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Home Remedy for Spider Mites on Plants

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Home Remedy for Spider Mites on Plants

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Overview

Spider mites commonly infect plants to feed off the foliage. These tiny insects are nearly invisible to the naked eye, making them difficult to detect. Leaf damage appears as light dots on foliage and may take on a bronze hue. As infestation continues, leaves turn yellow and drop from the plant. Tiny white webs may be visible behind the leaves and along stems. Spider mites appear as tiny moving specks that range in color from brown to red. Without intervention, spider mites pose a threat to your plant's health. Create a home remedy for spider mites on plants with a few common household supplies.

Step 1

Mix 1 Tbsp. mild dish detergent with 1 quart lukewarm water in a basin large enough to hold the foiliage of the infested plant. Mix to create mild suds.

Step 2

Submerge the foliage of the infected plant into the basin and swish gently to coat all areas with the soapy water. Use your hands to splash the solution on stems.

Step 3

Allow foliage to drip over the basin and place the plant on an absorbent towel to dry.

Step 4

Repeat every three to four days until plants are free of spider mite infestation. The soapy water will not kill the eggs, so it may take a month or more to totally eradicate all spider mites.

Tips and Warnings

  • Some dish detergents may be too harsh for tender foliage. Test the solution on a small area and allow it to set for 24 hours if you are unsure. Isolate infected plants to prevent the spread of spider mites.

Things You'll Need

  • Mild dish detergent
  • Basin
  • Spray bottle
  • Hose (optional)

References

  • Ohio State University Extension: Spider Mites and Their Control
  • Colorado State University Extension: Spider Mites
  • University of California: How to Manage Pests

Who Can Help

  • Iowa State University Extension: Spider Mites on Vegetable and Landscape Plants
  • South Dakota State University: Mites on Cultivated Orchids
Keywords: spider mites, red mites, webbing mites, kill spider mites, dish detergent remedy

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.