Share this post TFUPM Posted October 15, 2012

 Spider mites are small plant pests that can damage indoor plants and outdoor plants. They are one of the most common plant pests you will encounter. Unfortunately, they are also one of the most devastating if left untreated. These pests suck sap from plants, diminishing the plants’ vitality and eventually killing them. Spider mites treatment is essential if you are to save your plants. 

Detecting Spider Mites

These mites are related to spiders, and they do spin webs, but these mites are much smaller than spiders. Because of their size and the pale coloring of some types of spider mites, they may be difficult to spot with the naked eye. The red or brown mites may appear as specks on the plants and with any type of spider mites, you may notice webbing around the stem and the underside of leaves. 

In heavy infestations, you may notice large clusters of the mites as well as leaf damage. The leaves take on a mottled appearance where the mites have fed. In time, the leaf will die and drop off the plant. 

Spider Mites Treatment

If you detect an infestation early, spider mites treatment is easiest. In these cases, you may be able to control them by spraying them off with water or wiping them off with a moist towel. Check plants daily, especially the undersides of leaves, and spray them or wipe them again if you notice any pests. 

In most cases, however, by the time you discover your plants’ first spider mite infestation the pests have multiplied, significantly. Heavy infestations require products designed for killing spider mites. Spraying the plants with water, or wiping them down, will not be sufficient. 

Whether you are treating these heavy infestations on indoor plants or outdoor plants, it is best to use an organic, non-toxic spider mite spray. You always want to avoid using dangerous chemical pesticides on plants, especially on indoor plants or your vegetable garden. 

Organic mite sprays are effective, easy to use, and you will not need gloves or special equipment. Follow directions on the bottle and make sure you saturate the entire plant, including the underside of the leaves where mites tend to hide out. 

Spider Mite Control

Preventing a recurrence of spider mites requires several steps. First, clean up the area around the plants to make it less attractive to mites. Spider mites are attracted to garden debris they can take shelter under, such as leaf litter, twigs and grass clippings.

For indoor plants, this step of spider mite control means removing old mulch and dead leaves from the plant pot. Outdoors, it means raking away all old mulches, sticks, twigs and dead leaves from the garden. Maintaining this cleanliness will not only prevent mites, but also other pests and fungal diseases. 

The next step in spider mite control is to inspect the plants for mites weekly. New spider mites can travel in from other locations and create new infestations. Finally, spray the plants with the organic spider mite killer if you spot any new mites. 


Colorado State University Extension – Spider Mites:

Clemson University -- Azalea & Rhododendron Insect Pests:

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