The Best Way to Get Rid of Tiny White Bugs in Soil - AGreenHand (2023)


  • How To Get Rid of Soil’s Tiny White Bugs
  • What are These Soil’s Little White Bugs?
  • Does Springtails Jump?
  • Is It Furry? – Mealybugs
  • Does Spider Mites Look Like a Spider?
  • Is Thrips Long and Thin?
  • Is Whitefly Winged?
  • What Causes Soil Mites?
  • What is The Difference Between Soil Mites and Spider Mites?
  • Are Soil Mites Harmful To Plants?
  • Do Soil Mites Actually Bite?
  • How To Get Rid Of Tiny White Bug Infestations In Soil
    • Keeping Your Grass In Good Shape
    • Clearing And Cleaning Your Garden
    • Making Use Of A Compost Bin
    • Do Not Over-water The Plants
    • Insecticide
  • How To Get Rid Of Tiny White Bugs In The Soil Of Houseplants
    • Get Rid Of Any Old Potting Soil
    • Fresh Soil Should Be Used To Repot Your Plant
    • Spray Your Plant
  • 8 Ways to Get Rid of Tiny White Bugs in Soil and Prevent Their Recurrence
    • 1. Dishwashing Detergent
    • 2. Cinnamon
    • 3. Neem Oil
    • 4. Vinegar
    • 5. Garlic
    • 6. Hang Yellow Sticky Tape
    • 7. Repotting
    • 8. Chemical Insecticides
  • Does Cinnamon Kill Soil Mites?
  • What Draws Soil Mites To A Certain Location?
  • Do Soil Mites Have Any Effect On Plants?
  • Is It Risky To Get Bitten by a Dirt Mite?
  • How Long Would It Take For My Plant To Recover From A Soil Infestation Of Little White Bugs?
  • Will Using Mulch Attract Tiny White Bugs?
  • Conclusion

Soil mites are tiny white bugs that live in the soil surrounding your grass, flowers, and bushes. Here’s everything you need to know about these pests, including how to get rid of them and how to avoid them in the future.

How To Get Rid of Soil’s Tiny White Bugs

Gardening is one of the most hands-on hobbies, and you must monitor the condition of your plants, grass, and even your soil on a regular basis.

It’s time to act if you’ve seen little white bugs in dirt that you’ve dug into or disturbed. Here’s what you should do if you’re dealing with an infestation.

What are These Soil’s Little White Bugs?

This is a colony of soil mites! They are difficult to notice with the naked eye, but they are roughly the size of a pinhead and resemble extremely minute ticks or spiders if you look closely.

Soil mites come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but none of them are hazardous to humans or animals. In fact, their feces are regarded to be helpful to the soil, since they aid in the breakdown of organic materials and provide vital nutrients to plants.

The oribatid mite is the most prevalent form of soil mite, which may be found in forested environments and is attracted to decaying wood, leaves, and compost.

Does Springtails Jump?

Springtails get their name from their tail, which they utilize to flee when frightened by springing high into the air. This is the most straightforward method of locating them! Because they feed on dead, organic matter, they are completely safe to your plants.

Many individuals even believe they are advantageous.

Is It Furry? – Mealybugs

The bug appears white, but it secretes a cotton-like material that aids with moisture retention and temperature regulation. It’s called “Honeydew” and is made out of sugars that have been left behind. These might be harmful to your plant in excessive quantities.

Plants that are limp and have limited development are common symptoms of an infestation.

Does Spider Mites Look Like a Spider?

Due of their small, they are famously difficult to spot and will require the use of a magnifying lens. They have eight legs and a creamy white body that might seem brown at times.

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Large infestations will wreak havoc on your foliage, causing tiny, black spots to develop.

Fast Facts: Spider mites are classified as arachnids, which are closely related to spiders.

Is Thrips Long and Thin?

Thrips have a creamy yellow/pale color when they first emerge, but they evolve into a black/brown color as they mature. Plants are fed by puncturing holes and extracting the fluids from within. If your leaves turn a dull green color and have black droppings on them, you have a thrift problem.

In addition, after prolonged injury, the leaves will take on a silvery hue.

Is Whitefly Winged?

Look for a bright, white, triangular-shaped, winged insect while identifying whiteflies. They’re usually seen in a clump on the underside of your leaves. These will fly away as soon as you start spraying your plant and will just return after you’re done.

They’re one of the most difficult bugs to get rid of, and you have to go after the young.

What Causes Soil Mites?

The Best Way to Get Rid of Tiny White Bugs in Soil - AGreenHand (2)

Soil mites may be found in compost, potting soil, and topsoil, and they will appear anywhere there is a good food supply for them.

If they are bothering you, take away their food supply and they will go. This entails removing any compost or organic materials that has decomposed.

What is The Difference Between Soil Mites and Spider Mites?

Soil mites are not the same as spider mites. Spider mites are sap-drinkers who feed on living plants, but soil mites are typically considered helpful and only consume decaying plant materials.

A spider mite may be identified by looking at the leaves of your plant. A white paper towel can be used to clean the leaves of your orchid. If the paper has red-brown streaks, you have an infestation.

Spider mites dwell on the leaves and stems of plants, whereas soil mites exclusively live in the soil. They seem as little white or yellowish insects and leave a delicate, silken webbing on the plant leaf.

Because the plant will begin to wither and die if a spider mite infestation is not treated swiftly with a general-purpose pesticide for around 64 days to kill the adults and eggs, it is critical to treat a spider mite infestation with a general-purpose insecticide.

Are Soil Mites Harmful To Plants?

In general, they are not pests in the garden; instead, they are recognized to be beneficial insects. They solely eat decaying organic materials, therefore they have no negative impact on plants.

They may, however, multiply fast, so if they are infesting a houseplant or a specific region of your garden, you should get rid of them as soon as possible.

Do Soil Mites Actually Bite?

There has been no evidence that soil mites bite or are hazardous to humans or animals in studies.

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They solely consume decaying insects and plant materials, despite their appearance as small spiders or ticks.

How To Get Rid Of Tiny White Bug Infestations In Soil

The Best Way to Get Rid of Tiny White Bugs in Soil - AGreenHand (3)

A garden or yard is an eco-system, and maintaining it in balance is essential for avoiding and controlling soil mite infestations, as well as any other insect or pest infestations. Here are a few suggestions:

Keeping Your Grass In Good Shape

A well-kept, aerated grass keeps the soil underneath from acquiring too much shade, moisture, or rotting plant matter, making it a less enticing environment for soil mites. We’ve got a wonderful lawn-care guide for you!

Clearing And Cleaning Your Garden

Keeping your property clean of old organic materials is the greatest approach to avoid or eliminate soil mites.

Because leaves, old clippings, branches, and dead plants are the major food supply for these mites, cleaning away leaves, old clippings, branches, and dead plants can help keep them away.

Also, remember to clean up your gutters!

Making Use Of A Compost Bin

You will almost certainly have soil mites if you compost at home. Having a specialized, closed compost bin, on the other hand, will help manage the soil mite population and keep it from infiltrating the rest of your garden.

Do Not Over-water The Plants

Waterlogged soil kills plants and increases the amount of rotting plant matter in your yard when you overwater your lawn and garden.

Water only when the top layer of your soil is dry, and aerate your lawn, reduce the clay content of your flower beds, or build a rain garden to help your garden drain properly.


To kill soil mites and get rid of little white bugs in soil, apply an all-purpose pesticide, however this should only be used as a last option because insecticides kill indiscriminately and are extremely detrimental to the environment.

Making a solution with 5 teaspoons of dishwashing liquid and 1 gallon of water is a more environmentally responsible option. Every day, spray this on the soil and afflicted plants until the soil mites have vanished.

How To Get Rid Of Tiny White Bugs In The Soil Of Houseplants

The Best Way to Get Rid of Tiny White Bugs in Soil - AGreenHand (4)

When soil mites infest indoor and outdoor potted plants, they can be a nuisance. Here’s how to deal with little white bugs in the soil.

Get Rid Of Any Old Potting Soil

Because white soil mites only dwell in the top layer of soil, the damaged plant does not need to be entirely re-potted. Remove the top 2 inches of dirt and throw it away.

Remove any dead leaves and rotting organic debris from your plant’s root system, being thorough yet careful.

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Fresh Soil Should Be Used To Repot Your Plant

When repotting a plant, always sure to use new, fresh potting mix to avoid soil mites.

Because soil mites may readily get into unsealed bags of potting soil and deposit a large number of eggs, if you use it, you risk infesting your plants.

Spray Your Plant

Because these mites are so little and their eggs are so hard to see, there’s always a chance you missed some! In this post, we’ve included a few eco-friendly pesticide spray recipes for you to try.

8 Ways to Get Rid of Tiny White Bugs in Soil and Prevent Their Recurrence

These sprays are simple to manufacture at home and are safe for humans, pets, and the environment!

1. Dishwashing Detergent

In a spray bottle, combine 5 teaspoons dishwashing liquid with 1 gallon of water. Spray this on the soil surrounding your plant on a regular basis until the mites have vanished.

2. Cinnamon

4 cups water + 1 teaspoon cinnamon Allow for 24 hours before pouring it twice a week onto the damaged plant’s soil. Cinnamon oil can also be used.

3. Neem Oil

Mealybugs and Whiteflies that live on plants and soil benefit from horticultural oil, particularly neem oil. It’s non-toxic to pets and may be used on a wide range of plants.

To kill insects, acquire a neem oil-based pesticide from an internet site or a local store and apply it once a week to the plants. Organic Neem Bliss was proven to be both cost-efficient and effective in killing soil insects.

4. Vinegar

Vinegar has a high rate of success in preventing insect infestations. The best solution is to use apple cider vinegar, which is quite powerful against soil bugs.

You may make a vinegar solution by mixing one tablespoon of vinegar with two pints of water. You may also add a few drops of dish soap for longer-lasting effectiveness. Spray it on the plant and around the soil surface where you detect insects.

5. Garlic

Garlic is a powerful pesticide that is very simple to prepare. Take 5-6 garlic cloves and lightly smash them before dropping them into 1 gallon (3.79 l) of water.

Allow the solution to sit for 48 to 72 hours so that the garlic juice may be absorbed into the water. Fill the spray bottle with it and gently mist it over the soil and plants.

If you’re spraying it on an indoor plant, you may leave the door and windows open to keep the garlic smell from getting inside.

6. Hang Yellow Sticky Tape

Hang yellow sticky bug tapes around the plant to keep soil insects away. These insects are drawn to the yellow hue of the tape and adhere to it. It’s a low-cost and effective approach to keep pests out of the soil.

Gideal Dual-sided stick traps are excellent for collecting Fungus Gnats, Whiteflies, Aphids, and a variety of other insects.

7. Repotting

Repotting is the final resort if you find too many insects in the soil that are difficult to get rid of. You should use fresh potting soil for the earth and properly dispose of any bug-infested soil.


To keep any flying insects from getting out of the soil, tie up the bag. Fill the container with bug-free potting soil after washing it with clean water. Replant it carefully and in a spot where it won’t be exposed to pests.

8. Chemical Insecticides

Insecticides can be purchased to kill pests in the soil and on the plant. Commercial pesticides that kill soil mites and other insects are available online or at local gardening centers.

When applying pesticide, you should exercise caution and adhere to all safety precautions. Insecticide misuse can make you sick, so make sure you wash your hands after each application.

Does Cinnamon Kill Soil Mites?

Cinnamon is an excellent natural pesticide for killing soil mites and their eggs. Twice a week, sprinkle the soil with a mixture of 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder (or a few drops of cinnamon oil) in 4 cups of water.

Now you know how to deal with those teeny-tiny white bugs in the soil!

What Draws Soil Mites To A Certain Location?

Soil mites seem to arise out of nowhere in places where they may devour good food (decaying plant matter). They also emerge in topsoil, potting soil, and compost by accident. This is due to the fact that there is lots of food for them in these locations.

The easiest technique to get rid of soil mites in your soil for good is to eliminate their food source. If you have soil mites, you should remove any rotting organic materials or compost immediately.

Do Soil Mites Have Any Effect On Plants?

They are unable to do so. Soil mites are not pests, as previously stated. Plants are not attacked or harmed by them. They exclusively eat decomposing organic stuff. However, you or anybody else may feel compelled to eradicate soil mites from your garden since they may quickly grow and become a nuisance.

Is It Risky To Get Bitten by a Dirt Mite?

Because dirt mites do not bite, the answer is no. There is no evidence that dirt mite attack humans or do them harm. Both people and animals are essentially unaffected by the insects.

When you come across soil mites, don’t be alarmed by their frightening tick-like look. They exclusively consume plant or insect matter that has died.

How Long Would It Take For My Plant To Recover From A Soil Infestation Of Little White Bugs?

You should observe nearly immediate indications of recuperation once the small white bugs have been killed and removed.

Will Using Mulch Attract Tiny White Bugs?

It makes no difference whether you use mulch or not. It’s important not to over-mulch your plant because this will make the soil excessively wet, which might lead to an insect infestation.


I hope this post has given you a better understanding of soil mites, their role in the ecosystem, and what you can do if you find yourself in a situation where you have an infestation.

The easiest technique to keep soil mites under control is to use a compost bin, as well as clean and tidy your garden and gutters.

Remember, they are useful insects that feed on dead plant waste and compost, and there are many of practical and environmentally friendly ways to get rid of little white bugs in soil if they get out of hand.


What are the tiny white bugs on my plants soil? ›

Soil Mites will occur solely along and beneath the compost line. If you find small white critters roaming the foliage of your plant, you may be looking at a Spider Mites infestation. Plants - All species are susceptible to Soil Mites, including plants that require moist soil.

How do I get rid of mites in my soil? ›

One of the natural ways to kill mites in the soil is by spraying the mixture of dish wash soap and starch. Mix three drops of dish wash soap and three to four tablespoons of starch in five cups of water. After that, spatter the mixture on the soil to eliminate the mites.

How do you get rid of small white mites? ›

Here's how to get rid of mites in 5 easy steps:
  1. Remove clutter from your house or business. This includes stacks of paper and laundry piles. ...
  2. Treat all affected areas with Sterifab. ...
  3. Vacuum and dust regularly. ...
  4. Cover your bed, mattress and pillow with dust-proof covers. ...
  5. Wash sheets and bedding in HOT water.
13 Sept 2022

Are white soil mites harmful to humans? ›

Are soil mites harmful to humans and animals? Whilst soil mites are not aggressive and do not bite or attack people or animals, they are known to carry some potentially harmful pathogens and parasites such as tapeworms.

How do I get rid of white aphids in my soil? ›

  1. Remove aphids by hand by spraying water or knocking them into a bucket of soapy water.
  2. Control with natural or organic sprays like a soap-and-water mixture, neem oil, or essential oils.
  3. Employ natural predators like ladybugs, green lacewings, and birds.
6 May 2020

Should you remove soil mites? ›

The most important takeaway regarding soil mites is they do not cause any damage at all. Don't get rid of them. They are extremely and importantly beneficial to the soil in the decomposition process, the environment, and all living things.

How do I get rid of bugs in my soil naturally? ›

How to Get Rid of Bugs in Garden Soil
  1. Clean the Soil: It is very important to clean the soil of your garden regularly. ...
  2. Limit the Soil Disturbance: You should not turn the soil regularly. ...
  3. Using Compost: ...
  4. Using Mulch: ...
  5. Rotate Crops: ...
  6. Plant Covering Crops: ...
  7. Give Water on your Plants Every Day: ...
  8. Monitor Your Garden:
9 Aug 2021

What are the tiny bugs in my soil? ›

Soil Mites

Soil mites are tiny beneficial insects that feed on organic matter in the soil, breaking it down and improving soil health. Depending on the species of soil mite, you likely won't even notice these bugs at all due to their size.

Are soil mites OK? ›

No, they are not a problem. They are very beneficial, and their presence indicates a healthy soil. Some people don't like the idea of them being in their houseplants.

What are these tiny white mites? ›

White Mites are a species of spider mite and are tiny clear bugs known to infest outdoor garden plants and house plants but can also infest areas of the home. White mites are also used to describe Wood Mites, a type of mite known to frequent damp wood.

What are these tiny little white bugs? ›

If you're seeing tiny white bugs inside food packages, on wallpaper, or in—you guessed it—books, you're likely dealing with booklice (otherwise known as psocids). Psocids aren't actually lice, and they're also known as barklice or barkflies. Booklice are pesky but mostly harmless bugs that prefer dark, damp places.

Where do tiny white mites come from? ›

White mites can come from anywhere. But the most common way they get onto your houseplants is by bringing newly-purchased infested plants into the home. Unfortunately, the tiny white bugs can also live in contaminated potting soil or on houseplants that spend summers outdoors.

Can soil mites infest your house? ›

The mites can quickly spread and invade other areas of your home. Common soil mites typically stay where their food supply is most prevalent. But you could have a food source inside your home that you didn't know was there. Mites eat all types of rotting organic matter.

Does cinnamon get rid of soil mites? ›

Another organic solution to kill soil mites is cinnamon. Not only is this method effective for getting rid of insects in the topsoil, but it also does not harm the plants and has a pleasant aroma.

What kills aphids instantly? ›

Spray with Water

The safest and fastest way to control aphids is to spray them off your plants with a strong stream of water from the garden hose. Aphids are such small, soft-bodied insects that even a good rainstorm can knock them off.

Do aphids lay eggs in soil? ›

Lifecycle. Root aphids are surprisingly adaptable and their lifecycle can vary tremendously. They reproduce asexually during the growing season. Eggs over-winter in soil or, in warm seasons, are attached to leaves and stems above the root line where they hatch and fall to the ground.

Can aphids spread through soil? ›

Turning and working the soil in the fall will also help to prevent the overwintering of this pest. Comparatively speaking, root aphids tend not to spread in the garden. However, these aphids do spread to other plants through irrigation run off and may be “washed” from one planting to another.

Why are there mites in my soil? ›

They are generally drawn to decaying organic matter such as leaves, moss, and mold. The easiest way to deal with pesky soil mites, should they be a bother to you, is to get rid of the decaying matter. Keep outdoor living spaces and roofs clear of decomposing matter as well.

Are little bugs in soil normal? ›

So you've encountered a problem that's all too familiar for myself, you have discovered some small, fast bugs in your soil, now what? Well, first of all, don't panic. Most likely they are harmless, in fact, they're probably beneficial to your plant.

How do I make my soil bug free? ›

We've pondered them.
Goodbye, Fungus Gnats: Pest-Free Potting Soil
  1. Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. ...
  2. Be ruthless–and repot infected plants. ...
  3. Bury a garlic clove in the infected soil. ...
  4. Make your own sticky traps. ...
  5. Make an apple cider vinegar trap.
13 Jun 2017

Does vinegar keep bugs away from plants? ›

Acetic acid makes vinegar an excellent tool for pest control, repelling some of the most common backyard nuisances and even killing weaker insects. It's most effective against ants, spiders, and mosquitos.

How do soil mites affect humans? ›

The mites cannot be seen and the bites are not felt, but leave itchy red marks that can resemble a skin rash. When itch mite populations 'explode,' people and other animals may receive numerous bites. Fortunately, the mites cannot live on humans, do not survive indoors, and are not known to transmit disease.

Can soil mites bite humans? ›

They feed on dead skin and dander that falls off of humans and pets. Dust mites live in house dust, mattresses, furniture, and carpets. These tiny creatures do not bite or live on humans. Instead, proteins in the exoskeletons and feces of dust mites can induce allergic reactions in people.

What kills white mites on plants? ›

Use rubbing alcohol

For smaller infestations, soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and wipe down every inch of the plant. Alcohol only kills the bugs by direct contact, so you may need to do a few applications. After you feel like the population is sufficiently taken care of, rinse the plant a few times with water.

How long do white mites live? ›

Broad mites have a short and rapid lifecycle living between 5 and 13 days. An unmated female will lay male eggs only, but after mating, she will lay about 4 female eggs for every male egg. Eggs are clear, elliptical, and covered with opaque white dots (Image 2).

Are tiny white mites harmful? ›

Many little white bugs are mites (small arachnids with eight legs). Some mite species (like dust mites and mold mites) don't bite but may cause allergic reactions. Other little white bugs are less benign and will live and feed on your body.

What are soil mites? ›

Soil mites are anthropods that feed off decaying organic matter. There are many different species of mites, but the most common ones are called Oribatid mites. These tiny little mites are found almost everywhere on the planet, including Antarctica! These tiny creatures are scavengers that are about 0.2-1mm long.

Do white mites spread? ›

They are common on succulents, but they can spread to other types of houseplants, flowers, and vegetation as well. It is possible for the infestation to begin with just a single succulent plant. However, as the mites multiply and increase, they will also spread rapidly to other plants in no time at all.

What temperature kills white mites? ›

When dealing with mites, you need to wash your bedding in extremely hot water. Any temperature over 122 degrees Fahrenheit should suffice. This is the minimum temperature required to kill off bugs.

What do dirt mites look like? ›

Dust mites can be difficult to detect due to their small size. These microscopic arthropods are estimated to be only 1/4 to 1/3 millimeters long. You can only see them under a microscope, and even then, they only look like small white spider-like creatures.

Can you sprinkle cinnamon on soil? ›

When first planting or repotting houseplants and outdoor container plants, you can also mix cinnamon powder into the soil to help prevent mold and fungus from the start. In addition to helping ward of mold, the cinnamon has the added benefit of helping the roots of plants grow better as well.

Should I put cinnamon on my soil? ›

Cinnamon prevents damping-off disease

It occurs under cool, damp conditions. Dust cinnamon on the soil surface when the seeds are planted to prevent damping-off disease from killing your plants. Cinnamon is a good anti-fungal. It kills fungal spores in the soil and prevents them from infecting your plants.

How often should I sprinkle cinnamon on my plants? ›

Cinnamon to the rescue. According to many gardeners, cinnamon is just as effective when applied to a plant's stem when you plant the cutting. It can stimulate root development in just about every kind of plant that you grow in this fashion and you only have to apply it once.

How does cinnamon get rid of soil mites? ›

Fill a container with water, add the cinnamon, and shake the spray bottle until the cinnamon dissolves. If the plants are heavily infested with mites, consider adding a couple of drops of dish soap. Spray the mite killer solution into the soil around the bottom of the plant to soak the top layer of dirt.

What are very tiny white bugs? ›

Whiteflies. These tiny white flying bugs are related to aphids and mealybugs. These insects are tiny, with the exact size depending on the species. Like mealybugs, whiteflies are known for infesting and damaging plants.

Does cinnamon get rid of soil gnats? ›

Chamomile and cinnamon are powerful natural fungicides, which kill off the gnats' primary food source, therefore making the soil inhospitable.


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