Spider Mite Detection And Spider Mite Natural Control

Spider Mites On Plant Leaf
spider mite colony
(Image credit: Tunatura)

Spider mites are one of the more common houseplant pests. Getting rid of spider mites is not always easy, but it can be done.

Spider Mite Detection

Being able to effectively kill spider mites starts with good spider mite detection. Good spider mite detection starts with looking at the plant. The three most common signs of spider mites are:

  • Yellow, tan, or white spots on the leaves of your plant.
  • Very small white or red spots on the leaves that move (these are the mites themselves).
  • White, cottony webbing that appears on the underside of the leaves.

If you believe that your plant is affected by spider mites, immediately isolate the plant and take steps to kill the spider mites.

Getting Rid of Spider Mites

Getting rid of spider mites is difficult but, with persistence, it can be done. You can do this with either natural controls or chemical controls.

Spider mite - natural control

Getting rid of spider mites though natural controls in normally done in one of two ways. The first way is to isolate the plant and then spray the leaves and stems of then plant with pressure water, like from a hose or faucet. Spray down as much of the plant as possible. This spider mite natural control will need to be repeated several times to be effective. The second natural control is to introduce natural predators to the infected plant. Ladybugs and other parasitic mites that kill spider mites can be purchased from reputable nurseries. Make sure that the insects you purchase to kill spider mites are appropriate for the plant and season you will be using.

Spider mite - chemical control

Getting rid of spider mites using chemical controls also has two options. First you can use neem oil or insecticidal oil. These substances will cling to them to kill spider mites rather effectively. Second you can use a miticide, which will be effective for getting rid of spider mites. If you are using chemical controls, remember that they will kill all insects, not just the spider mites. Also, any chemicals need to touch the spider mites to kill spider mites. You will need to make sure that the plant is thoroughly covered in the chemicals in order to be effective.

Heather Rhoades
Founder of Gardening Know How

Heather Rhoades founded Gardening Know How in 2007. She holds degrees from Cleveland State University and Northern Kentucky University. She is an avid gardener with a passion for community, and is a recipient of the Master Gardeners of Ohio Lifetime Achievement Award.