Have you noticed tiny green, translucent, or amber oval-shaped dots on the young, expanding leaves of your plants? Don’t panic—it’s probably just broad mites.
These microscopic pests can stunt the growth of plants and cause curled leaves. The good news is that there are natural ways to get rid of broad mites without resorting to toxic chemicals.
In this article, I’ll share some easy home remedies and organic solutions you can use to eliminate these pests and prevent future infestations.
What are Broad Mites?
Broad mites are tiny sap-sucking pests that can plague many houseplants and garden plants. At just 0.2 mm long, these minuscule mites are hard to spot with the naked eye .
You’ll know you have an infestation when you see distorted and stunted new leaves. These pests go after ornamentals such as gerbera, cyclamen, African violets, azalea, and begonia.
They also affect pepper plants, eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers, capsicum, and chili. You may also find them on mango, avocado, papaya, hoya, bean, aubergine, coffee, cannabis, and potato.
How to Get Rid of Broad Mites Naturally
By regularly inspecting your plants for signs of damage, you can catch broad mite infestations early before they get out of control. Below are some natural remedies you can try.
1. Horticultural Oil
One natural method for controlling broad mites is to apply horticultural oil.
When used properly and consistently, these lightweight oils can be very effective at reducing broad mite numbers and limiting damage to your plants. The oils can smother broad mite eggs, larvae, and adults.
To use horticultural oil, mix it with water and a little dish soap. The amount to use will be on the package label. Use a higher concentration for heavy infestations.
Next, spray the oil solution thoroughly on the undersides of leaves, especially new growth. Broad mites tend to congregate on the newest foliage.
Apply this broad mite treatment early in the morning or late in the evening so pollinators won’t get affected.
2. Insecticidal Soap
This is another remedy you can use against broad mites. It works by damaging the outer waxy coating of mites and other soft-bodied insects, causing them to dehydrate and die.
You can find pre-made insecticidal soap sprays online. This multi-purpose soap spray can knock back many plant pest populations and give your plants relief without the use of harsh chemicals.
Pyrethrin is an organic pesticide found in some chrysanthemum flowers . It works by attacking the nervous systems of insects and related pests.
You can buy pest control sprays containing this ingredient. Following the product label, spray the solution directly onto broad mites and infected plant parts.
However, be very careful to avoid spraying it on bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. Pyrethrin is toxic to a plethora of insects.
This treatment also works against flat mites, cigarette beetles, tomato russet mites, glassy-winged sharpshooters, and other pests.
4. Hot Water
Another home remedy for controlling broad mites is to apply hot water. The extreme heat will kill the broad mites on contact.
To use this technique, bring water to a rolling boil. Next, let the water cool until it reaches 110 degrees Fahrenheit (120℉ maximum). This temperature range is hot enough to quickly kill the mites but not damage most plants.
However, test the water on a small, inconspicuous leaf first to ensure it does not burn the plant. Each plant has a different heat tolerance, so proceed with caution.
Completely drench the infested plant with hot water, including the pot. The water must contact the mites directly to be effective.
This hot water treatment will kill the eggs, larvae, nymphs, and adults.
5. Essential Oils
Some of the most effective essential oils for this purpose include peppermint or eucalyptus oil, rosemary oil, cinnamon oil, and clove oil.
Therefore, use these oils to make a homemade broad mite spray. Add 15 drops of each oil for every 4 ounces of water and spray your plants.
6. Trap Crops
Trap crops are plants that attract broad mites away from your main crop.
Once the broad mites gather on the trap crop, you can remove them by pruning the infested plant parts or destroying the entire plant.
Some effective trap crops include marigolds and lantanas.
7. Predatory Mites
Predatory mites, such as Amblyseius andersoni and Amblyseius cucumeris, are natural enemies of broad mites that feed on them. You can purchase these beneficial mites to release in your garden.
Releasing predatory mites is an organic method for controlling broad mite infestations. These mites aggressively prey on broad mites and their eggs.
8. Neem Oil
When used properly and consistently, neem oil can be very effective at controlling broad mites in outdoor gardens and on indoor plants organically.
Mix one tablespoon of pure neem oil with one gallon of water. Next, add a teaspoon of liquid soap and shake well.
Spray the solution directly on infected plant parts. It will kill broad mites. This remedy will also repel other common plant pests.
9. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth can also kill broad mites.
To use, mix four tablespoons of food-grade diatomaceous with a gallon of water. Use this DIY broad mite spray to coat your plants.
These are several natural treatments for pesky broad mites. Give one or more of these methods a try and stick with them to fully eliminate the infestation.
You’ve put in a lot of work to grow beautiful, healthy plants, so don’t let these tiny pests get the upper hand!