Spider mites can be found on houseplants and outdoor plants and are a tiny pest. These plant pests resemble spiders and can wreak havoc on plants if left untreated. Spider mites create little webs on the plant as the first indication. Black or brown patches on the plant leaves are further indications of spider mite injury.
Spider mites are arachnids, not insects, and belong to the Tetranychidae mite family. Little white spiders known as spider mites exist in a variety of species. Other spider mite species, however, may be red, green, brown, or yellow. Spider mites are tiny insects that are difficult to see. They spin white, silky webs to cover themselves while they hide beneath leaves.
Spider webbing is the most prevalent symptom of spider mite infestation. Spider mite damage may also include black or brown spots on the plant leaves if the plant is severely infested. Put a sheet of white paper beneath the foliage and gently shake the plant if you believe spider mites are causing plant infestation.
Spider mites will appear as little specks of pepper on the surface. Getting rid of spider mites on plants is covered in this article. You’ll learn about ways to control spider mites and prevent them from infesting your houseplants, in addition to natural spider mite treatments.
What Do Spider Mites Look Like?
The spider mites, or tiny white bugs on the sticky webs, are seen on this photograph of spider mite damage on sweet pepper plants. Spider mites are tiny white, red, brown, or black spiders that look like dust. Spider mites are so tiny that identifying them on plants is tough. Before you notice the mites, you’ve probably noticed the telltale spider mite sign: webbing. Only if an infestation is significant might you notice these little “bugs.
Little bugs with oval-shaped bodies can be seen in photos of spider mites. Because they are a kind of spider or arachnid, the little “bugs” have eight legs, but they don’t look like typical spiders. The first hint to observing them on plants is that they spin webs like spiders.
Web-spinning mites are unlikely to be seen if you have a few spider mites on houseplants. They’re usually shorter than the closing period of a sentence. The mites seem like little dots scuttling around beneath leaves if you have a major infestation.
Spider Mites Life Cycle
As a tiny egg, spider mite females become larvae and then adults, known as two-spotted spider mite females with spider mite eggs. Spider mites reach maturity and complete their life cycle between five and twenty days. A spider mite may survive for four weeks in the adult stage. During its lifetime, a female spider mite can produce hundreds of eggs.
In hot, dry conditions, spider mites thrive and reproduce quickly. A female can reach maturity and begin producing up to 20 eggs every day in as little as a few days. Multiple generations can overlap in a bad spider mite infestation. Spider mites aren’t found in potting soil, as a rule of thumb.
They like to go unnoticed for weeks on the underside of leaves. Spider mites, on the other hand, like dry environments and will be helped to control them by keeping the soil slightly moist. Keep the soil slightly moist, but not overly damp or soggy, by using the best houseplant watering techniques. Otherwise, you’ll get root problems.
How to Identify Spider Mites on Houseplants and Outdoor Plants
A lemon plant (left) has spider mite damage. The sweet pepper plant (right) has spider mite damage. Spider mite webs may also be seen on the plant leaves. Spider mites’ webbing is the most visible sign of their presence on plants. Spider mites produce webs that are very thin in order to protect themselves and their offspring. Look for webs amid leaf joints and beneath leaves. You’ll see a lot of little dot-like creatures scurrying beneath the webs when the infestations get out of hand.
Look for delicate strands of silk-like threads to help identify spider mite infestation. You’ll just observe a few web-like threads dangling from leaves at the commencement of an epidemic. Spider mites, on the other hand, are unlikely to be visible. You’ll see increasingly vast expanses of webbing and little white bugs on the webs as their activity intensifies.
Another way to identify spider mites is by looking for plant damage. Spider mites bite into plant tissue with their piercing mouthparts. If the leaves get bleached, discolored, or yellow, you can identify spider mites. You’ll probably notice several tiny white mites or brown spots beneath the leaves when spider mites cause such severe damage.
You’ll need a 10x hand lens to properly identify spider mites. An oval-shaped body with eight tiny legs should be visible when you look closely at the moving dots. Spider mite eggs are spherical and translucent, and they’re found in clusters. It’s critical to identify spider mites before you can get rid of the plant bugs at the first sign of plant webbing.
Another way to identify spider mites is to tap the leaves. Place white paper beneath the foliage of a plant. Little spider mites may be seen on the paper by tapping the leaves. The little “bugs” will drop and look like ground pepper if you have spider mites.
Spider Mite Plant Damage
Spider mites harm the plant by causing leaf damage, and in severe cases, they may kill it. Small red spider mites can be seen on webs with leaf discoloration in this photograph. Their sap-sucking feeding damage leaves, in addition to coating them in silky spider webs. First, on damaged leaves, brown or yellow spots develop that eventually fade. Spider mite damage to the plant might lead to its death if it is not controlled.
Spider mite leaf damage—Spider mite damage can be seen early on in the form of tiny spots on leaves. The dots may form an almost solid pattern, known as stippling, as the damage worsens. Plant leaves may turn yellow, curl, and finally fall off if they are not properly handled.
Spider mite damage on crops—Outdoor plants and vegetables are also vulnerable to spider mites. Crop leaves may be destroyed by a massive mite infestation, lowering yields. On roses, annual plants, legumes, soybeans, and sugar peas, you may also see spider mite damage such as leaf spotting. Spider mite webbing creates a protective environment for these pests, while not harming plants.
Where Do Spider Mites Come From?
Spider mites are tiny enough to be found on the underside of a leaf, and they can come from anywhere. Spider mites are most likely to be found in homes where new plants have been brought in. Spider mites may also enter the house via unsterile potting soil or be carried inside by summer-dwelling houseplants.
If you’re just back from the local garden center, spider mites may also come into your home on your clothes. Spider mites can also get into your home on pets, and this is how. Mites, on the other hand, most often enter your home through unclean plants.
How to Get Rid of Spider Mites on Plants
Remove the plant and isolate it before attempting to eliminate spider mites on your plant. Here’s an enlarged image of a female red spider mite. Spider mites can be gotten rid of without the use of pesticides. Pesticides are seldom successful because of people’s resistance to synthetic chemicals.
What can you use to get rid of the bothersome plant-destroying pests if commercial pesticides aren’t a good idea? Fortunately, there are several natural, non-toxic ways to get rid of spider mites. Isolating the affected plant is always the first step when combating a spider mite infestation on plants.
The spider mite problem cannot spread to additional plants when the plant is removed from other plants.
Prune Affected Leaves to Get Rid of Spider Mites
To avoid harming other plants, remove and throw away affected parts of the plant. To avoid contaminating other plants in your home or yard, discard the infested plant parts in the trash outside.
Treating the remainder of the plant with natural spider mite control methods is still a good idea after removing the afflicted leaves and stems. Hosing the plant with water, using neem oil, rubbing alcohol, or insecticide soap to wipe leaves down are some of the ways these may be done.
Shower Plants to Remove Spider Mites
Using your bathroom shower, hose off spider mites and clean up spider webs. The mites should be dislodged by pushing water out of the way. You may also use a strong stream of water to wash spider mites off of your outdoor plants.
Use Soap Spray to Kill Spider Mites on Plants
The spider mites can be killed by spraying insecticidal soap solution over them. To manage spider mites, you can use a sponge drenched in the soap solution to clean the plant leaves. Soap, such as Castile soap or other liquid dish soap, may be used to treat spider mites on plants.
Shake well 1 teaspoon (5ml) of soap with a quart (1l) of warm water. Spray liberally with the spider mite spray until all of the mites are gone from the plant leaves. To eliminate and kill spider mites, you may use a sponge to dip in the soap solution and clean the plant. Until all traces of the mites are gone, reapply as necessary.
Plant spider mite populations are eliminated by the soap when it comes in contact with them. The tiny bugs, mites, or insects are suffocated by the soapy liquid that coats their bodies. The soap also kills the pests by penetrating them and dehydrating them.
These insecticidal soap products are appropriate for organic gardening and are safe to utilize around children and pets. Other houseplant pests, such as aphids, thrips, mealybugs, scale insects, and whitefly may also be killed with soap.
Get Rid of Spider Mites on Plants with Neem Oil
Spider mites on plants may be controlled using neem oil, which is a powerful remedy. Spider mite prevention is also aided by Neem oil. By combining neem oil, Castile soap, and water, you may create a spider mite spray solution. Sprinkle the infested plant leaves with spray.
Two teaspoons neem oil, one teaspoon Castile soap, and 1 quart (1 l) lukewarm water are combined to make a natural, organic spider mite spray. Spray liberally under leaves, on stems, and anywhere else you see indications of spider mites to eliminate the little mites.
Since it doesn’t harm birds, worms, humans, or pets, neem oil is a common natural pesticide. Neem oil disrupts the hormones of bothersome houseplant pests, which is why it may help you kill spider mites.
Apple Cider Vinegar Spray to Get Rid of Spider Mites on Houseplants
Spray apple cider vinegar (ACV) on the control spider mites to kill them. If the fine is too strong, use white vinegar. Plant pests like spider mites despise the acidic nature of vinegar. Mix 1/4 cup vinegar, 1 tsp baking soda, and a few drops of liquid dish soap in 1 quart (1 l) of warm water to make a spider mite spray. Spray until you no longer see spider mite signs around the premises.
Rosemary Oil Spray to Eliminate Spider Mites From Indoor Plants
Spider mites and a butterfly on a plant in the photograph: red spider mites and natural insecticidal properties. To treat a spider mite infestation, dilute a teaspoon of rosemary oil in 1 quart (1 l) water and fill a spray bottle. Humans and animals are safe from Rosemary oil pest control, but spider mites may die from it.
A commercial rosemary oil treatment was shown to be effective in eradicating two-spotted spider mites on tomato plants, according to one scientific research. The natural product posed no danger to eatable plants when applied. If you make your own rosemary spider mite spray at home, you’ll probably need some trial and error.
Getting the right amount of rosemary oil to kill spider mites may be difficult.
Use Rubbing Alcohol to Kill Spider Mites on Plants
Spider mites can be killed on contact by rubbing alcohol, as seen in this picture. Apply 70% isopropyl alcohol to a clean cloth and gently clean the underside of the affected plant leaves. Instead, you may use one-part rubbing alcohol and one-part water to destroy the spider mites that are damaging your plant.
Some houseplants have delicate, sensitive leaves. Try reducing the alcohol spray solution to a 1:3 alcohol to water ratio if you see signs of burn on the leaves. Other indoor plant pests, such as mealybugs, whitefly, and aphids, may also be killed using rubbing alcohol.
Release Beneficial Insects To kill Spider Mites on Outdoor Plants
To manage spider mite outbreaks in your garden, use ladybugs, predatory mites, or lacewing. Beneficial arthropods eat arachnids and, as a result, can drastically reduce the number of these creatures. In addition to other spider mite eradication techniques, you can use predatory mites.
How to Prevent Spider Mites on Plants
Before bringing any plants into your home, inspect them carefully to avoid spider mites. Spider mites cannot survive in an environment with high humidity and wipes on the leaves of houseplants on a regular basis. Spider mite infestations can be avoided by following the care instructions for houseplants and keeping an eye on them.
Keep humidity high to prevent spider mites on houseplants
Spider mite hates high humidity, so it won’t try to live on your houseplants. Sit indoor plants on pebble and water trays, or use a humidifier to avoid spider mites, to regularly mist plant leaves. Also, keep houseplant soil slightly moist by watering it on a regular basis instead of letting it dry out.
Thoroughly check new houseplants
By thoroughly inspecting new plants, you can prevent spider mites from entering your home. Silky webs, brown leaf spots, and tiny dots on the underside of leaves are all signs of spider mite activity to look for. Do you like to have houseplants in the summer? Before bringing them back inside, make certain to debug them. Spider mites are not the kind of indoor pest you want to introduce into your home.
Wipe plant leaves regularly
Because of two reasons, wiping houseplant leaves with a wet cloth helps to keep spider mites at bay. Wiping leaves with a wet cloth is the first step in humidifying them. Second, before they can cause plant damage, regular plant leave cleaning removes little mites.