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Spider mites can be extremely difficult to get rid of once they’ve infested your grow area, especially if you’re growing indoors. This plague is especially ferocious; they start off as just a few but soon there’ll be thousands of them and they’ll end up completely killing off your plant. Outdoors there are many other insects that feed off of these spiders, so it’s much easier to keep under control outdoors, however indoors these insects are fatal for your plants; high temperatures and high humidity make these pests reproduce at a ridiculous rate. These mites aren’t actually spiders, but we call them spiders due to their appearance and the webs they weave around your buds. There are red spider mites and white spider mites.
Once they get into your grows they make your plants their headquarters and home, beginning with the weakest plant and moving on to the next. It’s almost impossible to see the first few mites on your plants; you’re going to need to be on the ball for this one. Once they’ve taken over one of your plants, they’ll move to the next one and so on. Even if you remove the plant that has the most mites on it, there will always be a rogue mite that’ll go to the next plant and start the infestation all over again. They weave webs at the base of the trunk and the tips of the branches, laying eggs inside the webs. Many people don’t even realize their plants are infected until they go to spray them and the water makes the webs visible.
The best way to avoid this outdoors is to prevent it from happening in the first place by spraying your plants with neem oil, which protects your plants due to the fact that it smells extremely venomous to all kinds of insects, so they’ll go to any other plant but yours. Indoors this changes of course, as the mites have no other plants to attack if mites get in, so if you use neem oil indoors it probably won’t work that well.
It’s quite easy to do; you just need to mix the insecticide with water according to the ratio stated by the manufacturer every certain amount of days depending on the temperature to attack newly born mites and the adult ones, which will die once they’re old, although there’s a more effective way to get rid of them.
There are also many natural predators that can get rid of mites like another type of mite, Californicus. These mites eat red spider mites, and they especially enjoy eating the eggs and the younger mites. They’re usually quite expensive to purchase, but it does avoid the use of insecticides and pesticides.
It’s much easier to get rid of them outdoors than it is indoors. Once you’ve detected the infestation outdoors, with a couple of sprays of abamectin you’ll get rid of most of them, and the rest will most likely be eaten and killed off by other insects. However, indoors you’ll need to be extremely careful or you’ll end up with immune, immortal mites. At 30ºC new generations of mites are born every week, and every 15 days at 23º, so you’ll need to apply abamectin to get rid of 2 or 3 generations before they’re all gone. At 12º degrees they get slower, and at 40º they stop growing completely.
This consist in spraying the plants with potassium soap (this is no longer available to buy but you can make your own) an hour before using the abamectin. This soap basically cleans your plants of fungi before using a fungicide, or as a wetting solution so that what you spray next is absorbed correctly. In the case of these mites, its use is slightly more interesting; it makes their exoskeleton much softer, which makes it much easier for the insecticide to penetrate their bodies; if they don’t die off because of the insecticide, they’ll die off due to how weak the potassium soap makes them.
Learn how to get rid of spider mites both outdoors and indoors, in the most efficient way possible, as well as preventive measures.
Keep on reading and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know! But if you’re short on time, click here to jump to our suggestions for getting rid of spider mites.
A mild solution of dish soap and water is a DIY method that will kill spider mites by suffocating them. Mix a few ounces of a mild dish or hand soap in a gallon of warm water. Use a sponge to gently wipe down the leaves of the infected plants with the soap solution.
The second main type is Phyoseiulus longpipes which isn’t as bulbous and fat. Third is the Metaseiulus occidentalis which has an elongated body and is so pale it is nearly invisible.
There are three types of predatory mites; Phytoseiulus persimilis is the first. It is extremely small (0.02 inches), bright reddish-orange with a teardrop-shaped body and long legs. It moves very fast.
The life cycle of spider mites is extremely fast. In ideal conditions, the eggs only take three days to hatch and the larvae start feeding immediately. The female will be ready to lay eggs 5 days after hatching and can lay several hundred of them during her short 3-4 week lifespan.
Fruit trees can become one of those infected plants, along with 200 different types of plants and trees. If spider mite populations grow large enough, they can infect the entire plant or tree. You need to control spider mites as soon as you spot them.
Most insect predators are actually beneficial insects because they attack, kill, and eat spider mites. They include ladybugs, lacewings, big-eyed bugs, and ground beetles. This is a good way to control a spider mite infestation, but only outside.
This is mainly for use inside or in greenhouses. If you suspect that spider mites have only attacked one or two plants and haven’t infested any nearby plants, remove the infected ones, place them in an airtight plastic bag, and throw it away.
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