It's relatively common for chilli plants to be tormented by spider mites. Warm weather and dry conditions, in particular, create an ideal environment for the pests' rapid reproductive cycle. The mites weave webs and chew holes in leaves, eventually killing the plant. The infestation doesn't stop at a single plant. It can spread to neighboring plants, destroying them too. To save your garden, it's essential to get rid of mites on chilli plants.
Separate infected plants from healthy plants to reduce the chance of migration. Group all the unhealthy chilli plants together, however, because this reduces airflow through the group, causing a more humid environment. Spider mites don't like humidity.
Wash off webs and other signs of spider mite infestation. Use water and a mild dish detergent to lightly scrub off the evidence. Wipe off any soap residue with a soft cloth.
Spray the undersides of the chilli plants' leaves with a biological insecticide such as Eradicoat. The solution kills the mites that are on the chilli plants without hurting the plants themselves.
Increase the humidity in the planting environment to keep spider mites away. Spray the chilli plants' leaves with very cold water two to three times a day to increase the moisture level around the plants.
Move the chilli plants to a more humid location. If they are potted plants, put them over a platter of water to increase humidity. If the chilli plants are in the garden, lay down peat moss between the plants to encourage moisture retention.
Things You Will Need
- Mild dish detergent
- Spray bottle
- Peat moss
- Late afternoon sun encourages spider mite infestations. If you can't move weakened or damaged chilli plants from such sunny locations, find a way to provide shade for your chillis during the warmest parts of the day.
- Don't use chemicals such as insecticides until you've read all the instructions and warnings on the label.