If the thought of hundreds upon hundreds of teeny tiny insects creeping through your favorite potted plants gives you the creepy-crawlies, we do not blame you a bit. These brown and white bugs are useful for outdoor plants but not so great for humans. Learn how to get rid of soil mites in your garden and indoor plants using simple and inexpensive ingredients.
Believe it or not, but soil mites are actually beneficial arthropods. They break down organic matter in the soil, such as fungus, algae, and leaf litter. These insects make their home in decaying matter in the top layer of soil and especially love a compost bin.
Even though they help the decomposition process, there are downfalls if they infest your garden soil and indoor plants. There are many types of soil mites, and oribatid is the most common.
Like aphids, fungus gnats, whiteflies, fruit flies, and spider mites, they are incredibly tiny critters, barely visible to the naked eye.
An infestation of these garden pests is a nuisance in and outside the home. They carry bacteria and parasites, such as tapeworms, and make their way into your houseplants.
- Getting Rid of Soil Mites in the Garden and Home
Getting Rid of Soil Mites in the Garden and Home
Like many other insects, soil mites are not only a garden problem since they often move indoors. We have several ways that show you how to get rid of soil mites in both your outdoor and indoor plants.
Getting Rid of Bugs in Houseplants Soil
One of the most straightforward ways of getting rid of bugs in houseplants soil is to refresh or replace the potting soil. Cleaning old dirt through a filter removes food sources, and replacing the soil is ideal if you have a severe infestation.
Remove your plant from the pot carefully and pour the soil through a sifter to remove dead plant bits, debris, and other food sources. Repot your plant back in its container with the sifted soil, making sure to cover all of the plant’s roots.
Water the plant thoroughly after repotting it. If you replace the soil, remove the plant from the pot and discard all of the old soil.
Rinse the plant’s roots and the container under a gentle water stream to rinse away leftover dirt. Place the plant in a pot with fresh, clean soil, and water it to help it establish.
Kill Soil Mites with Pesticides
After sifting the dirt to clean it of dead plants and decaying material, treat it with pesticides to kill soil mites to ensure that any remaining bugs do not survive to become an infestation.
Soil Mite Insecticide
Choose insecticides that contain pyrethrins as a compound for the best results. Follow the instructions for your particular pesticide brand for mixing it with water and spray the soil and plants as recommended.
How to Get Rid of Soil Mites with an Organic Insecticide
If you prefer to stop a soil mites infestation with natural and organic ingredients, Neem oil is the way to go. This oil is a naturally occurring pesticide that comes from neem tree seeds and is a great tool for getting rid of many insects.
Pour the Neem oil, soap, and water into a container and mix the solution well. Pour enough liquid around the base of the plant to soak the soil. Use this soil drench weekly in place of regular watering until the insect problem resolves.
Killing Soil Mites with a Cinnamon Mixture
Another organic solution to kill soil mites is cinnamon. Not only is this method effective for getting rid of insects in the topsoil, but it also does not harm the plants and has a pleasant aroma.
Fill a container with water, add the cinnamon, and shake the spray bottle until the cinnamon dissolves. If the plants are heavily infested with mites, consider adding a couple of drops of dish soap.
Spray the mite killer solution into the soil around the bottom of the plant to soak the top layer of dirt. Treat all of your infected plants with this spray and repeat as needed.
If you don’t have any cinnamon powder, use cinnamon essential oils for fungus gnats. It works the same way.
You may have heard about using coffee in the garden, too. Are coffee grounds good for garden soil?
Yes, coffee grounds repel many insects, get rid of termites and ants, and provide valuable nutrients to both houseplants and those in the yard.
Getting Rid of Soil Mites with Hydrogen Peroxide
There is nothing nastier than bugs in potting soil, especially in succulents and other houseplants. Fortunately, getting rid of bugs in houseplants soil is not difficult using hydrogen peroxide.
To use peroxide and water for plants, pour the water and hydrogen peroxide into a container and mix it well. Pour the liquid into the soil of the plant to drench the dirt.
Don’t be alarmed if it begins bubbling. This is a normal reaction and settles after a few minutes. Repeat this process once every week or two until the bugs are gone.
Killing Soil Mites with a Garlic-Based Spray
Garlic is useful for keeping more than horror movie villains away. While it is not pleasant if you hate the smell, it’s a great soil mite killer and repellent.
Fill a large container with water and drop the garlic cloves in it to soak for at least four days. Stir the liquid and pour it into a large spray bottle.
To kill spider mites naturally and eliminate soil mites, spray the garlic water over the surface of the dirt around the plants to soak it. Repeat as needed to keep soil mites at bay.
Unlike mealybugs and other garden pests, soil mites and their larvae do not cause damage to plants. However, they are harmful to humans, and it’s essential to use proper forms of pest control to kill mites in and around your home.
We hope that understanding how to get rid of soil mites from your favorite plants helps you, and we’d love it if you’d share our soil mite elimination tips with your circle of family and friends on Facebook and Pinterest.