A spider mite infestation can destroy your plants and crops in a matter of days. They are common on all types of indoor and outdoor plants, including spider plants, strawberries, and fruit trees. You'll also find them commonly on ornamental flowers and everyday garden shrubs. There are a few ways that you can get rid of spider mites; we'll go over them in this post.
Here are 8 different products that you can use to eradicate spider mites:
- Safer Brand 5110-6 Insect Killing Soap Insecticidal Soap
- Diatomaceous Earth
- Trifecta Crop Control Ready to Use Maximum Strength Natural Pesticide
- Bonide Ready to Use Hot Pepper Wax Animal Repellent
- Neem Oil
- NATURAL OUST Peppermint Oil Spray
- Dawn Dish Soap Antibacterial
- MaxTite Isopropyl Alcohol 70% Rubbing alcohol
While spider mites are microscopic in size, they can cause some serious damage to both the fruit and leaves of your trees. But don't fret. You don't have to hire a professional exterminator to get rid of these pests. And even though spider mites multiply rapidly, there are ways to detect the infestation and treat it quickly.
The Best Products For Treating Red Spider Mites
Before treating the plant, it's important to prune away any affected areas, including branches, leaves, and limbs that the infestation has ravished. This will prevent the mites from spreading to other areas of the plant during and after the treatment. And keep in mind that many of these methods may require multiple treatments over a period of days or weeks.
1. Safer Brand 5110-6 Insect Killing Soap Insecticidal soap
While it's generally best to avoid chemical pesticides because they can kill some beneficial insects and pose other dangers to your crops, you may need them to remove your spider mite infestation.
This particular pesticide is one of the safer options because it doesn't leave any residue impact on the environment for indoor gardening over hydroponic use. You may need to apply multiple treatments over the period of a few weeks to fully eradicate the pests.
2. Diatomaceous Earth
This Diatomaceous Earth product is derived from the fossils and other remains of aquatic organisms. It is completely lethal to spider mites and other arachnids. However, it is non-toxic to humans.
Diatomaceous Earth has a straightforward application and can typically be sprinkled on the affected plant areas and the surrounding soil. It works by dehydrating the exoskeleton of the spider mites, causing them to dry out and die. If you're looking for a natural solution that doesn't involve chemicals, here's one to note.
3. Trifecta Crop Control Ready to Use Maximum Strength Natural Pesticide
You can use this maximum-strength insecticide sprayed under the leaves and surface of your plants to control spider mite infestations.
This solution also contains several essential oils and other natural ingredients such as thyme, garlic, clove, and peppermint oil to help break down the skeleton of spider mites and kill them on the spot. The food-grade ingredients make this safe and non-toxic to humans and pets.
4. Bonide Ready to Use Hot Pepper Wax Animal Repellent
Though this product is intended for wildlife animals such as rodents, rabbits, and squirrels, it can be very effective on spider mites, as they're also sensitive to hot peppers. It is made with cayenne peppers and is one of the best pest repellers on the market.
To use the spray, apply it directly to your plants' limbs, branches, and leaves to kill spider mites on the spot. You can also use it to keep the pests away from surrounding gardening shrubs, vegetables and fruits, and ornamental grass.
This product also contains capsaicin, which is the active component in chili peppers. It's a strong irritant that not only produces a burning sensation on the arachnids but also kills them fairly quickly. It's best to repeat the application for about 2 to 3 weeks every few days to completely get rid of the spider mites.
5. 100% Neem Oil All-Natural
You'll often hear neem oil referred to as one of the best all-natural oil solutions for plant pests, and this also rings true when it comes to eradicating spider mites. This is neem oil solution is 100% non-toxic, organic, and cold-pressed. You can use it as a diluted spray or apply it directly using a soft cloth to get rid of spider mites.
It can also treat any fungal issues that your plant in crops may have. To apply the neem oil, spray or rub the solution on the plant every 5 days for two to three weeks.
6. NATURAL OUST Peppermint Oil Spray
Peppermint oil is another effective treatment for getting rid of spider mites. While peppermint oil may be a pleasant scent to many humans, spider mites can't tolerate it and find it rather irritating. It's always best to dilute essential oils before applying them to your planting crops as a pesticide; otherwise, you may irritate and burn your plant.
To do this, add about 2-3 tablespoons of the oil to a spray bottle and mix it with three parts of water. Apply the solution every few days or a week or two to get rid of spider mites. Re-start the treatment if the infestation returns.
7. Dawn Dish Soap Antibacterial
You may be surprised to find that dish soap is also an effective method for killing spider mites. While the solution doesn't need to be antibacterial, applying it to the plants or shrubs weekly is better. To do this, dilute the dish soap by mixing a couple of tablespoons with a gallon of water.
Next, place the solution inside a spray bottle or plant sprayer and apply it to the plant. Keep in mind this is a more gentle solution than pesticides, so the results may take some days.
8. MaxTite Isopropyl Alcohol 70% Rubbing alcohol
Everyday rubbing alcohol can also kill spider mites on contact. There are a few ways that you can apply it to your plants. You can dilute it with an equal amount of water and use a sprayer or plastic water bottle. Or, if the plant is small, you can soak a cotton swab or pad in the alcohol and wipe it across the infected areas of the plant's foliage.
The alcohol will dry within a few minutes, and it'll be safe to re-apply it every 4 to 5 days. However, the alcoholic can have a drying effect, so you'll want to monitor the plants during the following days to ensure that the leaves don't become dehydrated.
How do you get rid of red spider mites?
The best ways to get rid of spider mites are to apply a commercial pesticide, use a natural solution such as neem oil or peppermint oil, or introduce natural predators to the plants.
How long do spider mites live?
On average, spider mites tend to live for about 3 to 4 weeks. Their life cycle is relatively short, but they reproduce fairly quickly. Females start laying eggs when they are just five days old, and one spider mite can produce hundreds of eggs during their lifetime.
Just to give you an idea of how rapidly they can reproduce, the eggs only take about 72 hours to hatch, so over a period of just a few weeks, one spider mite can produce over 300 eggs. This is why it's best to mitigate spider mite infestation immediately and continuously.
At what temperature do spider mites die?
Spider mites die at temperatures below 48 degrees Fahrenheit or above 70 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on their stage in life. So the best eradication method will involve eradicating the spider mites at all life stages.
Where do red spider mites come from?
The spider mites typically come from other infected plants. They'll crawl from plant to plant or limb from limb, with the females laying eggs as they migrate. This is why pruning infected plants before treatment is extremely crucial to effective eradication.
Can spider mites live in a house without plants?
Yes. Spider mites can live in a house with house plants. However, they won't be able to infest the entire house, as they need the plants for nutrients. All that to say, don't expect to have a spider mite infestation in other areas of your home that do not contain indoor plants. On average, they can live anywhere from about 7 to 11 days without plant nutrients.
Wrapping Things Up
Spider mites aren't necessarily difficult to get rid of, but they can multiply fairly quickly. For this reason, it's best to employ a multifaceted eradication method that includes monitoring your plants to prevent future infestations.
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