How to Get Rid of Mites in Houseplants

Overview

Mites feed on plant leaves and stems, leading to extensive damage or plant death if left untreated. They usually are brought inside when you purchase an infected plant. Then they quickly spread to other houseplants in the home. Infected houseplants have speckling on the leaves caused by the damage from the mites' feeding. Mites may also leave a cobweb-like substance on the underside of the leaves. Getting rid of mites on houseplants is imperative to keep the plants healthy.

Step 1

Inspect plants for infected leaves. Trim leaves from the plant that are heavily speckled or are affected by the mites' webbing. Dispose of the infected leaves in the garbage.

Step 2

Set the plant pot inside a plastic bag. Gather the opening of the bag around the stem of the plant so that the pot and soil are completely contained inside the bag.

Step 3

Fill a large bucket with lukewarm water. While holding the plastic bag closed around the stem of the plant, submerge the entire plant in the water to rinse the dust and any mites from the leaves.

Step 4

Rinse plants in the lukewarm water weekly when combating the mite infestation. Alternately, wash each leaf of the plant individually with a cloth dampened with warm water.

Step 5

Wash plants with an insecticidal or miticidal soap if infestation is severe or if washing isn't controlling the problem. Follow package application instructions and recommended amounts for the particular brand when applying the insecticide.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid setting houseplants outside in the summer. They are more likely to become infected with mites outdoors than they will inside. Avoid using feather dusters to clean plants, as these easily spread the mites to uninfected plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Scissors
  • Plastic bag
  • Bucket
  • Cloth
  • Insecticidal soap

References

  • University of Nebraska Extension: Houseplant Pests
  • Colorado State University Extension: Spider Mites
Keywords: houseplant mites, controlling mite infestations, insect control for houseplants

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.