Getting rid of spider mites
Spider mites are small insects that infect garden plants. They live on the undersides of the plant leaves where they may spin protective silk webs. They cause plant damage by puncturing the plant cells to feed. Their webs are super fine and spread densely over leaves and stem without the classical geometric form. Spider mites are so small that you may need a hand lens with 10x magnifying ability to identify them accurately. In fact, it’s more likely you will find the damage before the mite by randomly examining leaves. Below are a few ways to get rid of spider mites naturally.
- Identify affected plants in containers. Isolate them to help check the spread of the mites. They migrate rapidly from plant to plant.
- Use plain water. It is a simple yet effective means of eliminating the spider mite. You will need a garden hose with a high-pressure nozzle. Identify the garden plants that show signs of infestation. Set the nozzle onto the affected areas and spray hard. The water will wash off all the mites. Pay attention to the undersides of leaves for greater mite concentrations. It is best to do this in the morning so that the plant has adequate time to dry out. Gently, grab a moist cloth and wipe off each leaf from your rose bushes. This should be done every couple of weeks throughout the summer.
- Dust them off frequently. This will double as a chance to both prevent and detect a potential pest before it gets out of hand. Pay special attention to the hidden surfaces underneath each leaf. Remove and examine any dust on them at least once a week.
- Spider mites like hot and dry spaces. Keep your plants well-hydrated, shade the leaves from direct sunlight, and spray them with some water to ensure they don't get the chance to become too comfy.
- Herbal tea can be your savior. You can take a mixture of grounded cinnamon powder mixed with grounded cloves and tea and then dissolve it in water to prepare an herbal solution. Now, you need to boil all the ingredients together and keep it away for some time to cool down. You can then filter this solution, fill it up in a spray jar, and use it on the plants that are infected by red spider mites.
- You can also use organic salts like potassium or fatty acids and apply them to the infected area of the plants to free your plants from spider mites. Also, make sure that you keep your plants free from weeds and remove dust and debris lying near them to keep a spider mite control check.
- Use a soapy water solution for performing the same task of removal of red spider mites. For this, you need to add two tablespoons of cooking oil and soap in one gallon of water and spray it on the plants directly. You need to continue doing this task every 3-4 days until you find that the red spider mites have vacated and are no longer there on your plants. Always make sure that you use a mild shampoo or a baby shampoo for preparing this soapy mixture.
- Neem oil repulses spider mites. Obtain neem oil soap. Make a spray using neem oil soap and water. Put in a spray bottle and spray infested plants. Cover the undersides of leaves because mites are frequently found here.
- Obtain some lemon juice. It is preferable to squeeze fresh lemon juice. Mix with water (2:3 ratios). Fill a spray bottle and spray the entire affected plants with the solution.
- Make a mixture of alcohol and water in a 1:1 ratio. Put into a spray bottle for easier application. Identify the plants that show infestation. Spray the affected plants entirely. Be sure to spray underneath the leaves especially.
- Pepper spray has all the capabilities to keep the red spider mites from infecting your plants. For this, you need to take one spoon of hot sauce or pepper mixed in warm water added with a few drops of liquid dish wash detergent. Now you are required to keep this solution for a night and strain the solution using a filter. You can also add garlic and onions to make this pepper solution stronger and give out better results. Use this solution at the bottom of the leaves or the places where the plant is infested to free your plants from red spider mites.
Obtain some predator ants from a garden store. These feed on the mites and will help to eliminate them quickly and safely. For indoor plants in containers, it is best to take them outside. Place some sugar around the base of the plant. It will help retain the ants around the plant. Introduce the ants to the sugar to feed on it. Once they are done with the sugar, the ants will soon trace and feed on the mites.
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Godfrey LD. Spider Mites. University of California. http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7405.html
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