Close-up photo of a Red Spider Mite
Natural Remedies for Spider Mites
One of your first lines of defense can be to rinse your plants with a hose, like a garden hose with a nozzle. If you are lucky and thorough, this may be enough to get those creepy crawlies off your plant. Unfortunately, if even just a few of these little guys stick around you will continue to have problems, and you may have to try something a little more direct.
Soak a cloth in a solution of 1:1 rubbing alcohol and tap water. Carefully wipe down each leaf, including underneath, and the stem. Next, add the solution to a spray bottle and generously wet the entire plant, allowing it to air dry.
Another option is to mix 16 oz of warm water with a ½ tsp liquid dish washing soap. Pour the soapy solution into a spray bottle and douse the plant, allowing it to air dry!
If neither of these options work and you want to stay natural, it may be time to bring in the big guns. Releasing natural predators can help you get rid of the mites, and protect your other plants. Ladybugs are a good option, but you can also opt for something like Spider Mite Destroyers (yes, a very creative common name for the Stethorus Punctillum).
Unfortunately, even if you do want to use less-natural options, normal pesticides often won’t do anything to these pesky spiders. You have to use something like a miticide, or something that will specifically target these types of insects.
Keep an Eye Out
It’s important to regularly check your plants for mites as they thrive in hot and dry conditions. If possible, spritz your plants every now and again to maintain a reasonable level of humidity (especially during winter when the heater is running). Every now and again, give your plants a neem oil bath to help prevent all sorts of infestations.
Featured image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Spidermites-gardenia.jpg