Do Spider Mites Drown In Water [The Truth]

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Spider mites are lethal for plants. Infestation of the spider mites in the house plants is dangerous and can slowly kill all the plants in the garden. There are many different ways to kill spider mites. Water is the cheapest way to eliminate mites. But do spider mites drown in water?  

Yes, water can kill spider mites. Drowning spider mites is the most common and effective way to eliminate spider mites from house plants. When you see one or two spider mites crawling on the house plants, spray water to kill them. In severe infestation submerging, the plant is the best option to wash them away.

A pressure washer is equally effective in killing the spider mites from the house plants. Read more to find all details on killing spider mites through the water.

Will Submerging A Plant Kill Spider Mites?

Submerging A Plant

Submerging the plant in the water can kill the spider mites. It is an effective way to treat spider mites infestation in new plants brought from the nursery or newly infested plants.

Submerging the plant is a complicated and challenging procedure. It is not practical to immerse multiple plants in one day, especially those severely infested with spider mites.  

Instead of submerging the plant, you can try a garden hose with high-water pressure to drown the spider mites. However, you will have to be careful not to damage the plant structure.

If the plant is newly infested, choose soapy water spray to kill the spider mites. Mix an equal quantity of water and soap in a bottle to make the solution.

Does Washing A Plant Get Rid Of Spider Mites?

Washing a plant

Washing the plants can get rid of spider mites and their webs and eggs. Simply using a pressure washer will wash off the spider mites from the plant. You can use a simple spray water bottle or garden hose to eliminate spider mites.

Water will drown the spider mites and suffocates them to death. It will also wash it off from the plant onto the ground or drain. Therefore, making it more difficult to survive.

  • First, spray the water on the bottom part of the plant.
  • Then move your way towards the upper foliage. Focus on the surface under the leaves as spider mites mostly live there.
  • After spraying water, use a sponge to wipe the water and the dead spider mites.
  • Rinse the sponge in a bucket of water after cleaning each surface to prevent re-infestation.

Does Soap And Water Get Rid Of Spider Mites?

Soap And Water

Yes. Soap and water solution is one of the most effective ways to kill spider mites rather than drowning the entire plant.

  • Prepare the solution by taking an equal quantity of lukewarm water and liquid soap in the spray bottle.
  • Shake the ingredients for a few seconds to combine them thoroughly.
  • You can also add an essential oil like lemon, rosemary, or chamomile, to enhance the effect.
  • Spray the solution on each part of the plant.

Let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it with a sponge or soft towel. Water and soap make the surface slippery, causing spider mites to fall off the plant.

It will suffocate the spider mites by droning them, gradually leading to their death. The soapy water also causes adverse effects on the spider mites’ eggs and larvae.

How To submerge A Plant To Kill Spider Mites?  

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In severe spider mites’ infestation of the plants, submerging the plant is one of the best options to kill spider mites.

Follow the steps below to kill the spider mites by submerging the plant.  

  • Select a large tub or sink that is deep enough to hold the plant. It should be slightly more than a few inches deep than plant height so you can comfortably move the plant around.  
  • Tape the plastic wrap on the plant soil to prevent it from coming out during the procedure.  
  • The practical way to submerge the plant is by holding the plant pot upside down. Place one hand over the soil surface to prevent the potted plant to slide out.  
  • Spider mites begin their infestation from the top parts of the plant. Holding the plant inverted will loosen the spider mites clustered on the apex foliage.  
  • Gently invert the plant in the water tub or the sink. Lower it till the water reaches the soil surface.  
  • Hold the plant in water for up to one minute. Fortunately, 30 to 60 seconds are enough to kill the spider mites.  
  • Hold the plant for longer than one minute in severe infestations.
  • Move the plant in a clockwise and anti-clockwise direction for a few seconds to loosen the spider mites web and the eggs.  
  • It is slightly difficult to hold a plant upside down for a long time. Therefore, take a short break, then drown the plant again for one minute.  
  • Change the water if you see a lot of spider mites floating.  
  • You can also add detergent to the water for better results. For one gallon of water, add one tablespoon of detergent.  
  • Turn the plant upright and remove the plastic wrap and seal.  
  • Let it dry, and carefully observe the result under the microscope.

Will Hot Water Kill Spider Mites?

Hot Water

Hot water can kill spider mites from many plants. However, you cannot use boiling water on the plant as it will damage the plant structure. It is better to use lukewarm water of 55 to 57 degree Celsius to kill the spider mites crawling on the plants.

Lukewarm water at 57 degrees Celsius is enough to kill most of the spider mites and their eggs.  

An experiment in 2013 on the strawberry plant leaves to kill spider mites using hot water. Treating plants with hot water of different degrees ranging from fifty-to-fifty-seven-degree Celsius at varying periods from 150 to 20 seconds is enough to eliminate spider mites and their eggs without causing any damage to the plant.  

What Are The Alternate Ways To Get Rid Of The Spider Mites?

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Spider mites’ infestation in one plant can ruin your entire garden. Drowning spider mites is the cheapest way to eliminate them. However, it does not give hundred percent results, and there might be a chance of reinfection.

Daily cleaning and closely observing plants for the signs of diseases are essential for early diagnosis and treatment.

Remember, spider mites like to live in a hot, dry, and dirty environment. Regularly water the plant and use pesticides to kill the microorganisms. Rubbing alcohol is the most effective way to kill spider mites and eggs.

The chances of reinfection decrease significantly with rubbing alcohol and essential oils. Isolating the infested plants prevents infection from spreading. Carbon dioxide treatment for severely infested plants is also a successful way to eliminate spider mites in indoor and outdoor plants.


Spider mites are the most plant pest that causes discoloration, wrinkling, and dry foliage. Drowning spider mites is one of the cheapest and most successful ways to eliminate them.

Spraying water with pressure on the plant infested with mites kills them within seconds. You can use a spray bottle to kill one or two mites. You can also use a garden hose to kill heavily infested plants.  

Another way is submerging the infested plant in the water bucket or sink. You can mix soap or liquid detergent in the water for better results. However, reinfection is possible if you only use water to kill spider mites.


Tetsuo Gotoh, Yasuki Kitashima & Tatsuo Sato (2013) Effect of hot-water treatment on the two-spotted spider miteTetranychus urticae, and its predator, Neoseiulus californicus (Acari: Tetranychidae, Phytoseiidae), International Journal of Acarology, 39:7, 533-537

Sergei Ya Popov, Andrei V. Alyokhin & Egor D. Kiselyov (2021) Survival of diapausing females of two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae Koch (Acari: Tetranychidae) submerged in water, International Journal of Acarology, 47:7, 564-567