Spider mites are a common problem for even low-maintainence houseplants. They look like tiny spiders that create webs on houseplants, and are extremely destructive pests. They can heavily damage or even kill a houseplant in a very short period of time. When spotted, it is very important to get rid of them as quickly as possible.
What are spider mites and how to identify them?
Spider mites usually look like tiny white spiders on plants, but can also appear to be tan, red or black. They create spider webs on houseplants, which they use for protection and to crawl around on. They tend to start their webs on the underside of leaves and at the leaf joints, so that’s why they usually go unnoticed for so long. Spider mites thrive in warm, dry conditions and can become a major problem during the winter, when your dry house becomes the perfect breeding ground for them.
To detect spider mites try holding a piece of paper under the infected plant’s leaves and shake gently. If you notice pepper-like specks on the page, they’re almost certainly spider mites.
- Your plant looks “dusty”
- Leaves have small brown or yellow spots
- You’ve tried reviving the plant, but it still doesn’t look healthy (yellow, dying leaves or stunted growth)
- There’s ‘webbing’ that reminds you of tightly weaved spider web
- White eggs underneath the leaves that look like grains of salt
Where do spider mites come from?
Spider mites can come from anywhere, and you’ll probably never know where they came from in the first place.
But, here are some common places:
- Buying a new plant that has mites
- Repotting plants with unsterile potting soil
- Moving your plants outside for the summer
- Flowers and vegetables brought in from your yard and garden
How to treat spidermites?
The best way to avoid heavy spider mite damage to your houseplants is to start treating the plant as soon as you discover the pests. To kill mites on plants, use Ecoworm Potassium Soap, which is an organic insecticiadial soap produced from vegetable oils. Spray Potassium Soap directly on the leaves of your houseplant. This natural spider mite killer is great for getting rid of the bugs right away. Be sure to focus your sprays on the undersides of the leaves, this is where spider mites lay their eggs. Repeat the treatment a few times to fully get rid of mites.
How to stop spider mites from returning?
Keeping your plants healthy, and maintaining adequate soil moisture are two of the best ways to prevent spider mites on indoor plants.
Here are a few other tips for getting rid of spider mites for good:
- Use Ecoworm Potassium Soap as a preventative spray or as a leaf polish to keep your plants leaves clean
- Mist sensitive houseplants regularly, and keep the humidity level high around the plant
- If you move your plants outdoors for the summer, be sure to debug the plats before bringing them back indoors