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Spider mites, which resemble small white spiders and spin webs on indoor plants, are incredibly devastating pests. Although getting rid of spider mites on indoor plants can be challenging, you can accomplish it and get rid of them FOR GOOD!
Nothing is more upsetting than discovering a spider mite infestation on a prized houseplant.
They are among the most dangerous plant pests, so it’s crucial to get rid of them as soon as you can.
However, the good news is that these pests are rather simple to eradicate from indoor plants.
Simply use the natural spider mite removal techniques listed below to get rid of this pesky bug once and for all.
I’ll explain in great detail how to get rid of spider mites from indoor plants and prevent them from returning in this comprehensive tutorial.
Why are there cobwebs on my plants?
Some of my houseplants’ leaves have mysteriously stopped growing. Some are dried out but still green, while others are brown. These leaves have some very small cobwebs surrounding them, I’ve noticed. Could spiders be killing my plants, you ask? The cobwebs are there, but I haven’t seen any spiders there.
Spiders don’t eat plants, but they will consume insects and other plant-eating animals. You have likely described cobwebs created by spider mites. These arachnids, which have eight legs like spiders, are relatives of spiders and feed on plants. If left untreated, they can cause abrupt leaf death and eventually kill the plant. The term “cobweb” is suitable because of their web’s lack of structure, extreme fineness, and difficulty in visibility. If you pay careful attention or use a magnifying glass, you might be able to spot some incredibly tiny mites moving over the webbing.
Spider mites can be controlled with miticides, although the majority should not be used inside. It is simpler to simply place the houseplant in the bathtub or shower and spritz it with a powerful but delicate water mist. A handheld sprayer with water will work instead of the shower head, which might be too rough. If you want to increase the water’s effectiveness, you can add insecticidal soap to it. The amount of spider mites and the harm they cause can be decreased by routinely washing the plant. Some of the mites will be killed by the insecticidal soap, which will also help wash them off the plant.
If the plants can’t be transferred to the shower or bathtub, you can spray insecticidal soap on them. To prevent fabric damage, cover your carpeting, drapes, and upholstery with plastic before doing this. Apply insecticidal soap to the top and bottom of the stems, leaves, and flowers. Apply the insecticidal soap to a tiny area of the plant to test for phytotoxicity if you can wait (some plants are damaged by the soap). It is probably okay to spray the entire plant if the area that was sprayed does not exhibit damage indications (drying or discoloration) within a few days. At this moment, prepare a brand-new insecticidal soap solution. For two to three weeks, this procedure should be performed once or twice a week. The treatments should be continued if the spider mites come back.
Read and abide by the label instructions before using any pest control product, including insecticidal soap. These instructions will mention some plants that the product can harm and tell you how much of the product to combine with water for the greatest effects.
How can I prevent spider mites from infesting my indoor plants?
1. BRUSH OFF THOSE LEAVES
Dusty leaves on plants with water stress are attractive to spider mites. By regularly wiping off soiled leaves and making sure your plant receives the proper amount of water, you can deter them. Periodically utilizing a leaf shine is another option.
2. MAINTAIN HUMIDITY
Maintaining a humid environment surrounding your plants is a wonderful strategy to prevent spider mites from settling on your plant because they prefer a dry environment. Use a humidifier in the space, spritz your plants occasionally, or place a pitcher of water nearby to evaporate. Additionally, you may try incorporating peat moss into your soil and using a translucent curtain to exclude direct sunlight from your plant.
DELETE FOR DEPARTURE 3.
If you enjoy keeping plants outdoors in the summer, be sure to take care to debug them before bringing them inside.
Before treating your plant, make sure spider mites are indeed present. Frequently, mite damage is not apparent until entire mite colonies have disappeared. To check for creepy crawlies, which may appear as tiny moving spots on a sheet of plain white paper, try shaking some leaves that you suspect may contain spider mites over the paper. You can also check the webbing closely for movement.
Pruning and isolation
When you find spider mites on a plant, the first thing you should do is isolate it from other plants. You can try to remove any apparent webbing by pruning out the affected areas and carefully discarding them. Treat the remainder of the plant using one or more of the techniques listed below. Prior to moving the plant, don’t forget to clean and sanitize the area, and wash your hands afterward.
2. APPLY PLANT-BASED MITICIDES BY SPRAYING
Purchase various commercially available miticides that work by using natural components while protecting the plant. Before spraying the entire plant, make sure to test your spray on a leaf first. Pro Tip: To prevent the spider mites from developing an immunity to the substance you are spraying, switch it up occasionally. A quick selection of potent sprays is provided below:
- Pyrethrum: This miticide, which is derived from a chrysanthemum related, is the finest to start with. Keep an eye on your plant after spraying because some mite species may develop a resistance to it.
- Cinnamite: This non-hazardous pesticide is made from cinnamon oil. Although it is efficient in killing adult spider mites, it won’t kill the eggs. To make sure you get them all, spritz this one on your plant every three days over a few weeks.
- Neem oil: Neem oil works well to get rid of any form of bug. It is made from the nuts of the Neem evergreen tree and will not only solve your current issue but also act as a repellent for future pests. Neem oil needs to be applied again and again because it takes some time to have action.
- Rosemary oil: Because it is non-toxic to people, you will need to dilute rosemary oil with water before using it as a treatment for spider mites, especially on plants and herbs that you intend to harvest and eat later.
3. MAKE HERBAL TEA MITICIDE ON YOUR OWN
I could die for this tea. In a quart of water, combine 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of ground cloves, and 2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning. Once the water is at a boil, turn off the heat. Add 2 tablespoons of freshly crushed garlic once it has slightly cooled. After cooling off, strain. Pour a little dish soap into your mixture and then add it to a spray pot. Spray your homemade miticide on the underside of the leaves every third day for a few weeks after thoroughly shaking it.
4. USE HOUSEHOLD CHEMICALS WISELY
If you don’t want to purchase expensive miticides or make your own, you can easily use what you already have at home in the kitchen or medical cabinet:
- Rubbing alcohol: To spray on your plant or physically wipe off the leaves, combine rubbing alcohol and water. Try a mixture of 1 part alcohol to 3 parts water for sensitive plants and 1 part alcohol to 1 part water for hardier plants.
- Dish soap solution: Fill a spray bottle or a bucket with 1 liter of warm water and 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap, and thoroughly mix the mixture before using it to wash the plant using a towel or sponge. For optimal results, reapply frequently.
5. STRONG MITES
Don’t want to cope with frequently reapplying sprays? Buying predatory mites that feed on spider mites, releasing them onto your plant, and letting them handle the rest is a one-step approach that, while it may frighten some plant parents, is a foolproof way to get rid of spider mites. The predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis is one kind that can help with this. Ladybugs, lacewings, and other insects can also be used to complete the task.
Note: If you choose this route, stay away from pesticides and miticides that could harm both good and harmful mites! Try rosemary oil instead; it won’t damage the beneficial mites.
6. SHOWER DOWN YOUR PLANT
Regularly hosing down your plant using a handheld shower nozzle and room temperature water, paying great attention to the underside of leaves in particular, is one technique to combat mites. After the mites are gone, giving your plant a periodic shower can help ward against additional pests from settling in.
7. POSSIBLE LOSSE CUTTING
Everyone doesn’t want to lose their beloved plants, but if you’ve tried everything and the mites are still there, you might think about removing the infected plants and starting over after properly cleaning the space they were in.
We sincerely hope that these suggestions and tactics assist you in permanently eliminating these tiny threats! Greetings, plant family!
Should I get rid of the spider webs on my plants?
Prior to deciding to exterminate the spiders in your garden, think it over carefully. Many dangerous insects can be removed from your garden by a spider. They will lessen the need for further pest control measures, and the majority of them are fairly safe for you. There are a few things you can do if spider garden pests are a worry owing to bites or an uncontrolled dread.
Since spiders are not insects, insecticides are typically not the best treatment for killing them. Insects must drag their bodies across the area where the insecticide has been sprayed in order for it to operate. Spiders use their legs to lift their bodies upward rather than crawling.
It may be sufficient to continuously remove spider webs as you come across them to get spiders residing in your garden to leave. Additionally, decreasing a spider’s possible food source will aid in luring it away. Consider replacing your outdoor lighting with sodium vapor bulbs, which are less appealing to insects. You should also maintain proper pest control in your garden by clearing away plant waste and taking care of pest issues as soon as they arise.
Gardens with lots of hiding places are attractive to spiders. A spider will consider any mound of garbage, including piles of compost, wood, or rock, to be a cozy and secure home. These should be removed from your yard in order to prevent spiders from entering the garden.
The best course of action is to eliminate any spiders you find in your yard as soon as you see them. Insecticides are not very efficient against spiders, as was already indicated. To have any impact at all, they must be applied directly to the spider. The fastest and most effective technique to kill a spider is to crush it.
Why does my plant appear to be covered with spider webs?
Cobwebs on your plants could mean you’ve been neglecting to dust for a while, but they could also mean your plant has spider mites, a little bug best recognized by its distinctive webbing.
Spider mites resemble very little spots that are typically grouped together around the plant’s stem on the underside of the leaf. This is an illustration of an early infection stage. You may see the spider mites suspended in webbing if you look attentively.
Spider mites are tiny, eight-legged members of the arachnid family, as their name might imply. They are generally found in colonies on the underside of leaves. As there are no natural predators to prevent their proliferation and they prefer dry habitats, they thrive on houseplants. Since the dry air is ideal for them, they are frequently seen on plant leaves that are in contact with heating or cooling vents. The most obvious sign of their presence is normally their webbing, but after sucking upon leaves, they typically turn splotchy yellow and leave behind a little patch or stippling.
Spots on the top of the leaves and yellowing around the borders are telltale symptoms of spider mite infection.
The first step in treating a plant for spider mites is to spray it off under the sink or shower tap to flush the pests out. Be careful not to let the runoff overwater the land.
Use an insecticide afterward, like neem oil. Neem oil is a natural insecticide and leaf shine that has been used on both outdoor and indoor plants for hundreds of years. The best part is that it doesn’t harm animals, birds, or a variety of helpful insects. Apply the neem oil mixture to the plant using a spray bottle or a microfiber cloth, and then wipe it all over. Neem must be applied at 7-day intervals, although you can rinse off or personally remove bugs every day.
The first line of protection against spider mites is neem oil and insecticide soap.
Insecticidal soap is a more potent remedy for severe infestations that are resistant to neem oil. When the insects are present, fully cover all of the surfaces of the plant with the solution and repeat every 10 days until no longer any insects are visible. Please take note that sunlight mixed with the insecticide might burn a plant, thus insecticide should only be used at night or when the plant is out of direct sunlight.
While it heals, keep the afflicted plant separate from the rest of your collection, taking extra care to make sure that none of its leaves touch those of any other plants. Spider mites can be prevented in the future by constantly misting the leaves and washing them off with water.
Where do spider mites on indoor plants come from?
The majority of spider mite species like hot, dry weather. As you might have suspected, drought-related spider mite infections are common. Spider mites are more prone to cause problems for underwatered plants in indoor growing spaces.
Additionally, overfeeding your plants with nutrients can increase their vulnerability to spider mites. Your plants are more prone to be attacked by spider mites and other pests if you’ve applied too much nitrogen. Who knows why?
A surplus of nitrogen produces funny proteins, which are tiny molecules. Although these proteins are useless to the plant, they do make the sap sweeter, which encourages the growth of spider mites and other sucking insects. Apply a balanced spectrum of nutrients and only what your plant requires to avoid this issue. There is such a thing as having too much good.
On bigger plants and in locations with many of plants, spider mites are even more challenging to manage. Since they multiply quickly, it is more difficult to identify and cure them when there is more plant tissue available for them to live and feed on.