Controlling spider mites effectively is truly straightforward and cost-effective. Here’s what I do:
- I use a high-pressure water spray to knock spider mites off my plants.
- I apply organic insecticidal soap to infested areas to smother and kill the mites.
- I create my own insecticidal soap with a mix of Castile soap, vegetable oil, and water for a homemade solution.
- I implement horticultural oil, such as neem oil mixed with Castile soap and water, to prevent further infestations.
- I introduce predatory mites, ensuring natural pest management without the use of chemicals.
First, I grab my garden hose and attach a spray nozzle set to a high-pressure setting. I focus on the undersides of leaves and other mite-infested areas. Doing this washes a large number of mites away instantly.
Next, for ongoing control, I use organic insecticidal soap. This soap penetrates the mites’ bodies, effectively suffocating them. I can find these soaps at my local gardening store or make my own with natural ingredients.
For my homemade solution, I mix two tablespoons of Castile soap with two tablespoons of vegetable oil in a gallon of water. After shaking the mixture in a spray bottle, I apply it generously to all parts of the plant, making sure the mites are coated.
If I feel I need a stronger option, I mix a teaspoon of neem oil with half a teaspoon of Castile soap and four cups of water. I once again spray the affected plant, starting with a small area to ensure the plant can tolerate the mixture.
Finally, I love using nature against pests, so I sometimes buy predatory mites. I carefully release them into the infested area, where they naturally feed on the spider mites without harming my plants.
All these steps are not only effective but also incredibly affordable, making them my go-to solutions for tackling a spider mite problem in my garden.
If you notice your typically vibrant houseplants starting to struggle, wilt, or yellow, you could have a spider mite problem. Discover how to control spider mites with our clever pest control tips and tricks. Learn what bug-related signs to look for and how to stop a mite infestation from taking over your beloved plants.
Georgia Donaldson, a seasoned authority on plants, gardening, and growing food, advises, “I always tell people to keep an eye out for spider mites, as they’re related to spiders and can be just as sneaky in your garden.” Spider mites are arachnids related to spiders, scorpions, and ticks. There are several common spider mite varieties to watch out for, including the spruce spider mite, red spider mite, cyclamen mite, and broad mite. However, Tetranychus urticae, the two-spotted spider mite, is the most famous.
Spider mites tend to overwinter in the garden undetected by surviving as eggs hidden among your fruits and vegetable leaves. However, in warmer climates, they’re active all year. There aren’t many targeted pesticides for spider mites, but that’s okay because we have the information you need in our easy-to-follow tutorials.
- Learning the Best Tips for Spider Mite Control
- Using Water Pressure to Treat My Spider Mites
- I Use Soap for Organic Spider Mite Control
- How I Make Insecticidal Soap for Spider Mites
- How I Control Spider Mites with Horticultural Oil
- My Insecticidal Neem Oil Spray for Spider Mites
- Using Predatory Mites to Control My Infestation
- How I Prevent Spider Mites
Learning the Best Tips for Spider Mite Control
There’s no need to struggle with stubborn spider mites anymore. We’ve put together some terrific tips for pest control guidance. Learn about natural spider mite control and organic options to suit your pest control requirements.
You can also learn about using diatomaceous earth (DE) to control spider mites and pests. Try using DE to kill spider mites around the house for a non-toxic solution.
Using Water Pressure to Treat My Spider Mites
Spider mites are attracted to over 200 different kinds of plants, including home garden favorites like fruit bushes, vegetables, annual flowers, and certain trees and shrubs. You might even face a few lawn-loving clover mites while doing lawn care during your pest control travels.
The lifespan of a spider mite is about 30 days. However, they make the most of it by producing over 100 eggs. Once the mite eggs hatch, they begin building colonies and creating a webbing over the plant leaves, hence the name spider mite.
Discover how to control spider mites with a bit of water. The tiny twospotted spider mite measures only 1/50th of an inch, making it difficult to see. Use the garden hose with a high-powered spray nozzle to wash the mite population off your outdoor plants. Spray the undersides of the plant leaves, under the pots, and anywhere else they’ve settled.
I Use Soap for Organic Spider Mite Control
Many home garden enthusiasts are curious about non-toxic pest control methods and looking for ways to incorporate organic solutions into their routines. In truth, there aren’t a lot of professional pesticides that work against spider mites. Returning to traditional pest control methods and integrated pest management strategies can help.
A quality organic insecticidal soap is an ideal way to enforce spider mite control for indoor plants. Most insecticidal soaps are made from potassium salts of fatty acids or soap salts. Use the insecticidal soap on an infested plant and watch spider mite outbreaks decrease dramatically.
Insecticidal soap works in several effective ways. It’s most likely to smother small insects like mites. For those that survive the initial treatment, the soap works its way into cuticles and under the scales to cause death quickly.
Always use the soap following the manufacturer’s directions, and watch for any adverse effects on the vitality and health of your plant.
How I Make Insecticidal Soap for Spider Mites
Insecticidal soaps are created when alkali compounds mix with the fatty acids in natural oils like olive oil, castor oil, and coconut oil. It’s possible to make your own spray to kill spider mites and protect your garden. Follow this simple recipe to help you get started on organic spider mite control.
We recommend Castile soap for this recipe, though you can use another mild liquid soap. Ensure you use a fragrance-free soap to avoid irritating your plant’s delicate tissue; you want the solution as natural as possible.
Mix the soap, vegetable oil, and water in a sturdy spray bottle. Shake for ten seconds to ensure even emulsification.
Use this DIY insecticidal spray every few days until the spider mite population decreases. Spray the host plant thoroughly; leaf, stem, and all. It’s important to coat the insects generously. However, there is a real possibility of burning your plants here, so be careful and watch for signs of distress in your plant.
How I Control Spider Mites with Horticultural Oil
Humans have been using horticultural oils since ancient times. The Chinese, Romans, and modern gardeners use oils for pest control, and they can be the best way to repel spider mites from your basement. Explore the relationship between horticultural oil and spider mite control.
Many plants have naturally repellent compounds to protect them from insects, pests, and diseases. Horticultural oils are highly refined plant-based or petroleum-based versions of these compounds.
Plant-based horticultural oils might contain sesame, neem, soybean, cottonseed, and many more. These insecticidal oils are blended with an emulsifier to create a ready and reliable mite-fighting solution. Each oil has specific instructions which you should follow to avoid burning your plants.
My Insecticidal Neem Oil Spray for Spider Mites
Neem oil is a botanical pesticide that comes from the neem tree’s stems, leaves, and seeds. It has many beneficial components, but the active ingredient, azadirachtin, makes it an insecticide. This unique chemical compound protects against insects, fungi, and spider mite infestations.
Mix a mild, unscented soap with four cups of distilled water and add one teaspoon of neem oil. Always do a test patch before spraying the entire plant to see if you need to adjust the neem oil concentration.
Look for areas with extensive spider mite damage and start there. Once you see your plant responding well, spray the entire plant bi-weekly.
Neem oil works over time as a preventative measure against spider mites. While neem oil is practically non-toxic to mammals and birds, it’s still important to use it carefully around beneficial insects. Avoid spraying neem on flowers or anywhere beneficial pollinators gather; there is no plant life without pollination.
Using Predatory Mites to Control My Infestation
Did you know you can use natural predators such as Phytoseiulus persimilis for organic spider mite control in your garden? Predatory mites like P persimilis feed on spider mites and provide biological control in your garden that doesn’t rely on pesticides.
Predator mites are harmless to plants, pets, and people and contribute significantly to maintaining the delicate biological balance in your outdoor space. Introducing predatory mites is very effective in controlling small spider mite populations but less effective against a massive infestation.
You don’t have to go on a bug-catching expedition to get started with predatory mites. Inquire at your local garden store or find a reputable supplier online to ship you a box. Once they arrive, do a quick tally of the approximate number of spider mites in your garden, and release one predatory mite per five spider mites.
How I Prevent Spider Mites
Spider mite control starts with a watchful eye. Follow these tips if you’re eager to avoid a two spotted spider mite infestation. Before you buy anything, inspect any potential new plants for infestation; look for tiny white spots or stippling along the leaf and stem.
Spider mites seek plants experiencing drought and stress. Compromised plants can’t fend off pests and diseases, so keeping your plants watered and fertilized is essential. Spider mites stay active in warm climates and may require year-round attention. Plan accordingly and act immediately.
We hope you enjoyed learning how to control spider mites with our natural, non-toxic pest control strategies. For the most part, unless there’s a severe infestation, spider mites are manageable with integrated pest management as a foundation for pest control.
Start with the environmentally friendly steps first. Use as many natural methods as possible to control the spider mites before escalating the situation to professional products or services. Start with the hose and work your way up to insecticidal soap, horticultural oil, or predatory mites.
Warm temperatures bring out higher numbers of spider mites – they look for water-starved plants to feast on. Add mulch to the garden to help conserve moisture during the hot summer months, and keep a close eye on your plants during drought.
If you liked finding out how to control spider mites with our easy, eco-friendly tips, share this article with friends on Pinterest and Facebook who love gardening and hate spider mites.