Plants are a beloved part of our homes and gardens, so it can be stressful when you notice that pests are destroying them. If you have seen small, spider-like creatures crawling around on your indoor plants, you have a spider mite infestation. The question is – how to get rid of spider mites on indoor plants?
Even if your plants are inside the house, they can be susceptible to critters. These tiny pests are difficult to see with the naked eye, but they can cause big problems for your plants.
The good news is that you can do a few things to kill mites and save your houseplants.
Read further to find out how to treat spider mites on houseplants. Learn the early signs of spider mite damage.
Why Are Spider Mites on Indoor Plants A Problem?
Spider mites feed on plant sap, which can weaken and even kill your plants. They also reproduce quickly, so an infestation can get out of control quickly if not treated.
There are a few ways to tell if you have spider mites. First, check the undersides of your plant leaves for small webbing.
You may also see small yellow, brown, or red spots on the leaves. If the infestation is bad enough, you may see your plant’s leaves turning yellow or brown and dropping off.
How Do Spider Mites Get Indoors?
These critters are often brought in on new plants or cuttings from infected plants. They can also come in through open doors and windows.
Once they’re in, they can quickly spread to other plants in your home.
How To Get Rid of Spider Mites On Indoor Plants?
Here are various methods to eliminate spider mites on indoor plants.
You most likely already have rubbing alcohol or Isopropyl in your home. This cheap household product is an effective way to kill spider mites on indoor plants.
Just remember to dilute the alcohol first and test it out to avoid burning the leaves.
To use, mix one part rubbing alcohol with seven parts water in a spray bottle.
Then, thoroughly saturate your plant’s affected leaves and stems, making sure to get the undersides of the leaves where the mites like to hide.
Placing alcohol on clothing and wiping down the affected side of the leaves also works.
Rubbing alcohol works as a spider mite treatment because it dries out and kills the pests.
However, it’s important to note that this method can also kill beneficial insects, so it’s not ideal to use if you have other pests in your home.
Neem oil is a natural, plant-based oil that can effectively kill spider mites. It’s also safe to use around people and pets.
When it comes to destroying the mites, this oil works by disrupting their hormone system and preventing them from reproducing.
To use, mix a few drops of neem oil with water in a spray bottle and thoroughly saturate the plant, being sure to get the undersides of the leaves. =
Use this method every few days until the spider mites are gone. You can find need oil at most garden stores or online.
Liquid Dish Soap
This type of soap will break down the mites’ protective outer layer, causing them to dehydrate and die.
It is an effective way to kill soft-bodied plants like spider mites.
Make sure you only use dishwashing liquid and not dishwashing detergent. Detergent is too harsh for plants – save it for your dishwasher only.
To use, mix one teaspoon of dish soap with one quart of water in a spray bottle. Thoroughly saturate the plant, being sure to get the undersides of the leaves.
This solution has to touch the mite’s bodies – it is not enough to just leave it, only naked leaves. So, spray a few times until you think you have sprayed all the mites.
This is an organic insecticide made from a relative of the chrysanthemum plant.
It’s effective against a wide range of pests, including:
- Spider mites
- Silverfish and more
To use, mix one teaspoon of organic pyrethrum with one quart of water in a spray bottle.
Avoid dousing the whole plant with this spray. Instead, use this spider mite solution for spot spraying.
Use Spider Mite Predators
Spider mites are preyed upon by several types of insects, including:
- Green lacewings
- Predatory mites
- Wheel bugs
If the season permits, set your houseplant outside and release some of these predators in your garden.
It is easy to purchase these beneficial insects online or at your local garden store.
These predators will help keep the spider mite population in check and can be effective long-term.
The best way to deal with spider mites is to prevent them from getting into your home in the first place.
When bringing new plants or cuttings into your home, inspect them carefully for spider mites. If you see any webbing or small pests, it’s best to leave the plant at the store.
Additionally, make sure to keep your plants healthy and hydrated. Healthy plants are better able to withstand an infestation and are less likely to be damaged by the mites.
Since spider mites may come through window cracks and sills, use some neem oil or diatomaceous earth around these areas to prevent them from getting in.
Finally, quarantine any new plants you bring into your home for at least a week to ensure they’re not infested with spider mites.
Following these simple tips can help keep your home spider-mite free.