How to Get Rid of Spider Mites on Houseplants For Good | Neverland Blog (2023)

Spider mites reproduce quickly and do not take long to take over your plants. In this guide, we'll cover how to diagnose and get rid of spider mites on houseplants.

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Table of Contents

What is a spider mite

How to identify spider mites

Where do they come from

Plants Susceptible

How to treat chemically

How to treat naturally

Common FAQs

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(Video) How To Get Rid Of Spider Mites On Houseplants

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What You Will Learn

What is a spider mite | How to identify spider mites | Where do they come from | Plants Susceptible | How to treat chemically | How to treat naturally | Common FAQs

Spiders may be creepy, but for houseplant growers and aficionados, spider mites are even creepier. These tiny red or orange arachnids target indoor plants, especially palms, crotons, and pothos.

If you see white webbing on your plants, it could be a sign that spider mites have taken up residence. Spider mites reproduce quickly and do not take long to take over your plants.

These common houseplant pests also leave behind small yellow or brown specks that look like salt. Spider mites live and feed on the underside of leaves, making them hard to spot. Here we will talk about how you can get rid of spider mites on your indoor plants.

What is a Spider Mite?

How to Get Rid of Spider Mites on Houseplants For Good | Neverland Blog (4)

Image Source:Photo by Tomasz KlejdyszSpider mites are tiny red or orange arachnids that target indoor plants, especially palms, crotons, and pothos!

Spider mites are ectoparasitic arthropods that feed on plants. They prefer hot weather along with dry conditions, and they feed on a wide range of plants. In this article, we will specifically focus on how they affect indoor plants. Still, if the conditions are right, it is important to know that spider mites can also take up residency in your outdoor plants in flower and vegetable gardens.

Spider mites can be red, yellow, or orange, depending on the species. They are tiny, but they can be seen with the naked eye.

Spider mites are not insects but rather arachnids, related to ticks and spiders, and are harmful to plants. Just as ticks latch onto humans, dogs, and other animals, spider mites latch onto plants (the underside of leaves) and suck the juices out of the plant.

Something positive to note is that while some species of mites do attack and feed off of humans, spider mites have evolved only to feed off of plants, so if you’ve got an infestation, you don’t have to worry about throwing out your bedsheets or anything like that.

How to Get Rid of Spider Mites on Houseplants For Good | Neverland Blog (5)

Pro Tip: Check undersides of your leaves!

Just as ticks latch onto humans, dogs and other animals, spider mites latch onto plants (the underside of leaves) and suck the juices out of the plant.

Spider mites attack plants through their leaves, sucking the nutrients out of them. They leave stalks behind as they feed. While feeding, spider mites create webbing, and drain the life from plants causing leaves on infested plants to turn yellow and brown. They can cover and kill an entire plant within a week or two if left uncontrolled in your garden.

(Video) Long Lasting Spider Mite Solution! How to Get Rid of Spider Mites

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What plants are susceptible to spider mite infestations?

The best way to prevent spider mite infestations is to know which plants are susceptible to them. This will help you to identify an infestation quickly, so you can get rid of these pests before they kill your plants. The following plants are more susceptible to spider mite infestations:

  • Palm trees and houseplants
  • Ivy - especially English ivy
  • Philodendrons
  • Pothos
  • Crotons
  • Alocasia plants
  • Other indoor plants - including cacti and succulents

Spider mites can live on any indoor plant, but they prefer heat-loving plants. They also prefer plants that are close to the window because they like warm environments. If you have one of these plants and notice tiny bugs on the leaves, inspect your house for signs of an infestation.

How to Identify a Spider Mite Infestation

A few signs to look out for when identifying a spider mite infestation. Spider mite damage is different from that of cutting insects. There won’t be a hole in a leaf, but rather large discolored areas made up of tiny dots or stippling.

You may notice that your plant leaves are covered in a web-like substance, as previously stated, or you may notice specks on the leaves, or if the infestation has gone further, you might see leaves or whole portions of your plant start to curl and wither.

02

Wilting or Curling Leaves: the infestation has gone further you might see leaves or whole portions of your plant start to curl and wither.

03

Bronze curled Leaves: Severe infestations can make leaves fully webbed, bronze in color, and curled.

These are the telltale signs of spider mites. If you suspect a spider mite problem, you should inspect the underside of the leaves on your entire plant for signs of spider mites. To confirm that you have an infestation, use a magnifying glass to look for the tiny orange or red spider mites on the plant.

How to Get Rid of Spider Mites on Houseplants For Good | Neverland Blog (7)

Pro Tip: Use white paper

You can also place a piece of white paper under your leaves and shake or tap the leaves. It will be much easier to spot dislodged spider mites on the white paper.

This is especially important if you have a palm or ficus tree, as these plants are more susceptible to spider mite infestations. It’s important to act quickly as, during the spider mite life cycle, females can lay hundreds of eggs at a time, causing spider mite populations to explode if unchecked.

How do spider mites get on plants in the first place?

(Video) Super Simple Spider Mite Control and Prevention

How to Get Rid of Spider Mites on Houseplants For Good | Neverland Blog (8)

Image Source:Best way to treat spider mites is to really prevent them! Keep your plant moist and always check for early signs.

The best way to prevent spider mites is to keep them away from your plants in the first place. These pests can be transported on your clothing, shoes, or even on your pets.

As previously mentioned, spider mites won’t take up residency on you or your dog long-term. They strictly feed on plants, but they may be able to hitch a ride just long enough to make it from your neighbor’s apartment to your own.

Preventing a spider mite infestation can be difficult because they aren’t the easiest pests to see with the naked eye.

Pro Tip: Prevention starts when you buy your plant.

One common way that infestations start is through plants that were purchased and brought into your home. This is why it’s very important to inspect new plants prior to purchase or buy through trusted online vendors.

These pests are very small and hard to see without a magnifying glass. To keep your houseplants safe, clean your house thoroughly and regularly. Remove any houseplants that you don’t want indoors. Before bringing plants indoors for the winter, give them a once over before exposing them to your year-round houseplants.

How to get rid of spider mites on indoor plants with chemicals?

There are a few ways to eliminate spider mites on indoor plants.

If you’re really out to kill spider mites, the easiest option is often to visit your local garden center for a chemical pesticide labeled for use on spider mites. We understand that chemical pesticides make some people a little nervous, but they certainly are an option.

Common brand names of pesticides used to kill spider mites contain Orthene, Avid, and Talstar - however some of these may be unavailable and only designed for commercial use.

One of the problems with killing spider mites is that they aren’t truly insects, so standard “bug sprays” will often not prevail. Pest control can be a difficult task.

How do I get rid of spider mites naturally?

If you’re worried about the safety of pesticides around your children or pets, there are a few alternatives to get rid of spider mites on indoor plants that are a little more natural.

Solution #1: Natural Spider Mite Predators

The safest way to get rid of spider mites, albeit perhaps the hardest to do, is through beneficial insects and natural predators. We all know ladybugs are natural predators of aphids, but to get rid of spider mites, you’ll likely have to get your hands on some predatory mites or lacewings. Mites eating mites - Exciting!

While this may be the most natural solution, it’s probably the hardest to achieve unless you know of a good source for predatory mites.

Solution #2: Insecticidal Soap & DYI

How to Get Rid of Spider Mites on Houseplants For Good | Neverland Blog (9)

Image Source:Insecticidal soap is one of the easiest ways to get rid of spider mites and you can even make your own DIY solution.

You can also use insecticidal soap to kill off spider mites on indoor plants. Insecticidal soap is a non-toxic way to eliminate pests on your houseplants. It works by killing the pests without harming your plants. It can be found at most gardening stores.

You can also try washing your plants with water and soap to eliminate spider mites. To create your own DIY version mix two cups of water with one teaspoon of soap and wash your plants down with a spray bottle and damp cloth.

This will kill off the pests and clean your plants at the same time. Afterward, you’ll want to rinse down your plants to ensure the soap doesn’t harm your plants.

(Video) Get Rid of Mealybugs, Gnats and Spider Mites — Plant One On Me — Ep 015

Solution #3: Neem Oil

How to Get Rid of Spider Mites on Houseplants For Good | Neverland Blog (10)

Image Source:Neem oil is one of the most natural ways to get rid of spider mites and prevent spider mite infestations.

After you’ve dealt with any pests, you can spray your plants with neem oil or horticultural oil to kill off any remaining bugs. Use a soap solution to clean up any mess caused by the pests.

These sprays are safe to use on indoor plants and are often sold in gardening stores. They work by suffocating the pests. You can also use soap sprays to clean up the mess left behind by spider mites.

Conclusion

These tiny bugs are hard to spot and even harder to kill. If you see signs of a spider mite infestation, take action as soon as possible. These pests can quickly destroy your plants, so it’s important to get rid of them before it’s too late.

Luckily, there are a few ways to get rid of spider mites. You can use insecticidal soap, neem oil or horticultural oil sprays to kill off the pests. You can also try washing your plants with water and soap to clean them and kill off the bugs at the same time.

How to Get Rid of Spider Mites on Houseplants For Good | Neverland Blog (11)

Where to buy neem oil and insecticidal soap

Treating and maintaining your beautiful plants and garden is critical. Neverland offers a selection of spider mite treatments from vetted merchants.

FAQs on Spider Mites


What kills spider mites on plants?

Spider mites can be treated in multiple ways. You can use chemicals like pesticides or more natural treatments like insecticidal soap and neem oil.

What are symptoms of spider mites on indoor plants?

Spider mites are tiny red or orange spiders. Oftentimes, they are invisible to the naked eye unless there's a massive infestation. Some early signs of spider mites include webs or orange specks. Later stage signs of a spider mite infestation include wilting or droopy leaves and plants. Quarantine your plant and treat immediately on a diagnosis.

How to Get Rid of Spider Mites on Houseplants For Good | Neverland Blog (12)

🔥 Join 52,560+ other plant parents.FREE Spider Mite Cheat Sheet!

Access this guide anywhere, anytime! Just pop in your email below, and we'll email you a free, printable Spider Mite Cheat Sheet!

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(Video) Houseplant Pests (Part 1): How to Get Rid of Spider Mites

FAQs

How do you get rid of spider mites on indoor plants? ›

Washing plant foliage using a soft cloth or a forceful spray of lukewarm water can help reduce the spider mite population if done repeatedly. Other control options include treating plants with an insecticide containing permethrin or pyrethrin. Insecticidal soap and horticultural oil are also effective.

What kills spider mites instantly? ›

Use Rubbing Alcohol

Kill spider mites by combining a mixture of 1 cup of rubbing alcohol and 4 cups of water, then spray the solution on your plants. Cover the stems, flowers, and foliage thoroughly. Rubbing alcohol kills spider mites by dehydrating them.

Can you completely get rid of spider mites? ›

Try Insecticidal Soap

When applying insecticidal soap, be sure to cover the entire plant, focusing especially on the undersides of leaves, where spider mites tend to hang out. Like with spraying with water, you'll need to repeat this treatment weekly until you're sure the mites are gone.

How long does it take to get rid of spider mites on indoor plants? ›

Cinnamite: This pesticide is derived from cinnamon oil and is non-hazardous. It won't kill eggs, but it is effective for killing adult spider mites. Spray this one on your plant every 3 days over a couple of weeks to make sure you get all of them!

Why do my houseplants keep getting spider mites? ›

In indoor growing areas, spider mites are more likely to become a problem on underwatered plants. Over-applying nutrients can also make your plants more susceptible to spider mites. If you've applied too much nitrogen, your plants are more likely to be attacked by spider mites and other pests.

Do spider mites live in soil? ›

Spider mites are plant-eating mites that look like tiny spiders and attack more than 180 types of plants. In cool climates they spend the winter resting in soil; in warmer regions they live and feed year-round.

Should I throw away plant with spider mites? ›

In addition to washing and spraying the plant, you can trim off heavily infested leaves and throw them into the garbage to get rid of even more of the spider mites and eggs. Be sure to throw the infested leaves into the garbage outside of your house!

How do you stop spider mites infestation? ›

Preventing Spider Mite Infestation

The best way to keep spider mites away is to keep your plants consistently watered during dry weather. Not only will healthy plants be better able to fend off attacks, but spider mites tend to avoid moist conditions.

What do spider mites hate? ›

Peppermint or rosemary extract in a misting spray could also do the trick. Spider mites hate the strong odor. Hose down your plants with water with high pressure if your plants can take it, as dust really encourages spider mites.

What kills spider mite eggs? ›

Naturally derived miticidal sprays like neem oil, pyrethrins, azadirachtin and horticultural oil can be sprayed directly onto adult mites, larvae, nymphs and eggs to kill on contact. Apply to active spider mite infestations at 3-day intervals until control is achieved.

What causes spider mite infestation? ›

Spider mites prefer hot, dusty conditions and usually are first found on trees or plants adjacent to dusty roadways or at margins of gardens. Plants under water stress also are highly susceptible. As foliage quality declines on heavily infested plants, female mites catch wind currents and disperse to other plants.

How does hydrogen peroxide get rid of spider mites? ›

It's recommended that you use peroxide at a strength of three percent, which is full strength for the drugstore kind. Pour it into a spray bottle and spray the affected plants, making sure to soak the soil surface, crown and the undersides of the leaves.

What temperature kills spider mites? ›

These findings suggest that we may be able to eradicate the mites of all stages using one hot air treatment at 57°C for six hours or two treatments at 51°C for three hours at a 10-day interval to kill all eggs in the first treatment and those laid by survived adults in the second.

Can spider mites infest a house? ›

In addition to being widespread, spider mites are also mobile. “Spider mites crawl from plant to plant,” says Hancock, so one infested plant can spread them throughout your home. And they reproduce quickly.

Can a plant recover after spider mites? ›

Once disturbed, they will move around rapidly. Be sure mites are present before you treat. Sometimes the mites will be gone by the time you notice the damage; plants will often recover after mites have left.

What humidity kills spider mites? ›

The lifecycle of the spider mite changes according to the environment. For the ideal conditions, the humidity must be lower than 50 percent, with temperatures at 80 degrees Fahrenheit or above.

How do I know if spider mites are gone? ›

Because spider mites are difficult to detect, use a handheld magnifying glass to observe the leaves more closely. You can also hold a sheet of white notebook paper under the leaves as you shake the plant. The mites should fall off the leaves and onto the paper where you can see them more clearly.

Do spider mites live on pots? ›

Greenhouse-grown plants especially appreciate spider mite treatment. A spider mite infestation on potted plants is far from a welcome sight. The pests do indeed look like spiders under a microscope, but to the naked eye you're more likely to see them as orange dots on the underside of leaves.

Can spider mites travel from plant to plant? ›

Spider mites don't travel much; they rarely leave the plant they're feeding on. They can, however, infest other plants indoors, particularly if the plants are touching. Mites can also drop from the plant and crawl to new plants. And mites can be transported on clothing or objects that touch an infested plant.

Can I reuse soil that has spider mites? ›

If your soil has lots of pests in it, you should dispose of it. Otherwise, pests can spread to healthy plants. If you only spot a few bugs there is the possibility to pasteurize the soil. Turn the soil to make it light and fluffy.

How do you get rid of spider mites once and for all? ›

Using 70% isopropyl alcohol is an effective way to get rid of spider mites. Simply spray your plant down with the alcohol and the spider mites will die off. This method should be repeated every other day until you no longer see any signs of spider mites.

How long can spider mites survive in soil? ›

They prefer dry, hot, and humid air and soil. If you have these parasites on your houseplants, they will not infest an entire home. They can survive from three to eleven days without a houseplant.

Why won't spider mites go away? ›

Since spider mites love to live in dry conditions, keeping the humidity surrounding your plant at a higher level can help prevent their spread. This is one of the easiest and simplest methods to get rid of spider mites. You should also ensure that the plant is being properly watered so that it is well hydrated.

What are spider mites natural enemy? ›

Key predators include predatory mites, which are about the same size as plant-feeding mites but have longer legs and are more active. Other common natural enemies include thrips, lacewings, and minute pirate bugs.

What conditions attract spider mites? ›

Spider mites thrive under hot, dusty conditions, so keeping the garden watered helps prevent problems. Spider mites also have numerous natural enemies that are easily wiped out by the use of pesticides. In organic gardens where beneficial insects are encouraged, spider mite problems are rare.

Does vinegar repel spider mites? ›

Apple cider vinegar has so many great benefits. One being that it's highly acidic which plant pests such as spider mites loathe, earning it top pest control points.

Does Dawn get rid of spider mites? ›

Add three tablespoons of Dawn dish soap to a gallon of water. Pluck out all the leaves with severe spider mite damage due to infestation. Pour the solution in a spray bottle and spray all over the infested areas of the plants.

Does cinnamon repel spider mites? ›

Indoor plants and greenhouses can have problems with spider mites. But cinnamon kills spider mites and stops them from spreading on your house plants and in your greenhouse. Sprinkle cinnamon on the soil surface around plants and on the leaves of plants using a light touch.

Will spider mites get on humans? ›

Yes. Spider mites have mouthparts used for piercing plant cells and therefore occasionally bite humans. However, given their microscopic size, it's unlikely anyone would feel it, although they might note small, red pimply marks on the skin that look like a rash.

How often should I spray for spider mites? ›

The best way to get rid of spider mites is to spray them off with water every 5-7 days. You can do this with a spray bottle of water on smaller plants, and on larger plants, you could take them to the sink or shower and spray them off that way.

What is the best spider mite killer? ›

Top 7 Best Spider Mite Killers
  • 1500 Live Ladybugs.
  • Grower's Ally Spider Mite Control.
  • Neem Oil.
  • Diatomaceous Earth.
  • Doktor Doom Spider Mite Knockout.
  • Floramite SC.
  • Safer Brand Insect Killing Soap.

Can I water my plants with hydrogen peroxide? ›

It is perfectly safe for plants when properly diluted and used in moderation. Adding hydrogen peroxide to water promotes better growth in plants and boosts roots ability to absorb nutrients from the soil. Diluted 3% peroxide adds needed aeration to the soil of plants and helps control fungus in the soil.

Will hydrogen peroxide hurt plants? ›

This extra oxygen (H2O2) gives hydrogen peroxide its beneficial properties. So, the answer to the question, “Does hydrogen peroxide hurt plants?” is a resolute no, provided the strength is sufficiently diluted. You can purchase hydrogen peroxide in various potencies.

Is there a season for spider mites? ›

Mite populations usually peak during the hot, dry months of July and August. There are many generations per year, so eggs and live mites often can be found on a plant at the same time. Evergreens are more frequently attacked by cool-season mites, which are active in the spring and fall.

How long do spider mites stay alive? ›

Under optimal conditions (approximately 27 °C), the two-spotted spider mite can hatch in as little as 3 days, and become sexually mature in as little as 5 days. One female can lay up to 20 eggs per day and can live for 2 to 4 weeks, laying hundreds of eggs.

What kills spider mites and their eggs? ›

Naturally derived miticidal sprays like neem oil, pyrethrins, azadirachtin and horticultural oil can be sprayed directly onto adult mites, larvae, nymphs and eggs to kill on contact. Apply to active spider mite infestations at 3-day intervals until control is achieved.

Can spider mites get on humans? ›

Yes. Spider mites have mouthparts used for piercing plant cells and therefore occasionally bite humans. However, given their microscopic size, it's unlikely anyone would feel it, although they might note small, red pimply marks on the skin that look like a rash.

Can spider mites jump from plant to plant? ›

About Spider Mites & How to Identify

Spider mites are actually arachnids, and luckily, they don't jump, but they can spin a web across planes and crawl around plants.

Does misting plants prevent spider mites? ›

Misting houseplants regularly helps to prevent spider mites. You could also try leaving a container of water near the plant, or use a humidifier to help keep the humidity up around your plants.

Why do I always get spider mites? ›

Spider mites are most common in hot, dry conditions, especially where their natural enemies have been killed off by insecticide use. Some of the many species common in North America are predators of the plant-feeding mites, which make up the vast majority.

What happens if you touch spider mites? ›

Red spider mites are not harmful to humans. These mites can harm indoor and outdoor plants, but bring no major damage to humans or animals.

How do you get rid of spider mites naturally? ›

Mixing liquid dish soap and water is a DIY way to take care of invasive spider mites as the soap will stick to and suffocate them. Combine one quart of lukewarm water with one teaspoon of liquid dish soap, shake the solution up, and pour it into a spray bottle.

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