If you have plants at home, in the garden or in pots, you may have come across pests. One such pest is the spider mite, which is normally found on the leaves, especially the underside. Spider mites are known to suck the life out of plants, and where there is a large infestation, they may kill your plants completely.
The recommended thing to do once you detect an infestation of spider mites is to get rid of them immediately. You can learn more about how to kill spider mites on weed plants by following this link.
Here are several steps and tips which will help you.
How to Identify Spider Mite Infestation
The first place you need to look at is the underside of the leaves. You will be looking out for yellow blotches on the leaves and small holes. Sometimes the spider mites may attack the upper parts of the leaves as well as the flowers. Another common sign of infestation is spotting of the leaves, distortion and wilting. Where the infestation is serious, the leaves of your plants may start falling off.
Spider mites may be difficult to detect because they are tiny. If your plants look healthy but you suspect they might be infested, take a piece of white paper and place it just below one of the leaves. Gently shake the step and if the leaf is infested, several spider termites will fall on the paper. Examine the paper to see whether they are mites or not. Spider mites are red, brown, green or yellow in color.
Wash your houseplants regularly
Washing houseplants on a regular basis is one sure way of keeping spider mites away. Wash your plants with clean water, preferably warm water. You can add some mild dish washing detergent to the water or use a mild soap to clean off any dirt. When washing the plant, pay attention to the underside of the leaves.
Use a Hose
If you have a garden, you cannot possibly get the time to wash every plant. However, you can clean your plants using a hose pipe. The idea is to use high water pressure and aim at the underside of the leaves in order to get rid of any spider mites. You should take care, however, not to damage the plants with too much water pressure.
Apart from using water and detergent to clean plant’s leaves, you can also use alcohol. Simply add a little of the alcohol onto a piece of cloth and rub the underside of the infested leaf. Rubbing alcohol on infested leaves can kill spider mites effectively.
Apply a Miticide
Some people get rid of spider mites by spraying their plants with natural or plant-based pesticides. If you can find a pesticide that kills mites, you can try it on your plants. One effective pesticide is pyrethrum, which is mild and does not affect the plant. However, some species of insects and spider mites have developed resistance to pyrethrum.
Another effective pesticide is neem oil, which not only acts as a mite repellant but also treats mildew infestation.
If you want a quick and cheap solution to get rid of spider mites, you can mix a teaspoonful of herbal tea. Boil the tea and add a tablespoon of ground cinnamon. You can also add crushed garlic to the mixture and allow it to cool. Strain the mixture and pour it into a spray bottle. Spraying the solution to your plants on a regular basis will ensure that your plants stay free form infestation.
Get rid of Infested Leaves
When you notice that your plant has been damaged by spider mites, you may consider getting rid of the parts which cannot be treated. Such parts may cause infestation to other plants. The best way of getting rid of such plants is by wrapping them in a plastic bag and burning them. This ensures that the remaining uninfected plants do not get destroyed.
Weeds usually give spider mites extra hiding space. To avoid this, always remove weeds around your plants. Broad-leafed weeds are the worst because they give plenty of space for spider mites to lay their eggs and breed.
Do not get rid of Useful insects
Insects such as ladybugs should be encouraged to stay on your plants. This, and other insects, usually preys on spider mites hence reducing their infestation. The good news is that, if you do not have such insects in your garden, you can easily purchase them from online stores.
With these useful tips, you can watch your plants grow and look healthy at all times.