Some of the tiniest creatures in the garden that can cause extensive damage to plants are spider mites. They feed on a vast variety of plants, so vigilance is necessary to get rid of an infestation.
Here’s how to get rid of spider mites naturally.
The life cycle of a spider mite takes 7 to 10 days under tropical conditions if temperatures are right, with the female laying over a hundred eggs in her lifetime. Once the eggs hatch, the larvae will begin to eat while the adults are already contemplating another family.
Infested leaves and branches of plants and shrubs will benefit by being cut back, and the cuttings bagged up and burnt.
Regular pruning of healthy plants may help avoid the problem by keeping them strong and resistant to attack. Also, consider removing infested plants altogether.
2. Hose Them
This is one of the cheapest and quickest ways of dealing with these pests.
A jet of cold water on and around the plants should flush away plenty of them. If the pressure is hard enough, this will kill the mites instantly. However, be sure not to damage your plants in the process.
Spray under leaves where the mites hide.
3. Rosemary Oil
Rosemary oil is a tried-and-trusted method for organic gardeners that is effective against the two-spotted spider mite .
Make a homemade spider mite spray of three teaspoons of rosemary oil in a liter of water. Adding a teaspoon of organic liquid soapy will help destroy the critters and a number of other pests.
Shake and squirt via a hand spray for indoor and greenhouse plants or a pump spray for larger outdoor plants.
4. Natural Predators
These are a great boon to the organic gardener, doing a great deal of the work of eliminating pests. Beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings will eat their way through colonies of pests.
Songbirds are also helpful in this way, and bright perfumed flowers like marigolds planted nearby are useful to attract predators.
5. Soapy Spray
Dissolve some liquid soap in water and spray directly onto infested areas.
For the recipe, combine three tablespoons of organic liquid soap in a gallon of water. The solution will suffocate and kill them.
After a few hours, dousing plants with pure water will remove the dead mites.
6. Neem Oil
This has been one of the standbys for gardeners for generations. Extracted from the seeds of the neem tree, this natural pesticide also benefits plants as a fungicide.
To make a DIY insecticidal spray for the control of spider mites, combine two tablespoons of neem oil with one teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water. Shake well and apply to plants.
Moreover, you can spray this treatment without fear of harming pets, pollinators, and beneficial insects. As long as you do not use it during the flowering season, bees will not be harmed.
7. Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
DE is an effective control home remedy for killing spider mites. Moreover, it also works at controlling a plethora of other garden pests.
Diatomaceous earth is a white powdery substance that causes a dehydrating effect that works to kill any insect that comes in contact with it.
It is very effective in the larval and adult stages, but you will need to repeat applications after watering or rainfall. Dust the powder on plant leaves and stem and surrounding soil.
This powerful organic pesticide combines pyrethrum and neem oil. These ingredients have been shown to control innumerable insects and pests and have been used in commercial products for ages.
Although some care must be taken to protect honeybees, Azera is safe to use where pollinators and beneficial insects are present.
To reduce the risk to bees, spray this spider mite treatment only in the late evening. It is also wise to be sure the pesticide has time to dry before a sunny spell attracts pollinators.
An alternative to Azera, Organocide is a commercially available product composed of fish oil, sesame oil, and soybean extract.
It kills spider mites on plants. Additionally, it acts as a fungicide, encouraging healthy disease-resistant plants. However, it is not advisable that you use this product for indoor plants.
10. Garlic Spray
This is another impressive home remedy for spider mites control.
Add one mashed clove garlic bulb and a small chopped onion to a quart of water. You can also add to the solution one teaspoon of cayenne pepper and a little liquid soap.
Steep it for a few hours and then strain. Use this homemade spray liberally on the pests and plants.
This is a killer botanical insecticide and miticide with a base of azadirachtin, derived from the neem tree. Azaguard also destroys harmful nematodes in the soil.
Moreover, its properties are active at all stages of the pest life cycle — eggs, larvae, and adults.
This product has a suffocating effect on pests, as the name suggests. Composed of highly refined mineral oils, you can dilute it to saturate infested plants to treat spider mites.
Suffoil-X can be sprayed on vegetables and food crops as well as ornamentals. Additionally, it doubles as an effective fungicide, leading to healthier plants.
Besides, this spider mite spray does not leave a residue, so beneficial insects can speedily repopulate plants.
These critters are a great menace in the garden, greenhouse, and indoors.
Once an infestation occurs, it may be difficult to get it under control. However, by using a combination of these natural and organic pest repellants, controlling spider mites becomes easy.