Spider Mites are not insects, but rather arachnids. They belong to the order Araneae family (Arthropods). There are over 300 species of these tiny creatures, which include ticks, fleas and mosquitoes among others. Most spiders have two pairs of legs; however some have four or even six pairs of legs. The female spider lays her eggs inside other females’ webs while the male spider hunts for prey with his long fangs and venomous saliva. The young spiderlings grow rapidly and are ready to leave their mother’s web within three days.
The adult spiders usually spin silk cocoons made of silk threads, which they then drop into water or soil. Once there, the spiders become trapped until the next rainy season when they emerge to hunt again. These spiders have been known to survive for up to five years!
How to Get Rid of Spider Mites on Houseplants & Outdoor Plants?
There are several ways to kill spider mites:
1) You can use natural products such as vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda.
These products will destroy the silk cocoons. However, it takes time for them to work and they may not completely eliminate all the spider mites in your house.
2) You can use insecticides, which are specifically designed to kill these bugs.
These solutions are much more efficient than natural repellents if you encounter a bad infestation. However, if you have children or pets in your house, these insecticides can be very dangerous to their health.
3) You can expose the spider mites to extreme heat for several days.
This method is quite effective and will not affect your plants or your children.
You must also keep in mind that some plants are more susceptible to spider mites.
What is the best way to Get Rid of Spider Mites on Houseplants?
It is important to take other steps to prevent spider mites from infesting your houseplants. These steps will help other plants in your home or office from becoming infested by these tiny arachnids.
1) Keep your houseplants indoors.
Spider mites have a very hard time surviving in an environment that is not excessively humid or too cold.
2) Keep your plants in a room without carpeting or other flooring that can hold high levels of humidity.
3) Check all new plants for spider mites before placing them on your furniture or floor.
4) Keep your plants away from the edges of doors and windows, where they may be exposed to outside elements.
5) Preventing mites from spreading from plant to plant can be a bit of a challenge.
Even if you quarantine infected houseplants, you will most likely still find mites on other houseplants. It is important to treat all of your plants at the same time. Otherwise, the spider mites may survive on the plants that you did not treat.
6) Check your houseplants often.
Look for spots on leaves or any webbing near the bottom of your plant’s pot. Also, shake your houseplants over a white sheet of paper. This will help you to see if you have any spider mites.
7) Clean all tools used in repotting and grooming your houseplants.
If you add a plant to your collection, clean your tools before using them on other houseplants.
8) Clean all other tools and objects that the spider mites may have gotten on.
This includes your hands!
If you follow these steps, you should be able to prevent spider mites from infesting your home or office.
How to Stop Spider Mites Before They Get Started?
The best way to stop your houseplants from becoming infested with spider mites is to keep your plants healthy. Here are some tips to help you accomplish this.
1) Be careful where you acquire your plants.
Many garden centers get their plants from unknown sources and some of these may be infested with spider mites or other insects. If you have a favorite nursery, ask the workers there where they get their plants. If you acquire your plants from a questionable source, you may bring home spider mites and not even know it.
2) Buy your plants when you are ready to plant them.
A lot of garden centers get a lot of their plants from wholesalers on a just in time basis. This means that the plants may sit in a van or packing shed for days before they are placed on the sales floor. During this time, spider mites can infest the plants. If you buy plants that have been sitting around for a while, you may end up with a houseful of spider mites.
3) Check your plants as soon as you get them home.
Look at the bottom of the pot or planting container for the light colored webbing that spider mites produce. Also look under the wax coating on the leaves of succulents for signs of spider mites.
If you find any signs of spider mites, return the plant and get a different one. Garden centers do not want to sell infested plants, because they will quickly become infested with spider mites themselves.
4) Quarantine any new plants that you bring home in a separate area for at least two weeks.
Check them frequently for signs of spider mites.
5) Clean your tools after working with an infested plant.
6) Clean your floor, furniture and other items in the room of the house where the infested plant is located.
7) Wash your hands thoroughly after working with infested plants.
8) Get a separate broom and dust pan for the area where the infested plant is located.
All of these steps will help prevent spider mites from spreading throughout your home or office.
How to Get Rid of Spider Mites: Three Steps to Freedom!
Now that we have covered how to prevent spider mites from infesting your home, I will cover the steps involved in getting rid of them if they do take up residence in your home or office. There are three basic steps involved in ridding your house of spider mites.
1) Find all of the infested plants and dispose of them.
2) Wash all of your tools and utensils.
3) Thoroughly clean the area.
Here are some more detailed instructions that will assist you in accomplishing these three steps.
1) Find all of the infested plants and dispose of them by throwing them in the garbage.
Obviously you do not want to place them in your outdoor trash can, as your neighbors may bring them into their homes and become infested themselves. Take the plants to a location at least five miles from your home and leave them there.
2) If you have any potted plants that are not infested, wash them with a forceful spray from a hose.
Be sure to get the undersides of the leaves. If your watering can is large enough, you may fill it with water and let the plants soak in it for a while as well.
3) Thoroughly wash any other tools or utensils that the plant was in contact with.
Be sure to scrub them with a brush and soap or detergent.
4) Your floor is probably going to have a lot of webbing on it.
Get out your broom and dustpan and sweep up all of the webs. Dispose of them properly, and then take the vacuum cleaner or carpet cleaner to the floor.
5) Your furniture is probably going to have a lot of egg sacks and spider webs on them.
Get out your cleaning supplies and wipe down all of the furniture. Remember, it is better to be safe than sorry, so even if you don’t see any visible signs of spider mites, wipe down all surfaces of your furniture just to make sure.
6) Make sure to dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag after you have finished cleaning with it.
7) Clean your houseplants, as spider mites can easily be transferred from plant to plant.
Organic Spider Mite Killer Recipe
This recipe has been created for those who want to kill the spider mites on their plants without having to resort to using synthetic pesticides and insecticides. As such, this is a more environmentally friendly recipe. The following recipe will allow you to make enough for a single application.
Water – 8 ounces
Safer Soap – 2 tablespoons
Neem Oil – 1 tablespoon
Alcohol – 1 teaspoon (to help the other ingredients spread easily)
1) Add all of the above ingredients into a spray bottle and shake well.