How to Kill Spider Mites With Alcohol


Spider mites range in color from red to a yellowish green. These tiny insects affect both houseplants and outdoor plants. If left unchecked, spider mite infestations eventually kill or weaken plants making them susceptible to other diseases. The first signs of spider mites are small white flecks on foliage that later turns yellow and drops. According to Colorado State University, spider mites are nearly undetectable with the naked eye, but their webbing is not. Spider mites form tiny webs similar to other arachnids. Although a number of pesticides can kill spider mites, you can also use rubbing alcohol.

Step 1

Isolate the infected plant. Spider mites spread quickly if plants are in close proximity.

Step 2

Saturate a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol.

Step 3

Rub the alcohol over the infected areas to kill the adult spider mites. According to Paul J. Johnson, Ph.D., from South Dakota State University, alcohol does not kill spider mite eggs.

Step 4

Monitor the plants closely for new spider mites as the eggs hatch. Reapply alcohol to kill the new spider mites. It may take several weeks to rid your plants of spider mites.

Things You'll Need

  • Cotton balls


  • Colorado State University Extension: Spider Mites
  • South Dakota State University: Mites on Cultivated Orchids
Keywords: kill spider mites, rid spider mites, alcohol spider mites, houseplants spider mites

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.

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