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Natural Ways to Get Rid of Spider Mites on Plants

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12 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Spider Mites on Plants

Among the common garden and houseplant pests are spider mites. They are very small, so it may be difficult to get rid of them. However, it is important that you identify them early to avoid an infestation.

Take action as soon as silky webs and tiny yellow, brown, or white spots appear on plant leaves. The mites may also cause leaf death if they are feeding heavily [1].

Here’s how to get rid of spider mites naturally.

1. Pruning

Prune off infected branches and stems as soon as you spot evidence of spider mites. However, put the cuttings in a plastic bag and dispose of the bag carefully.

Regular pruning of healthy plants will also discourage other pests from coming around.

2. Hose Them

This is one of the cheapest and quickest ways of dealing with these pests. A jet of pressure-sprayed water should flush away the mites off of your plants.

If the pressure is hard enough, this will wash them away. However, be careful not to damage your plants in the process.

3. Rosemary Oil

Tests show that rosemary oil works great against the two-spotted spider mite. It repels them and can also affect oviposition behavior [2].

Make a homemade spider mite spray by mixing three teaspoons of rosemary oil and a teaspoon of organic liquid soap in a liter of water. Shake well and spray indoor, outdoor, and greenhouse plants.

4. Natural Predators 

Beneficial insects like ladybugs and green lacewing larvae will eat these and other soft-bodied pest insects. Birds are also helpful in this way. Furthermore, bright flowers like marigolds planted nearby are useful in attracting predatory insects.

However, the main and most effective natural predators of spider mites are predatory mites.

5. Soap and Water

Dissolve some liquid soap in water and spray directly onto infested areas.

Simply combine three tablespoons of organic liquid soap in a gallon of water. Shake well and use it to mist your plants.

The soapy water solution will suffocate and kill them. After a few hours, use pure water to remove the dead mites.

6. Neem Oil

Extracted from the seeds of the neem tree, neem oil benefits plants as a natural pesticide and 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 many other garden pests.

Diatomaceous earth 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. Alternatively, make a homemade spider mite killer spray by mixing 4 tablespoons of diatomaceous earth in a gallon of water.

Spray the critters directly. Once the solution dries out, it will kill spider mites by dehydrating them.

8. Azera

This powerful organic pesticide combines Pyrethrins and Azadirachtin. These ingredients have been shown to control hard-bodied and soft-bodied insect pests.

Azera is safe to use up until the day of harvest. However, 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.

9. Organocide

An alternative to Azera, Organocide is a commercially available product that kills spider mites on plants.

Additionally, it acts as a fungicide, suppressing fungal diseases such as powdery mildew and downy mildew. However, it is not advisable that you use this product for indoor plants.

10. Garlic Spray

This is another impressive home remedy for spider mite 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.

11. Azaguard

This is a killer botanical insecticide having azadirachtin. 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.

12. SuffoilX

This product has a suffocating effect on pests, as the name suggests. It is made with highly refined mineral oil. Dilute Suffoil-X according to instructions and saturate infested plants to treat spider mites.

It can be sprayed on organic vegetables and food crops as well as ornamentals. Additionally, it doubles as an effective fungicide, controlling plant rusts, mildews, and other fungal diseases.

Besides, this spider mite spray does not leave a toxic residue, so beneficial insects will not get affected.

Life Cycle

From egg to adult, a spider mite can complete its development in 5 to 20 days under optimum conditions if temperatures are ideal [3].

The female can also lay 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.

Takeaway

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.

Picture via extension.umn.edu

Andre Campbell

Organic farmer and co-founder of Dre Campbell Farm. He appreciates everything in nature -- sunshine, plants, animals, and human life.

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