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Home Remedy for Spider Mites on Plants

By Nannette Richford ; Updated September 21, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

 

Things You Will Need

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

Tips

  • To identify spider mites, place a sheet of white paper under the foliage and shake. Spider mites appear as tiny moving specks.
  • Fill a spray bottle with the soap solution and spray large or hard-to-manage plants. Cover all areas, including stems.
  • Hose down large garden plants regularly to dislodge spider mites and spray with a solution of dish detergent and water.

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.

About the Author

 

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with more than four years' experience in online writing. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in teaching 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.