Spider mite is a tiny pest that strikes indoor plants and draws the juice out of them. If you noticed your favorite plant’s leaves are covered with a thin web, then it’s time to learn how to get rid of spider mite.
Reasons why the plant is affected
To understand how to fight against spider mite, you need to find out the reasons for the pest infestation. Low humidity and house dust are the preferred conditions for mite’s reproduction.
So, if you don’t water your plants enough and don’t wipe their leaves, is it surprising that there are pests on them?
How to check if there are mites on your plants
A sure sign of the presence of spider mite are small white dots on the leaves and a thin web twining around the plant.
In the case of larger infestation, the leaves become white and are covered with a thick web, and there is a mass of pests collecting by leaf and flower bases.
If no action is taken, the plant becomes weak, vulnerable to infections, and slowly dies.
Ways to fight the pests
When you are sure that your indoor plants are infested, you need to act immediately. Every minute these bugs are consuming plant’s lifeblood, causing their death.
First and foremost, create conditions around your potted plants that make the existence and reproduction of spider mites difficult.
For this, you have to:
- Wash out plant’s leaves using laundry soap;
- Thoroughly wash pots, pot bases, tables and windowsills where plants are kept.
These steps won’t lead to complete riddance of the pests, but will reduce their numbers dramatically.
As the spider mites don’t like moisture, fight them with water as follows:
- Water the plan excessively, and spray its leaves;
- Cover pot cultures with plastic wrap and leave them for 3 days.
By that time, most of the pests would die of high humidity.
While healing, relocate the plants to a place where they can’t be reached by direct sunlight – there’s a greenhouse effect under the film, and sunlight might cause temperature rise inside the wrap which leads to burns.
Special products for pest-fighting
You have to use acaricides – special chemicals for fighting mites.
While using them on indoor plants, remember that they are unsafe for humans and animals.
Most safe acaricides as Vermite, Actofit and Fitoverm, but, unfortunately, they are efficient for mature and active mites only and can’t neutralize inactive ones and larvae. Therefore, you should apply these chemicals a few times.
Time intervals between applications depend on air temperature, for example:
- 4 days in the case of 30 degrees;
- 10 days in the case of 20 degrees.
While treating your plants with chemicals, make sure the temperature is not lower than 18 C, or the effect would be reduced.
Another effective treatment for fighting mites is Apollo. It is safe for people, and able to act even on larvae.
However, it’s prohibited to use insecticides (like Actellic, Oberon and more) in living quarters, since they are toxic and release harmful components into the air, which can be dangerous to everyone.
Home Remedies for fighting mites
You can also use traditional remedies to fight spider mite. Most widely used are rubbing alcohol, garlic, dandelion, and cyclamen.
Usual rubbing alcohol, bought at a drugstore, is fine. Wipe the leaves and pots, and spray the soil with it.
It’s also a good idea to treat tables and windowsills where plants are stored with rubbing alcohol , as well as things that are nearby.
A lot of flower growers use an infusion made from cyclamen bulbs.
Bulbs should be crumbled up and boiled for 30-40 minutes. When the infusion cools down, it’s strained and sprayed on plants. Repeat the procedure in a week.
If you are not afraid of a strong smell in your home, you may prepare a garlic infusion – take 200 grams of garlic, add 1 liter of water and leave it for a week.
Then mix 6 grams in 1 liter of water and spray the infusion on all the infected plants.
To fight spider mites, you can also treat your plants with a dandelion infusion.
Pour 30 grams of crumbled roots into by 1 liter of water, leave it for a few hours, and spray the plants with the infusion.
For the safety of your plants, follow these steps:
- Warm-up soil you bought in a microwave or oven. Stones, sand, and mulch must be warmed up as well.
- Soak moss with boiling water, leave it until it cools down, then dry it.
- Don’t put freshly bought plants immediately into the assigned spots. First take them into the bathroom and give them a bath, then treat with acaricide, wrap with plastic, and leave for three days.
And of course, don’t forget to water and spray your plants regularly.