How to get rid of spider mites on plants

How to get rid of spider mites on plants

How to get rid of spider mites on plants

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Spider mites are the tiny pests that feed on the plant sap. These are the tiny creatures that can create havoc both indoors and outdoors gardens. There are a lot of species available to the spider mites. Spider mites are common in North America and attack the indoor and outdoor plants. These pests can be quite destructive in the greenhouses.

Though they are not true insects but are classified under the type of arachnids. They are reddish-brown or pale in color. They are oval in shape and very small in size and generally, the presence of spider mites on plants is very common. Their size is about the size of a dot that appears at the end of the sentence. The immature stages resemble the adults, the only difference is that they are smaller in size.

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The spider mites live in the colonies and mostly live on the underside of the leaves. The mites are known to feed on the leaf tissue and suck the plant sap. One can easily visualize the harm on the plants as the light-colored dots on the leaves. Till the feeding continues, the leaves will become yellow and ultimately fall off in the end. If you are in trouble because of the spider mites in your gardens, then read the article completely to get rid of spidermites on the plant. We will provide you detailed information about how to get rid of spider mites.

What do spider mites look like?

Spider mites are the very tiny creatures that are not considered as true insects. They are as small as the size of a dot and are generally oval to circular in shape. Their body color is light brown to pale yellow. They have 8 legs at their nymphal stages.

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The life cycle of the spider mites

The eggs of the spider mites are laid on the leaves and bark of the host plants during the winter times. During the early springs, as the temperature goes up, the tiny larvae with 6 legs hatch from the eggs and start to feed on the plants for a few days. After some days, they seek shelter where they can molt into their first nymphal stage. Nymphs have the eight legs and before turning into complete adults they undergo two more molts.

After the mating process is completed, the female produces as much as 300 eggs for a couple of weeks. These pests prefer hot and dry weather for their fast and rapid development. If the conditions are favorable, then the egg may turn into an adult just in 5 days or less than that. Spider mites are also known as the windsurfers and they disperse over the wide areas with the breeze along with their webbings.

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What are the damages caused by the spider mites

Spider mites are too small to be seen if someone passes by the plants without noticing them. They survive by feeding on the plant fluids. If they are lesser in number, then the damage could possibly be not seen, but the large infestations can greatly harm your plants. The initial infestation is recognized with the visible patterns of the tiny spots or the stippling’s. The leaves will change their colors from green to yellow or become curled and may even fall off. The spider mites are visible in the webs that are formed under the leaves and along the stems.

Here are some of the potential damages that are caused by the spider mites:

  1. On the annual vegetable crops like the squash and the melons, the leaves will be lost and can have a drastic impact on the yield and can lead to the sun burning as well.
  2. The crops like the sugar peas and the beans, these mostly attack the pods and can cause direct damage to the spider mites.
  3. On the ornamental plants, the mites are a major concern. As the population becomes high on the annual plants, they can cause some great damage to the annual plants.

What are some of the spider mite control methods?

There are various methods that be used for spider mite control. Chemical pesticides can be the first thing that comes into your mind if you are looking for the methods to control the spider mites in your gardens. But this is not the case, they can actually encourage the mites by killing the beneficial insects that prey on them. So, if you are thinking to choose some pesticides for your gardens, then this is really a bad idea. Even the mites can also develop the quick resistance to the various pesticides and thus, the organic and the natural methods are effective to control the mites.

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Here is how to get rid of the spider mites

  1. Make sure that you discard the prune leaves, stems and the other parts infected in the trash rather than composting them into the piles. If required, then you will have to pull the entire plants in order to prevent the mites from spreading to its neighbors.
  2. Wash the plants with the help of the Bug Blaster with a strong stream of water and thus, you can reduce the number of pests from the plants.
  3. Use the beneficial insects like the ladybugs, lacewing or the predatory mites that are the natural predators for the spider mites. Make releases for the beneficial insects when the level of the pest in your garden is low to medium.
  4. You can use some of the biological insecticides like the BotaniGard ES, which is a highly effective entomopathogenic fungus that is known to attack these pests and provide protection from them.
  5. Use the natural ingredients like the Neem oil with the CoCo Wet and spray it after the regular time period of 3-5 days if you wish to kill the pest indoors or the outdoors. This will interrupt the reproductive cycle of the termites.
  6. You can use the toxic and short-lived pesticides in case if the population is high. Release the predatory mites to maintain control over the spider mites in your homes and gardens.

How to identify the spider mites?

This is the major problem, as the spider mites are too small to be seen so you have to look for the symbols that confirm their presence. If the plants in your garden have been infested by the spider mites, then the leaves may have the yellow blotches on them. Another thing that you will be able to notice is the silver-colored or the bronze streaks on the leaves when the sunlight falls on them.

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  1. The mites usually attack the underside of the leaves but in some of the cases, they can also eat on the upper sides of the leaves and flowers. Then the mites will suck the holes right from the leaves and thus, provides the evidence of the infestation.
  2. Not having the holes on the leaves is not the sigh of relief. You can still have the spider mites on your plants so make sure that you always keep looking for the infestation of the spider mites.
  3. Other signs of the infestation include the distortion or the wilting or the spotting or streaking on the leaf’s surfaces. The leaves will start off falling in the strong infestation cases of the spider mites.
  4. Another important and effective means to check the spider mites on the plants is to check for the white webbing on the surfaces of the leaves. The webbing is generally formed around the feeding areas of the leaves. It is not important that all the species of the spider mites produce the webbings.

What are the ways to get rid of spider mites?

If you have identified the infestation of the spider mites in your gardens, then you must look for the following methods given below in order to get rid of the spider mites.

  1. Remove the infected parts of the plants as soon as you see the infestation on your plants. To check this, pick up the leaves randomly from your garden and pull off the leaves from the damaged plant's body. Put the leaves carefully in the plastic bag and then discard them in the garbage or either burn them. In case if you find that the entire plant is infected, then do not think and remove the entire plant as this will give the survival chances for the other plants as well.
  2. Use the water jets and streams to water the plants from the leaves and then remove any of the infected pieces in case you spot them.
  3. Make sure that you wash your plants and wipe your plants regularly. This can be considered as one of the best and non-toxic methods to get rid of the spider mites. You can either use plain water or even the mixture of warm and cool water mixed with the detergent soap, make sure that you make a very dilute solution of the soap.
  4. Use the plant-based miticides. These are made up of the natural ingredients that are available in the commercial markets that are used to kill the spider mites and leave the other insects and plants unharmed. One of the natural pesticides can be the pyrethrum that is made from the plant extracts and is considered to the best means to target the spider mites. Also, you can use the cinnamate, which is also a non-hazardous pesticide that is obtained from the cinnamon oil. It is also one of the most effective methods of killing the mites.
  5. Use the neem oil to target the infestations and then it is considered as one of the great mite repellents.
  6. Use the rosemary as an effective organic pesticide. You can spray the solution of the rosemary oil and the water onto the surfaces that are infected with the mites. With the help of the rosemary oil and water, you would be able to save the beneficial and the predatory species of the mites alone.
  7. Use a hosepipe to spray water on the outdoor plants. Make sure that you set the pressure high and try to remove the mites from the underside of the leaves in particular. This method will thus wash away the spider mites with the help of the flowing water jet.
  8. Use the homemade herbal tea in order to make the miticide on your own. Use the ground cinnamon and ground cloves and Italian seasoning in a quart of water. This will kill the mites effectively.
  9. Try to use organic salts. As the fatty acids and the potassium salts can be abrasive against the mite bodies, you can apply them to the bodies of the plants and keep the mites away from the plants.

Do spider mites bite humans?

Spider mites get their nutrition from the plants and are not known to feed on humans in any case. They cause no harm to the human body. As these are not easy to be seen by the eyes, they do not bite humans and even if this is the case the bites are not felt. The bites may leave some itchy, red marks that are similar to the skin rash. The mites do not rely on human bodies to get their nutrition and do not survive indoors if there are no plants. Also, the mites are not known to transmit any kind of disease.

How to kill spider mites on indoor plants?

Here are the effective means that will help to get rid of the spider mites on indoor plants.

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  1. Wash them with water and the detergent solution
  2. Use a cloth to wipe away the webbings
  3. Use the natural miticide
  4. Try spraying the plants with the coconut wet and the neem oil.

Despite using all the techniques if you still encounter the red spider mites or any other species of mites in your gardens, then you will have to take the help from the pest control management services. We hope that you have found all your answers regarding the spider mites, what are spider mites, How to get rid of spider mites on plants.

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