How to Get Rid of Spider Mites on Plants

How to Get Rid of Spider Mites on Plants

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Closely related to spiders and ticks, spider mites are commonly seen pests on plants that quite literally suck the life out of them over time. They attack the underside of leaves and suck on their tissues till the leaf starts to look dull, drab, and lifeless. Some even inject the  

Spider mites of different types can often attack plants indoors and outdoors, and the first sign that you notice will most likely be of small spider webs surrounding your plant's leaves. There are many easy ways to get rid of spider mites and a lot of them are even DIY methods that make your job easier and less expensive. So, here's everything you need to know for if and when you spot spider mites on plants in your home:


• Signs to Watch Out For: Telltale Signs That Spider Mites Have Targeted Your Plants

With every pest infestation, its easier to treat the problem if you spot it in its easily stages, long before it can be called an "infestation". So, here are a few signs that can tell you its time to check your plants for spider mites because even though these arachnids are microscopically tiny, they can cause significant damage to your plants.


1.  White Webbing on Leaves

White Webbing of Spider Mites on Plants

The first sign indicating spider mites on houseplants is the webbing surrounding them. This webbing is usually seen around leaves, near the stem, and in severe cases, these webs surround and take over the whole plant. 


2. Yellowing Leaves

As mentioned before, some types of spider mites tend to inject toxins at time and always suck out the cells of the plant. This causes discoloration and disfiguring, while also causing yellow and brown speckling on the leaves. 


3. Tiny Specks on the Downside of Leaves 

Spider Mites on the Downside of Leaves

Spider mites are super tiny arachnids. So tiny that they cannot always be seen easily by the naked eye. So, if you notice any of the first two signs and notice some tiny dark specks on the underside of your plant's leaves, they're most likely spider mites. 


4. Weakened Plant Growth

A lack of vigor, stunted growth, lack of new growth or even distorted growth are all signs of common pests and spider mites are a big part of this. 


5. Seasonal Timings

Spider mites are more commonly spotted during hot and dry weathers. So, it is during this time that you should be more vigilant and on the look out for spider mites on plants in your home. 


 Which Plants Are Most Affected by Spider Mites?

Spider Mites of a Strawberry Plant

With pests, plants differ in terms of tolerance and the levels to which they are affected. Some plants are resistant to certain pests while others are prone to them to such an extent that infestations are easily a common occurrence. 

If you've got these plants, you should beware and always keep an eye out for spider mites as they are susceptible to infestations:

1. Cucurbits such as squashes and cucumbers

2. Tomatoes 

3. Many types of landscape trees and shrubs

4. Blueberries and Strawberries 

Spider mites on houseplants are also not uncommon. But they do not attack plants with thicker, fleshier leaves as they are too thick for them to attack and suck tissues. They usually go for plants with thinner, broader leaves. 

Spider mites treatment and control is much easier is more humid environments or areas. They occur more commonly in dry, hot weathers. 


 Best Ways to Get Rid of Spider Mites

Spider mites on indoor plants are not uncommon. So, there are a lot of methods for spider mite control that are more than doable as DIY, at-home techniques. Here are a few of the best ways to ensure thorough and effective spider mite treatment for plants:


1. Neem Oil Spray for Plants

Ugaoo Neem Oil Spray

Buy Ugaoo's Neem Oil Spray for Plants

Neem oil for plants has been known for the longest time to keep pests away and repel them. For spider mites, you can make use of Ugaoo's Neem Oil Spray and wipe it off after a while with a damp cloth to ensure that all the spider mites have been efficiently eliminated. Upon application, Neem Oil smothers and kills pests, and it is generally used as a relatively more long-term solution. 


2. Water

Water is also an effective solution for pesky spider mites on plants. These pests hate water as they thrive in hot, dry climates. Use short, sharp bursts of water on the plant to eliminate spider mites and do this often to ensure that the eggs do not remain on the leaf to hatch later on. You can also place indoor houseplants in sinks to wash off all their spider mites effectively. 


3. Rubbing Alcohol

1 cup of rubbing alcohol mixed with 4 cups of water is like a magic potion to ward of spider mites on houseplants. Spray this solution on your plant's leaves, covering the leaves, stems, and flowers of the plant thoroughly. But remember to always test this out with a single leaf patch test first as some plants are sensitive to rubbing alcohol. Once you've established that the plant does well with it, you can then spray the whole plant for best results. 


4. Healthy Predators do the Trick

Red and Black Lady Bug Sitting on a Leaf

There are a variety of predators known to feed on spider mites, thereby keeping them away from plants. Spined soldier bugs, ladybugs, big-eyed bugs, and predatory thrips are good options. These are safe for other garden plants also and can effectively work to keep spider plants off plants. However, remember to use these predators outdoors and not indoors.


5. Insecticidal Soaps

These soaps are often created to effectively eliminate pests on plants. They are effective against spider mites and often work to rid them of other pests as well. Highly refined plant oils such as citrus oils also work well to eliminate infestations as they, like neem oil, suffocate them and work toward a more long-term solution. 

These are some natural, DIY methods to implement to ensure the elimination of spider mites before they have a chance to actually infest your plants. However, if you caught the infestations in its later stages and it has gotten to a point where it is uncontrollable, you can also call a plant disease cure specialist for effective spider mite treatment. 


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