Spider Mites on Plants - 4 Proven Ways to Get Rid of Spider Mites
Spider mites are small arachnids from the tetranychids _(Tetranychidae)_ group. They appear mainly on houseplants and quickly overpower their victims. The pests love warmth and dry conditions. Have you noticed spider mites on your plants? Don't wait, or they will spread all over. Check the best ways to get rid of spider mites.
How to recognize spider mites on plants?
Spider mites are exceptionally tiresome plant pests. They appear both on plants grown indoors and outdoors. Houseplants are attacked more frequently, as spider mites require certain conditions - high temperatures and low humidity.
Recognizing early signs of spider mites is not as easy as it seems. These pests are tiny, so you might not be able to notice them with the naked eye - and, to make things worse, spider mites first appear on the bottom parts of a plant.
Small yellow spots on the leaves are the first signal to consider. At this stage, the issue is much easier to resolve. Without a quick action, the insects will spread further. If that happens, they are hard not to notice, as they form thick webs covering the majority of a houseplant or a garden plant.
What plants are most prone to spider mites?
Spider mites are bothersome pests which can appear on practically any plant - both in the house and the garden. But some species are exceptionally vulnerable to these insects. Here’s the list of the most commonly mentioned plants:
Interestingly enough, spider mites appear not only on decorative plants, but also on vegetables and fruits. Cucumbers and tomatoes are especially prone to these pests.
Spider mites - why you shouldn’t ignore them
Getting rid of spider mites is not the easiest task, so make sure to start acting as soon as you notice them. If you ignore early signs of spider mites, they might spread onto other plants. Such a plague won’t be easy to remove.
Soapy water - the best way to get rid of spider mites
As for spider mites - homemade remedies are often the most effective. That’s why such methods are the most popular. Wiping the leaves with a solution of water and household soap is one of them. Are you wondering how it’s done? Prepare the following items:
- household soap.
- a container with water,
- a soft cloth.
Grate the soap on a grater (alternatively, you can buy soapflakes). Add 15-20 grams of soap to one liter of lukewarm water. Mix everything thoroughly. Then, dampen the cloth in the mixture and use it to delicately wipe the upper parts and the bottom of the leaves, as well as the stems. Afterwards, the plant has to be bathed. You can put the pot in the bathtub or shower tray and rinse it. If the plant grows in the garden, use a hose gun set to a delicate mist.
Repeat these steps regularly, to prevent spider mites from reappearing. Once a week is enough.
Are you out of household soap, you cannot wait and want to act immediately? Instead of regular soap or soapflakes, you can also use dish detergent. One tablespoon per one liter of water is enough.
How to get rid of spider mites using oil?
Have you already tried the method with washing the leaves and soapy water, but the pest problem keeps coming back? Perhaps you should try the method with oil. It’s very similar, but instead of soapy water - use vegetable oil such as rapeseed oil.
Delicately apply the oil to the leaves - the spider mites will stick to it. Their breathing process gets stopped as well. Using this method, you can quickly remove the pests.
Interestingly enough, this method is effective against both spider mite eggs and adult insects. It’s a complete solution to the problem.
Garlic or onion against spider mites
Onions and garlic are not just groceries, which can be used in the kitchen just like fresh herbs. They also make a perfect weapon against various plant pests such as spider mites. All you have to do is prepare an aromatic onion brew or an intense garlic extract - thanks to them, you will get rid of the danger once and for all.
How to prepare garlic extract:
- 1 head of garlic,
- 2 liters of water.
Divide the garlic knob into cloves. Take off the skin and grate the cloves on a grater or chop them with a knife. Put them in a container and fill it with water. The mixture is ready after 30 minutes. But don’t use it directly on the plant. Always dilute the concoction with water 1:1.
Making an onion brew
- 100 g onions,
- 12 liters of water.
Preparing an onion brew is a bit more time-consuming. Peel the onions and cut them in half-moon slices. Pour the water over them and put the pot on the stove. Boil the mixture for 30-40 minutes. When the brew cools down, you can use it directly on plants - without diluting.
Chemical spider mite killers
Sometimes, the number of spider mites on a plant is too big, and home remedies are ineffective. If so, a good chemical spider mite killer is the best solution. But be careful when shopping for the right product.
Certain spider mite insecticides work only on adult insects. For this reason, they aren’t the best products you can decide on. Spider mites may have already laid their eggs in some parts of the plant. If the product kills only adult mites - you won’t get rid of the eggs. It means they will develop shortly, and the problem will come back. Because of this, make sure to buy comprehensive products.
📍 What do spider mites look like?
Spider mites look like tiny spiders. They aren't all the same - they have different colors. Green, brown and yellow are the most common ones. There are also red spider mites. Their appearance differs depending on their life cycle stage.
📍 Why are there spider mites on my plants?
Spider mites appear in warm and dry environments. They typically attack houseplants - especially in autumn and winter, when the heating season begins. You may also notice them in the garden. An outdoor spider mite infestation usually happens in summer.
📍 Spider mites - how to get rid of the pests?
A homemade spider mite killer might be a perfect solution for such a problem. You can simply wipe the leaves and the stems with soapy water, or spray them with onion or garlic brews. If these methods don't help, try chemical products.
📍 What is the best spider mite killer?
Home remedies are the best ways to get rid of spider mites. Washing the leaves with a solution of water and household soap or covering them with vegetable oil might help. As for the latter method, it makes the insect immobile and stops its breathing process.
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