How to rid your garden of spider mites?
First let take a look at what is needed to be considered a great climate for spider mites. Warm, dry temperatures make the perfect climate for the spider mite’s to reproduce. Which leaves your plants susceptible not only to drought but also to the spider mite’s appetite. The ideal climate for the spider mites will be higher than 83 degrees with a humidity of less that 60 %. Remember that there are mites and then there are spider mites. The difference is that spider mites are spotted or two spotted. You can tell if you have an infestation if you look at your plant and you notice small brown or yellow dots on the leaves of your plant. If you look closely you will see a small strand of silk on the plant, more so underneath the leaves where spider mites tend to spin their webs to create a section where they will lay their eggs. Spider mites will hit maturity in one week after hatching.
Here are a few way to control and rid yourself of these pest that will feed of your plant.
1- Some gardeners say to keep the humidity and moisture levels high. Mist your plants with cold water two or three times a day. If you can bring your plants indoors if they are in pots this way you can better control their climate. You may also want to consider adding a humidifier to your gardening area to keep moisture high. Keep your plants shaded during the hot afternoon sun if possible.
2- I have read that spraying your plants with a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water will also kill the spider mites while doing very little damage if any to the plant as the alcohol evaporates very quickly. As for the mixture of alcohol to water anywhere in the realm of 1-1 or 1-3 is what is considered appropriate.
3-Neem oil products are also said to aid with getting control of this pest in your garden. Neem oil will kill the spider mites yet not harm any beneficial insects such as lady bugs. There is additional benefits to using neem oil in your garden as it also acts as a fertilizer. Neem will also protect your plants from other pest. Neem affect the appetite of most pest causing it to starve itself to death. Hence not wanting to feed off of your plants.
4-There are other predatory mites that are considered effective in riding your garden and or plants from spider mites. There are a number of them to chose from but the one that I find most interesting is the one that eats the spider mites and then goes on to eat its own kind…How cool is that so they clean house in your plant by killing off the spider mites and then they clean house by eating one an other when all else is gone. Some types of beneficial mites can not withstand high levels of heat. So make sure that you do your homework and find one that will live in the climate that your garden is in.
5-Make sure to treat all of your plants at the same time as spider mites do travel from plant to plant.
6-You may want to trim leaves that are heavily infested with mites.
7-If you have the time you may want to wash your leaves. Take a mixture of mild soap and water to a cloth and clean your leaves.
8-Pesticides, I am not one to use pesticides but there are a few of them out there. I wish that I had more information on this. Yet, I do try to only use organic ways to rid my garden of pest.
How do I know if I have spider mites?
How do I know if I have spider mites?
Good question. You may see the discoloration that I described above. You may also want to take a sheet of white paper and place it under one of the leaves and tap it slightly. Check to see if you have any moving around on the paper. Spider mites are difficult for the naked eye to see, so use a magnifier.
I hope that this little article will help you with your spider mites. As always if you have a different way that you combat spider mites please add to the comments.
Plantstay it’s like the paper clip for potted plants.