How To Get Rid Of Spider Mites

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante

Spider mites can wreak havoc on plants and even kill them. They can quickly turn your idyllic garden into a nightmare that is hard to recover from. Many homeowners struggle with how to get rid of spider mites.

The best way to get rid of spider mites is to spray the plant with soapy water. Otherwise, you can spray the leaves with a powerful miticide to kill the spider mites and stop them from spreading. Peppermint oil can also kill spider mites and keep them away if you douse your leaves with the extract.

Water your plants regularly so that they don’t get dry as that can attract spider mites. Don’t wait for spider mites to die naturally in the winter because they can survive in the cold. Follow along as we explore how to get rid of spider mites.

What Causes A Spider Mite Infestation?

Spider mites are attracted to dusty and dirty trees and plants. They are common in dry climates, but you can find them in humid areas as well. Spider mites gravitate toward everything from tomatoes and cucumbers to maple trees.

The biggest problem with spider mite infestations is that they can spread to nearby plants. This happens after the wind picks up during an active infestation. Avoid putting too many nutrients in your plant’s soil or you will only increase the chance that spider mites will appear.

How To Kill Spider Mites

Spider mites don’t go away on their own, and you will need to kill them. Let’s take a look at the best and easiest ways to get rid of spider mites.

Soapy Water

A simple solution of soapy water is one of the best ways to get rid of spider mites. It may sound like a soapy water solution would kill your plants, but it won’t if you are careful. Dilute one tablespoon of mild dish soap in a spray bottle with cold or lukewarm water.

Now, you need to thoroughly spray the plants that are riddled with spider mites. Spray the leaves evenly and make sure to cover them entirely for the best results. Let them soak for a moment, then wipe the leaves dry with a towel or cloth.

You may have to repeat this process several times over the week until the spider mites are gone. There is also the chance that spider mites will migrate to a nearby plant, so make sure to be on the lookout for them.

Water Your Plants Regularly

The dryer your plants are, the more likely they are to attract spider mites. Dry plants are like a buffet to spider mites. Water your plants as often as possible (without overwatering them) so that they don’t get dry and dusty.

It also helps to wipe the leaves to get rid of dusty residue before you water them. This is enough to even kill spider mites in some cases if the infestation is in its infancy.

Drown Them

You can drown spider mites to kill them, but this is somewhat risky. This only typically works with potted plants and air plants. Bring the plant indoors and fill your bathtub with warm water.

Place the potted plant in the water and let it sit for between 60 and 90 seconds. Don’t let the plant soak for much longer than that, or it may struggle to bounce back. This should be more than enough time to drown the spider mites. Drain the tub, pull the plant out, and wipe the leaves off, and your plant should be free of spider mites.

Prune The Leaves

Sometimes, you can get rid of spider mites by simply pruning the leaves. This method works best if the spider mite infestation isn’t too big yet. Trim the leaves that are most affected by the spider mites.

The only downside to this method is that the spider mites may try to move to a nearby plant. It helps to move the plant to an area that isn’t near other plants when you prune it. That isn’t possible for all plants, however, so you may have to prune the leaves in conjunction with another method, such as soapy water.

Use Miticides

While miticides have their downsides, they can work wonders to get rid of spider mites. Miticides aren’t great for the environment, but they are a necessary evil if nothing else works to stop your spider mite infestation. Products like Talstar P are effective, affordable, and easy to use.

Use the miticide as directed for the best results. You can typically spray them on the plant and let the chemical sit on the leaves. After the recommended time, you need to spray the plant with water to get rid of the residue.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is a natural bug repellent, and it’s also a great way to get rid of spider mites. This aromatic oil is so powerful that it can quickly kill a large spider mite infestation. Simply drop or spray peppermint oil onto the plants that are infested with spider mites.

You can also help prevent future spider mite infestations if you plant mint in your garden. Plant the mint near plants that typically fall victim to spider mites. The smell should be strong enough to deter spider mites and other pests.

Do Spider Mites Die In Winter?

Not all spider mites die in winter, and infestations can even thrive in the cold. Honeylocust and two-spotted spider mites are known to thrive and even spread during the winter. That’s why you cannot wait for spider mite infestations to simply die without you taking action.

However, spider mites can die in the winter if you live in an area with a harsh, cold climate. Otherwise, the cold may simply slow them down and you will still need to treat the infestation.

Are Spider Mites Dangerous To Humans?

Spider mites aren’t dangerous to humans, but they can still bite you. Their bites aren’t dangerous, but they can irritate your skin and make you feel itchy in some cases. However, spider mites are quite dangerous to plants, and they can even kill them.

Spider mites start by targeting one leaf at a time, but they can quickly spread throughout the plant. They slowly whittle away at leaves until they die and fall off. This will eventually cause irreversible damage if you don’t treat the problem quickly enough.

Can You Completely Get Rid Of Spider Mites?

You can completely get rid of spider mites, but there is always a chance that they will return in the future. Spider mites can appear at any time throughout the year, unfortunately. Even if you get rid of an infestation, a new batch of spider mites can appear later on.

You are more likely to get another spider mite infestation if you live off of a busy road with lots of traffic. The extra dirt and dust in the air can make their way to your yard and garden. This can either move spider mites toward your house, or the dirt and dust will attract them.

Summing It Up

Soapy water, miticides, and peppermint oil are the best ways to get rid of spider mites. You can also get rid of spider mites if you soak the plant in warm water or prune the leaves. Water your plants regularly so they don’t get dusty and dry, which is what attracts spider mites.

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Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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