Who doesn’t like to have a bit of green at home? While many do like to have plants, most are discouraged by the attention plants need.
After all, plants are living organisms subjected to pests and health problems from time to time. But don’t despair! There is a solution to everything.
When having plants outdoors, one of the most common pests you should be familiar with are spider mites.
Indeed, when it comes to houseplant pests, spider mites are one of the most common species.
Note: Indoors isn’t immune to mites. The most common culprit there are dust mites.
If you don’t know about them yet, don’t despair: this guide is all about identifying them and specifically about how to get rid of spider mites.
How To Detect Spider Mites on Your Plants
Despite being quite tiny, these insects can cause irreversible damage to your plants and sometimes even kill them without early treatment. That’s why as soon as you notice yellow or brown spots on the leaves of your plants, you should take immediate action.
Alternatively, inspect the plant for spider webs, which they produce to protect themselves and their eggs.
Here are the three most common signals you have spider mites on your plants:
- Yellow, white or brownish spots on the leaves
- Tiny white or red spots that seem to be moving (you might be seeing some big mites!)
- White webbing underneath the leaves.
Because it is hard to see spider mites with your naked eyes, there is something you can do to confirm your suspicions of an invasion. Simply hold a piece of paper under the leaves of the plant and give them a gentle shake. If your plant is infested with spider mites, you’ll see specks looking like pepper grains falling on the paper.
When you know mites are affecting your plant, do all you can to isolate the plant. Then, follow the tips given about the eradication of the pest.
How To Get Rid Of Spider Mites
Unfortunately to eradicate such insects can be challenging. You’ll need persistence and consistency, as well as some patience. Before the whole issue becomes unmanageable, it is vital to take action as soon as the presence of such pest is detected. If you manage to identify the problem early, you’ll be able to keep your plants looking healthy and lush.
There are two main ways you can get rid of spider mites: naturally or chemically. Let’s have a look at the characteristics of each method.
Before choosing insecticides, you should consider some effective natural remedies. For instance, you can try to release natural predators of the pest in the area surrounding the plant.
Insects that tend to feed on spider mites include ladybugs, big-eyed bugs, predatory thrips, and lacewing. You can get natural predators from reputable nurseries, only make sure they are appropriate for the season and the plant you want to use them on.
Another effective method to eliminate the pest is to spray the leaves and stems with pressure water. You can use a faucet or hose, but ensure you are spraying water all over the plant. With pressure, mites will eventually fall and drown. For this solution to work, you’ll need to repeat the procedure several times.
Alternatively, you could use some natural insecticidal oils, like neem, or some dormant oil.
If natural remedies don’t seem to work, a miticide will kill the insects. Keep in mind that using a common pesticide for spider mite treatment can be counterproductive. Such a pest developed resistance to these kinds of remedies, meaning that the pesticide will essentially only kill the beneficial bugs while worsening the spider mite infestation. Also, you’ll have to make sure the entire plant is covered in the chemicals.
How to Get Rid of Spider Mites — The Bottomline
While getting rid of spider mites might be a challenging task, as you can see, there are viable solutions you can try out. To keep your plants’ health and the situation under control, you should periodically and consistently check your greens. With frequent inspection, you’ll be able to quickly spot any anomalies. Therefore, you’ll most probably eradicate the problem before it gets too big. If you suspect spider mites might be the cause of unhealthy-looking plants, just follow the tips we’ve provided you in this article.
And remember, avoid allowing the pest to damage and kill your plants as you’ll only worsen the situation. Instead, take action promptly and properly. Eliminating pests is hard but not impossible!