Spider mites are common houseplant pests. They are tiny in size and suck the sap of the plant. They easily spread from one to other plants. If your plant is infected by spider mites you do not have to worry. Because there are many ways to get rid of them.
All you need to do is act quickly
If you do not act fast, they will infect all your houseplants. These tiny pests double their population in few days. Once they eat 60% of a plant then you cannot save it or revive it with any technique.
Therefore, the best way is to act quickly and kill them smoothly.
In this article, you will learn
How to identify spider mites?
How to get rid of them?
How to prevent them from coming back?
The treatments listed in this post are tried and tested techniques. You can choose according to the degree of pest infestation.
Spider mites are oval-shaped insects that are more like ticks. They can be red, brown, green, or pale.
The problem with these pests is they are so tiny that you cannot see them with naked eyes. But there is a solution to this problem. There are spider mite infestation symptoms. Just look for them and apply the solutions listed in this post.
Mites set their colonies under the plant leaves. So, you need to start by checking the undersides of the leaves.
Things you need to look for:
- The first sign of an infestation is webbing on the plants. Spider mites design webs on the plants. They use them to move freely over the infected plants.
- Yellow spots on the leaves, weak leaves are the common mite infestation signs.
- Yellow leaves and dark spots on plants mean the infestation is advanced and your plant is almost on the edge.
Below are the 3 advanced methods of killing spider mites. Read them and follow the steps to get rid of spider mites in a single treatment application.
Top 3 techniques to get rid of spider mites
In this method, we use dishwashing soap to get rid of spider mites on indoor houseplants. Preparing this solution is hassle-free.
Take 1 liter of warm water and add 1 tablespoon of dishwashing soap. Mix it well in the water.
Use a spray bottle to spray it on the plant leaves. Spray it all over the plant and also on both sides of the leaves.
Then use a cotton cloth to wipe the stems and leaves.
This will kill the pests that come in contact with the solution. Only use this solution once a month. Because dishwashing soap is harsh for some soft leaf houseplants.
Note: You can use any brand dishwashing soap or powder or liquid. All of them have the same ingredients and are equally effective.
This method works on mild infestations.
2. Isopropyl or Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is safe to use on houseplants only if it is in diluted form. It is very effective in killing all kinds of common houseplant pests.
Most of the plants will not show the negative effects of the alcohol content. But it is observed that some soft stem plants may get damaged with the use of alcohol. Their leaves get burned so you need to do a test before using the solution.
Spray it on a single leaf of a plant and see the results. If the plant shows burning signs, then leave this technique and move to the first or next method.
How to prepare the rubbing alcohol solution?
For weak solution, add 1 part of rubbing alcohol in 3 parts of fresh clean water.
For a stronger solution, reduce the amount of water. Mix 1 part of isopropyl alcohol in 2 parts of water and then use it on the plants. This solution will definitely kill all the pests.
When you spray rubbing alcohol solution use a cloth to wipe the undersides of the leaves.
Remember that after 20 minutes you need to rinse the plant with fresh water. Then leave it for 30 minutes for draining the extra water. Then place it back in its place.
Give your plant proper care and it will thrive again.
Note: Spray neem oil spray on the plant once you put it back in its final place. No need to rinse it. Neem will help your plant to heal quickly and it also prevents the reoccurrence of pests.
3. Commercial sprays
Here you can use organic pest-killing spray like Botanical Pyrethrin. This solution is safe for all types of plants.
But if the problem is on the advanced stage, then you need to shift to the commercial pesticidal sprays. Go to your local pest control store and ask them for the best pesticidal spray for spider mites.
To use it take the plant out of your home and wear a mask and gloves. Then spray it all over the plant and let it outside for 24 hours. After then bring it inside and give it regular care.
Note: After the commercial pesticidal treatment plants become weak and they need little extra care to gain health.
How to prevent spider mites on houseplants?
There are few things that you can do to get rid of spider mites. But there are many methods that will prevent pest infestation. The aim is to create an unfavorable environment for the pests. Follow the below advice and keep your plants safe.
The first thing you can do is increase the home humidity and expose your plant to the morning light. Remember that too much humidity also invites many pests.
Therefore, keep it between 50 to 70 %. This is the perfect range for 98% of the houseplants. Morning Light (8 am to 10 am) helps to prevent bacterial diseases.
Isolate the infected plant from other healthy plants. This will prevent the spread to other plants. Give it treatment and when it gains its health. Then you can bring it back and place it with other plants.
Wash your plant once a month if it is growing near an unhygienic place. Or wash it once in 45 days if it is growing in a clean place.
Use any kind of mild soap to wash your plants. Then leave them to drain extra water. Also, empty the bottom tray and then bring them back in their place. No need to use insecticidal soap, just use mild soap.
At last, you can use Neem oil spray all over the plant. Neem is safe to use on plants, this will prevent all kinds of pests and plant diseases. Neem has anti-bacterial properties. It also helps plants to heal fast from pest infestation or from plant disease.
Mix neem oil with water and use a manual pump to spray on the plants. Every neem oil bottle has instructions. Read the bottle for usage.
Spider mites on houseplants are a common problem. The best practice is to make arrangements to prevent them. Prevention is better than cure.
Before bringing new plants check for pest infestations. Look closely for the signs and symptoms of the diseases and pests.
Keep the growing area neat and clean and your plant will stay healthy for its entire life. Neem oil spray is best to prevent pest infestations. It also helps plants to heal fast.