl

The first thing you can do is try the essential oils. If the infestation is not severe, you can get rid of plant mites using natural remedies. They are eco-friendly and can be used in the presence of children in the house. You will need an oil that is effective against eggs and adults. The most popular options are:

  • Spearmint;
  • Chamomile;
  • Rosemary;
  • Coriander.

Use these oils to make mite spray for plants. You will need several drops of oil and water. Mix it and apply it to the leaves. You can repeat the procedure several times.
Neem oil has the same effect. It acts quickly. The smell of the oil suffocates spider mites. You will need to pick up their bodies after.

Alcohol

You can use a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water(1:4 cups) to get rid of the pests. Pour it into the spraying bottle and apply the mixture on the plat, from the stems to the flowers. This remedy kills mites by dehydrating their bodies. However, you have to make sure that your plant will not get burned by alcohol. Apply the mixture to one leaf and wait for several days. If nothing happens with it, you can spray the whole plant.

Pyrethroid pesticide

You may try pyrethroid pesticides mixed with chemicals. While pyrethrin is the natural derivative, mixed with the chemicals, it gets powerful. It is still considered a safe pesticide since it is taken from the chrysanthemum flower in its original form. This remedy is powerful.

How to Prevent Spider Mites

The best way to prevent spider mites is to watch closely for your plant. Some of them get mites after you bring them from the store or your yard where they spent summer. Mites don’t like to stay outdoors during the wintertime. This is why you need to check the pot with the plant in advance. You can do it while you are still outdoors.

Spider mites on leaf

Spray your plants with water from time to time to ensure no mites on the leaves. You can expect leaves with a magnifying glass at least once a week. Keep an eye on the general appearance of your plant, and ensure that it does not lose the leaves.

FAQ

Read these most popular questions online. I hope that my answers will help you. If you have something more to add, you can do it in the comments below.

Are any plants immune to spider mites?

Although there are plants that mites prefer to avoid, like peppers, chamomiles, or coriander, you can have a 100 percent guarantee. Mites can pick the plant to hide there from possible danger. No plants are resistant to these creatures.

What kills spider mites instantly?

Chemicals will kill spider mites instantly. Other remedies described above take some time to act. Yet, they start acting right when mites get in contact with them.

Can you completely get rid of spider mites?

Yes, you can get rid of this specific family of mites. However, you still may witness the new species appear after you bring back the plant from outdoors. You may find them on the new plant.

What causes spider mite infestation?

There are several reasons. Yet, the main one is the presence of plants that provide spider mites as a food source. If they don’t feel the danger inside, they will happily settle down there.

Healthy Plants Without Spider Mites

Without these terrible tiny creatures that suck the moisture from leaves, your plants will grow healthy and strong. Since there is no guarantee that any plant is safe, check out the plant’s health once a week. Make it your weekly routine and stick to it, especially if you prefer to leave the doors or windows open during the summer or even bring out your plant outdoors. If you have more recommendations, you can share your recipes in the comments.

Have you ever had a spider mite infestation? Did you use chemicals? Express your thoughts in the comments below.

Also read:

References:

  • Spider Mites (Colorado State University)
    https://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/insects/spider-mites-5-507/
  • Integrated Pest Management (I.P.M.) For Spider Mites (HGIC)
    https://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/integrated-pest-management-i-p-m-for-spider-mites/
  • How to Prevent Spider Mites on Houseplants (WikiHow)
    https://www.wikihow.com/Prevent-Spider-Mites-on-Houseplants

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Nicholas Martin

Nicholas Martin

I am Nicholas Martin, and I am an entomologist. I combine the insect survey work with the consultation for private pest control agencies. My narrow specializations are both urban pests and agricultural pests. I studied their control over the previous 25 years. More about Nick

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