Spider mites resemble small white spiders. They are very destructive and spin webs on houseplants. Do you have an infestation of spider mites? Have you been looking for how to kill spider mites on houseplants?
Getting rid of spider mites is quite challenging. However, once you know the homemade spider mite killer to use, killing them becomes easy. This post will show you how to get rid of spider mites indoors.
Explaining Spider Mites
Before we go on, let’s explain what spider mites are. They are small bugs that can infest several types of plants, particularly houseplants. While they resemble small white spiders, they also appear in red, black, and tan colors.
These mites spin webs on indoor plants. They use these webs for movement and protection. Spider mites are pretty small so they go under the radar pretty easily until their population becomes massive.
Where do spider mites thrive? Their population grows faster in dry, warm conditions as well as during winter. Have you noticed small bugs crawling on the leaves of your houseplant? They are likely spider mites. Continue reading to learn how to kill spider mites on houseplants.
How to Kill Spider Mites on Houseplants
You should begin treatment of an infested plant once you notice spider mites. Doing this prevents them from spreading to other plants. The question is, what do you do to save your plants from the spider mites?
To begin with, you need to quarantine any infested plant then check the others for infestation. You can choose to spray chemical pesticides designed to kill spider mites.
The challenge with doing this is that the mites quickly develop resistance and you are back to square one. Asides from this, chemical pesticides aren’t exactly safe for humans and pets. This is why we recommend that you use a homemade spider mite killer.
We will discuss some of them and how to use them below
One of the easiest ways to deal with spider mites on indoor plants is to use a spider mite insecticide soap. You can either purchase one (organic insecticidal soap) or create your DIY mixture at home. We will show you how to do this below but you should get the following ingredients first:
- One liter of tepid water.
- One teaspoon of mild liquid soap.
Mix both ingredients inside a spray bottle. After doing this, spray the contents sparingly on the leaves of your plant. It should rid your houseplants of spider mites almost immediately.
Another very effective method of killing spider mites on houseplants is using neem oil. The good this about this oil is that it protects your houseplants in the long term. Your best bet is to purchase the neem oil concentrate and use it to make your spray.
One thing that you should note is that using this method doesn’t kill the mites as quickly as the insecticide soap. However, many people prefer it for its long-term effects.
It is also perfect for preventing spider mites and other bugs from infesting your plants. To make your neem oil spray, here’s what you need:
- One liter of tepid water
- One teaspoon of mild liquid soap
- One and a half teaspoons of pure neem oil concentrate.
The process is similar to the one described above for the insecticide soap. Mix all the ingredients inside a spray bottle. Now, spray the contents of the bottle over the leaves of your houseplants. In this case, you will spray the mixture on both infested and non-infested houseplants. It protects the latter from a possible infestation in the nearest future.
Other things you can do
Dealing with spider mites on houseplants can be quite difficult. We have shown you the two methods above. What if you don’t have access to any of these homemade spider mite killers? You will have to make do with other methods.
One such method is washing the leaves of an infested plant once you notice spider webs on it. Place the plant in the bathtub or sink and rinse its leaves thoroughly.
You can make use of several spider mites home remedies but you need to be careful as certain sprays can damage your plant. Focus beneath the leaves when spraying because this is where mites prefer to lay their eggs.
As we mentioned above, spider mites develop better in dry conditions. Because of this, you should maintain high humidity around your houseplants. Water the plants daily, mist the leaves, place a humidifier close to the plants, have a container of water close by all the time.
Finally, trim infested leaves and dispose of them if the infestation is too high. Ensure that you dispose of pruned leaves outside your premises.
How to Kill Spider Mites on Houseplants FAQs
Below are some frequently asked questions about how to kill spider mites on houseplants:
What kills spider mites instantly?
Not every spider mite remedy will get rid of spider mites instantly. Some of them that will include rubbing alcohol, vinegar, insecticide soap, horticultural oil, and chemical sprays.
As we mentioned earlier, you should be careful with chemical sprays since they are harmful to plants, humans, and pets. You can also try biological controls like having natural predators around. Some of these predators include thrips, ladybugs, and lacewings.
Can a plant recover from spider mites?
Yes, but it depends on the level of damage that the plant has suffered. If just a few leaves have been infested, then the plant doesn’t need special care to recover quickly.
All you need to do is rid the plant of the mites using any of the methods above. However, if the damage is significant, you may need a lot more effort to get it back to its regular state.
Will vinegar kill spider mites on plants?
Yes, vinegar can kill spider mites very easily. The reason is that vinegar contains a very high acidic content. Plant pests like spider mites cannot stand acidity and will die through suffocation when they come in contact with vinegar. To make your vinegar spray more effective, mix it with some baking soda.
There you have it for how to kill spider mites on houseplants. Do you have any questions? Kindly drop them in the comments section and we will respond promptly.