Spider mites are microscopic, but they can do a lot of damage. Spider mites are plant parasites that feed on a very wide range of plant species. Gardeners were mostly worried about how to get rid of spider mites during flowering.
The following are the 10 most effective ways to get rid of spider mites:
- Essential Oils
- Trifecta Crop Control
- Check Out And Quarantine New Plants
- Carbon Dioxide
- Insecticidal Soaps
- Regulate The Humidity And Temperature
- Diatomaceous Earth
- Natural Predators
- 70% Rubbing Alcohol
- Dawn Dish Soap
In this article, we’ll talk about spider mites, how to identify them, and how to get rid of them on plants.
What Are Spider Mites?
Spider mites are not insects, but they are related to spiders. These spider-like mites things have four legs, no antennae, and an oval body. Most spider mites form a delicate web of silk. Spider mites are tiny. An adult spider mite is less than a quarter of an inch long. In Ohio, there are many different kinds of spider mites.
The Pacific spider mite, the two-spotted spider mite, the strawberry spider mite, and a few other species are all web-spinning spider mites. The most common ones are in the genus Tetranychus, which has very similar species and can’t be reliably told apart in the field. Because the damage, biology, and management are identical, this is mostly unnecessary.
Signs That You Have A Spider Mite Problem
If you suspect you have a spider mite infestation, look for these early symptoms:
- Patterns of silvery dots or stippling are likely to be the first thing you notice on your plant’s leaves.
- Looking closely, you can see tiny, delicate webs in the corners of stems or under leaves. They look like they have small white dots all over them.
- A bronze or yellow color can appear on a tree in one or more places.
- Spider mites are hard to see until there are many of them, and they can also be brown or red.
- If you think spider mites have taken over your tree but want to be sure, shake a piece of paper under a branch. When the mites fall off, they look like paper dots.
Optimal Environmental Conditions For A Spider Mite
Extreme heat and dryness are ideal for spider mites. Temperatures in the 80s (F) and above, combined with the low humidity of less than 50%, create the ideal environment for spider mites.
On the other hand, populations can grow when humidity is less than 90%. When these things keep happening, especially when the nights are also warm, every 5–7 days, a new generation of spider mites is born. Mites are small, so they are hard to see, and their population proliferates. This makes it seem like a lot of mites showed up all at once.
Spider mites can damage plants that are stressed from drought. When drought stress and spider mites are present, crops can lose 50% or more of their yield. The use of broad-spectrum chemicals to get rid of other insect pests is another thing that makes spider mite populations grow.
Life Cycle Of Spider Mite
The life cycle of a spider mite typically consists of five stages: the egg, the nymph, two immature stages, and the adult. Many spend the winter as eggs or as adult females, and there is often more than one generation per year, with each generation lasting as little as a week.
A single female lays each egg, and each female lays anywhere from 60-100 eggs in her lifetime. Depending on how warm it is, eggs hatch in 3-6 days. Depending on the temperature, the larvae and nymphs entirely develop in 4-9 days, and the females have 1-2 days before they lay their eggs. About 30 days pass for an adult.
Adults have four legs that are covered with long hair. The female tumid mite is usually red with dark spots. Their color and number of areas can roughly identify spider mites, but an expert needs to look at them under a microscope to be sure.
Relationship Between Spider Mites And Flowering
Spider mites usually live on the undersides of plant leaves and flowers, where they may make silk webs to protect themselves. They can cause damage by poking holes in plant cells when they feed. There are many different kinds of plants that spider mites eat.
This species causes the most damage in a greenhouse. Two-spotted spider mites eat inside plant cells, which hurts the spongy mesophyll, palisade parenchyma, and chloroplasts. This means the plant has less chlorophyll and can’t make food either.
Light pests make the leaves stippled, especially the older ones. If there are a lot of mites, the leaves may become dull and yellow, and then the buds and flowers may explode.
How Do Spider Mites Affect Cannabis Plants?
Cannabis suffers significant damage at the hands of spider mites. These pests are tiny, but they multiply quickly and in large numbers. A single adult female spider mite can make a million more spider mites in less than a month.
There have been times when an infestation killed whole cannabis plants overnight. If they don’t kill the cannabis plants, they can leave behind harmful webs. Spider mites tend to cover the leaves and buds of cannabis plants with a fine silk web, destroying entire crops.
[10 ]Ways To Rid of Red Spider Mites During Flowering
Chamomile, coriander, spearmint, and rosemary are the essential oils that are best at getting rid of spider mites. Peppermint essential oil is also a powerful way to eliminate spider mites and other pests.
This will ensure that spider mites won’t want to move into your garden or houseplants. This is important because spider mite eggs hatch in just a few days. Put a few drops of the oil you want to use into a spray bottle full of water and spray your flowering plant.
Trifecta Crop Control
Trifecta Crop Control Super Concentrate is a natural pesticide made from a blend of essential oils that work together to keep insects, mold, and mildew from becoming a problem.
To apply Trifecta Crop Control, you can use an atomizer, a misting system, or a sprayer. Wet the plants thoroughly until the leaves, even the bottom ones, are dripping.
To get the best results, use 2 oz of Trifecta Crop Control Super Concentrate per gallon and apply it again after 72 hours. Once the pests are gone, switch to the preventative dose of 1 oz per gallon once or twice a week.
Check Out And Quarantine New Plants
Keep new houseplants at least 30 to 40 days away from other plants to stop spider mites from spreading. The infected flowering plant needs to be kept separate from the others.
Plant scientists say the recommended quarantine period is three to four weeks. Simulate the conditions where the plant will grow best, like bright, direct sunlight, or shade. Choose a place you go to every day so you remember to check on the plant. If you don’t see it, you won’t remember it.
Carbon dioxide gas may be used to eliminate spider mites from flowering plants. Carbon dioxide is an organic gas that is safe, cheap, non-toxic, and helps eliminate pests.
CO2 is non-toxic and effective against spider mites. The percentage of oxygen in the air does this. This suffocates the victim and doesn’t leave any persisting chemicals or pesticides on your grow equipment or plants, like oil-based chemicals and pesticides. At 20% CO2, it can take almost five days to suffocate spider mites that are hibernating.
Insecticidal soap is made from potassium salts of fatty acids, and gardeners often use it to keep pests from eating their plants. Soap that kills pests doesn’t hurt plants. Insecticidal soap can only be used on insects with soft bodies.
It is effective against common problems such as spider mites, thrips, and whiteflies. It will kill nymphs and young bugs with soft bodies, but it won’t hurt their hard eggs.
Please ensure the pests are entirely wet when spraying the solution on them. For plants outside, use the soap in the early morning or late evening so it doesn’t dry out in the hot afternoon sun, and the leaves don’t get burned.
Humidity And Temperature
Use a hot air treatment at a high temperature for six hours to kill all stages of the mites. It will take three hours to kill all the eggs, and the next three hours will kill the mites that the adults left behind.
Spider mites prefer dry conditions, so avoiding dry air around your plants is a good way to prevent them from settling there. Use a humidifier in the room, spray your plants with a fine mist every once in a while, or leave a container of water where it can evaporate.
Diatomaceous earth is an organic pesticide that kills bugs but is safe for people. Diatomaceous earth kills mites by dehydrating them when sprinkled on the soil and the infected plant. This process can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days, according to the type of pest and the environmental conditions.
People and other large animals shouldn’t touch or breathe in pool-grade diatomaceous earth because it has been treated in ways that make it more dangerous. Most methods to get rid of pests involve diatomaceous earth, which is safe to use around food.
Adding beneficial pests to your soil is one of the best ways to get rid of spider mites. Nematodes will eat the spider mites, and the problem will be solved.
People often use predator mites to get rid of spider mites, and you can buy them in stores. Persimilis is one of the world’s most widely used biocontrol agents. Persimilis are predatory mites that feed on the two-spotted spider mite and other species. These effectively remove spider mites from a wide variety of flowering plants.
70% Rubbing Alcohol
70% isopropyl alcohol kills mites by denaturing their proteins and dissolving their lipids. It is effective against most microorganisms. Additionally, rubbing alcohol also dehydrates and kills spider mites. In a bowl, mix 1 part rubbing alcohol with four parts water.
Then, use a clean cloth to rub the mixture on your plant’s leaves. This mixture can also be used in a spray bottle to spray the leaves. Do this every day until all of the mites are dead.
Dawn Dish Soap
Dawn soap is the most popular brand of dishwashing liquid in the United States. It is made in the United States. Mix one gallon of water with three tablespoons of Dawn dish soap. Pluck off all the leaves that are badly damaged by spider mites. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and use it to cover all the infected parts of the plants.
Should I throw away my plant with spider mites?
Yes, you can throw away plants with spider mites. If you have a serious spider mite problem with potted plants. Cut off the badly damaged leaves and flowers where the pests live. Take the plant outside and give it a gentle hosing down, making sure to hit all the cracks and under the leaves. It gets rid of spider mites quickly and for good.
What Temperature Kills Spider Mites?
Spider mites are naturally controlled by temperatures higher than their average range. Most of the mites that live outside will die in hot weather. The high temperature should kill off the spider mite colony within a week or two. During this time, keep a close eye on your plant to ensure it adapts well to the temperature.
Do Washing Plants Get Rid Of Spider Mites?
Yes, washing plants helps get rid of spider mites. If you wash plant leaves with a soft cloth or a strong spray of lukewarm water, you can help reduce the number of spider mites. By mixing liquid dish soap with water, spider mites can be killed at home. The soap will stick to the mites and make them suffocate.
Is Vinegar Good For Spider Mites On Plants?
Yes, vinegar is good for spider mites. Vinegar has a lot of great uses. Spider mites hate vinegar because it is very acidic. Mix 1 part vinegar, a pinch of baking soda, and a few drops of liquid dish soap into 1 liter of lukewarm water. This will make a spider mite spray. Spray everywhere you see spider mites until they are all gone.
When the buds are already formed, it’s hardest to deal with the spider mites because you can’t risk hurting them. You can safely eliminate them with carbon dioxide, essential oils, or pests that eat them.
Sometimes the pests are so bad that they kill the whole plant or crop. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around your pots, on top of your soil bed, across your door thresholds, and at the end of your dry lines to kill any mites that try to cross it without hurting your plants.
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