Houseplants are frequently attacked by spider mites. Low humidity and warm, dry environments are what they favor. On plant leaves, feeding damage manifests as chlorotic spots or a stippled appearance. There may also be webbing. Fortunately, they are relatively simple to get rid of.
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What Are Spider Mites?
Spider mites are minuscule insects that can attack a wide range of plant species. They can be a serious issue for indoor plants. They can appear tan, red, or black, but most frequently they resemble tiny white spiders on plants.
Houseplants, make noticeable spider webs that they use as cover and a surface to move around on. Spider mites are so tiny that they are not noticed until their population is out of control.
You’ll probably first notice the webbing on plants before getting a closer look and spotting the mites. Your plant will appear to have tiny spiders crawling all over it.
Spider mites thrive in warm, dry environments, and they can become a serious issue during the winter when your dry house serves as the ideal breeding ground for them.
You may have fungus gnats instead of spider mites if you notice tiny insects crawling around in the soil of your indoor plants rather than on their leaves. Find out how to get rid of fungus gnats in the soil of indoor plants.
Spider Mite Life Cycle
In the right circumstances, spider mite populations can double every few weeks due to their rapid growth.
After hatching, spider mites take about a week to reach full size. A mature female can lay hundreds of eggs in a short period of time, and those eggs can begin to hatch after just a few weeks.
Their population eventually grows exponentially over a very short period of time as a result.
Since the adults are tiny and the eggs are invisible to the naked eye, most people don’t notice spider mites on their houseplants until the population has skyrocketed.
Where Are They From?
By riding their webbing on the breeze, spider mites travel over large areas like windsurfers. They can easily slip through screens on windows and doors due to their mobility and diminutive size, as well as other openings. Spider mites most frequently hide on other plants. I strongly advise quarantining a new houseplant for a week or two before putting it near other plants after purchasing one. Monitor it and use a damp cloth to clean the leaves. Spider mites also infest us and our pets in our homes, but there isn’t much we can do about it.
Spider Mite Damage On Houseplants
One of the worst pests for indoor plants is the spider mite. They can severely harm or even kill a houseplant in a matter of hours.
The leaves become discolored, speckled, curled under, dried out, or shriveled as a result of them sucking the sap out of them.
The infected leaves will eventually shrivel up and die, usually falling off the plant, killing the houseplant.
Take quick action to eliminate spider mites as soon as you can because they can quickly kill indoor plants.
How To Tell If There Are Spider Mites On Indoor Plants
- Spider mites are extremely tiny plant pests with a spider-like appearance. They only consume plants as food.
- Reddish or light green shades with two dark spots are possible.
- They resemble a page’s period in size.
- Because of their wide range of hosts, spider mites can be a year-round issue indoors.
- Spider mites deplete leaves of their chlorophyll, leaving behind tiny white stipples or spots on the leaves.
- Leaf yellowing, browning, and eventual death are all effects of heavy feeding.
- When populations are high, certain spider mite species produce webbing that covers the leaves and stems.
- The undersides of the leaves are the primary food source for the two-spotted spider mite.
How To Get Rid Of The Spider Mites
Consider relocating spider mite-infested indoor plants to a cooler area far from healthy plants if you have indoor plants. Maintain moist but not overly saturated soil. As a general rule, water your houseplants when the top half inch of soil feels dry. If done frequently, washing plant foliage with a soft cloth or a forceful spray of lukewarm water can help lower the spider mite population. Plants can be treated with an insecticide containing permethrin or pyrethrin as another option for control.
Additionally efficient are insecticidal soap and horticultural oil. Prior to purchasing and again before using a pesticide, always carefully read the label. This is particularly crucial because the availability and advised use of particular pesticides can vary from year to year. Any pesticide’s label will ultimately determine how it can be used legally. The best method of control is to dispose of the plant if the infestation is severe and the majority of it is covered in spider mites. To help stop spider mites from spreading to other houseplants after removal, cover the plant with a plastic bag. Keep newly acquired houseplants in a separate location for a few weeks, away from other houseplants, to avoid further infestations. Before adding them to the rest of your healthy plants, use this time to check the plants for pest issues.