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How To Get Rid Of Spider Mites Quickly? Complete Control Facts

Spider Mites
Spider Mites

Spider mites belong to the mite family of Tetranychidae. The Tetranychidae family has around 1200 species of spider mites. Spider mites are related to spiders, daddy-longlegs, ticks, and scorpions. Normally, spider mites are noticeable in areas where there is a prevalence of hot and dry climate.

Spider mites usually live on the undersides of leaves of various plants. The development of spider mites comes from eggs, that are noticeable to be lying near the veins of leaves. It is mentionable that the eggs of a spider mite are bigger than its mother.

The commonest pest, from a small group of pests that damage many crops, are the spider mites. The two-spotted spider mite called Tetranychus urticae is a major spoiler of crops. Spider mites have a needle-like part in its mouth that enables it to suck.

In The Article

Spider Mites Appearance

They are visible to the naked eye only under extremely hot weather conditions. To be approximate in terms of its body size, historical records state that it is lower than 1 mm. When viewed under a magnifying glass, spider mites appear to be like minuscule red spiders but its color could vary.

Spider mites are normally opined by a large number of people to appear like a period, given after the end of a sentence. More interestingly, the eggs of a spider mite look bigger than the female adult spider mite that delivers an offspring.

Spider Mite Bites

It is occasional that spider mite bites humans and in case it happens it will cause some reddish spots and allergic reactions. However, the brunt of the damage is caused to various species of plants and agricultural crops. Spider mite bites are noted to cause a huge impact on plants bearing flowers, fruits, and vegetables.

Spider mites also move in-house garden, fields, greenhouse gardens, orchards and landscapes and its bite can cause mild to major damages on plants grown in these places. Crops grown in large fields suffer extreme damages on a regular basis and several reports, globally keep going on about this matter.

Spider mite bites can be a big spoiler to crops and plants wherein it is heard that the smallest bite of a spider mite on a plant or crop will damage the latter’s value.

The after effect of a spider mite bite on a plant makes its leaves to turn into a different color than the normal green, it could turn into yellow or brown. This shows that the leaves are infested with spider mite bites and when these bites continue repeatedly, the leaves can fall off and die.

The bites of two-spotted spider mites are known to cause extensive damage to several crops and plants than other categories of spider mites.

Red Spider Mites

  • Red spider mites  are a member of the Tetranychidae family and it is considered as the commonest pest found to destroy crops
  • They are most normally called as two-spotted spider mites
  •  It is one of those spider mites that depend on plants for its food and it is normally noted to survive under hot and dry climatic conditions
  • Two-spotted spiders are usually said to cause intense damage in warmer areas or locations
  • They are found to largely affect greenhouse crops and orchards
  • Red spider mites are even referred by the name of garden pests that can cause damage to a large number of plants
  • They are not easily locatable with the naked eye and it requires a magnifying glass. However, if you just move some of them onto a white paper, we can find out the various colors.
  • Red spider mites are normally not able to be briskly in cool weather conditions
  • During the spring and fall seasons, you can really understand how extensive damages can be caused by these red spider mites
  • Red spider mites comprise of categories, Southern red spider, and the European red spider. The Southern red spider is more prominent and it attacks different varieties of plants. European red spider infests very few plants or trees, maybe two or three.
  • Southern red spider causes intense damage to a variety of species of plants and it is normally very active during arid summer conditions

Spider Mites On Plants

Spider mites are well known largely, to be the biggest infesting pests that affect many species of plants. They are normally found to live on the underside of leaves of plants. Generally, spider mites tend to be dreadful for indoor gardeners since they can cause phenomenal damage to their plants within a very brief time period.

Spider mites can cause damage to both indoor plants (house) and outdoor plants.  They can cause damage to plants that grow on landscapes. The colors of the leaves of a plant affected by spider mites are yellow or brown. Spider mites also tend to form a webbing on the plants to protect itself and its eggs from its natural predators. Spider mites can even be so lethal that it could result in the death of a plant.

It should be noted that spider mites cannot live on all kinds of plants, for examples like  Rosemary and Chrysanthemum.

Spider Mites Life Cycle

The lifecycle of a spider mite comprises of five phases or stages, namely:

  1. Egg – This is the first stage of its lifecycle and it is noticeable that a spider mite lays its eggs on the underside of leaves. Spider mites appear in round form and have a transparent color after laying the eggs. A female spider mite can lay a maximum of 100 eggs over a period of three weeks.
  2. Larva – After the eggs are hatched, the larvae exists with six legs. It starts feeding on plant tissues and this results in leaving some spots on the leaves. Once it begins with feeding, it starts to change its color and two dark spots will be formed on its body.
  3. Protonymph – In the protonymph stage, eight pairs of legs are formed and the body color changes from light green to deep green. The spots that will be formed in the body are comparatively bigger in size than in the larval stage. After some feeding and resting, the protonymph develops into a deutonymph.
  4. Deonymph – The deutonymph appears similar in respect of color with that of the protonymph but lengthier than the latter. In this stage, the appearance between male and female spider mites can be clearly visible.
  5. Adult – The eventual development of a spider mite happens after having sufficient resting and feeding in the deutonymph stage. It is noticeable that the two-spotted spider mite adult appears to be in an oval shape and rounded at the rear. The body color patterns of the spider mite now could be in light yellow, light green, dark green, orange, black or reddish brown.

The overall time for the transformation process of a spider mite from the egg to the adult stage is determined by the temperature level in its location. Under extremely hotter environments the period can range from a week to 10 days or else up to 14 days.

It is found that a single mature female spider mite can proliferate the population of spider mites to almost a million mites within a month’s time. An adult female spider mite lays eggs that can appear in pearl white color or even an opaque color.

Spider Mites On Tomatoes

Spider mites generally are noted to live on the undersides of leaves of plants and they suck the juices from the leaves with the sharp parts inside its mouth. This feature also very well applies to the tomato plants where the spider mites can easily wipe out this type of plant.

The two-spotted spider mite is the biggest spoiler of tomato plants.  Generally, two-spotted spider mites have a couple of dark spots on its orange body. A hand lens is required to look into the infested parts of the leaves of a tomato plant.

The tomato plants could either turn into yellow or brown color because of infestation by a spider mite and in case of frequent attacks by the latter, it will even die.

During a hot arid season of a year, the spider mites are known to cause extensive damage to the tomato plants. Tomato growers generally feel fearful during this season because they need to protect their tomato plants from this unbearable menace.

It calls for greater attention on the growers of tomato crops on the field and to those in indoor gardens to get rid of the spider mite menace. Since spider mites can be active throughout the year, more during dry summers it is essential to have some effective control methods

Likewise, people growing tomato plants in an indoor house garden or greenhouse gardens can look out for homemade remedies.

  1. Preparation of insecticide sprays at home in a natural manner through utilizing neem oils, garlic, soapy water, vinegar and cayenne pepper
  2. Good environmental management practices and regular water spraying of plants

It must be noted that such homemade solutions must be cautiously prepared to only kill or control the spider mites and never cause damage to the tomato plant/s instead.

How To Control Spider Mites?

Some commercial solutions like the use of horticultural oils and insecticide sprays that are sold in the market can really make life extremely uneasy for those spider mites. Some good brands of insecticide sprays have a major role in saving the various crops of farmers that are laid on vegetable gardens, including tomato plants.

For example, Insecticides like Abamectin and Agrimek and miticides such as Acamite and Oberon are found to be effective in killing spider mites and it applies for usual attacks or during a major outbreak caused by the latter.

Spider mites can be controlled through natural methods by using home-made oils, sprays, and solutions that are manufactured with the help of various ingredients like:

  • Pepper
  • Vinegar
  • Neem leaves
  • Eucalyptus
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Pure soaps
  • Herbal tea
  • Chrysanthemum flowers

Spider Mites On Grass

Spider mites can be a problematic pest that can cause damage to grasses, like the turfgrass. The most menacing spider mites that are often found to be moving on the turf grasses are

two-spotted-spider-mites

Two-spotted spider mites – These mites are most active during the dry summer times. They are the most vicious spider mites that can cause enormous damage to a vast species of plants and many agricultural crops. Female spider mites of this category live during extreme winters rest under the bark of trees or shrubs and even rest on litter that lies on the ground. These spider mites are found to show stiff resistance to many insecticides and miticides.

clover-mites

Clover mites – These spider mites tend to be prevalent during cold weather conditions. They can cause real problems like two-spotted spiders and even akin in appearance to the latter. They have a reddish-brown colour body and its front legs are longer than its back legs. Clover mites are generally noted to live in the summer season on stems, bark, and twigs of herbaceous and woody plants. They can also be present in between the cracks and crevices of buildings

winter-grain-mite

Winter grain mite – Winter grain mites are spider mites that appear in dark reddish-brown colour and have two white spots on the back. They have a lighter-coloured area at the end of the abdomen and they are eight-legged mites. Winter grain mites are found to be more active during the winter months. They tend to cause much damage to the fields and it is understandable that the turfgrass can also experience these effects. During January to February months, the big spoilage done by these mites are largely seen in many crops.

banks-grass-mite

Banks grass mite – It is normally found in turfgrasses and causes extensive damage to the latter. It has a small body appearance with green or brown colour and has an oval body shape. It has eight legs and some brown to reddish brown dark spots on its body. During winters, the eggs and females of this spider mite are mostly seen to hide in shelters like debris. It can create its webbing on the undersides of leaves. The predators of banks grass mites are bugs, thrips, and some predatory mites.

Spider Mites Damages

The spider mites cause extensive damage to various species of plants, crops, and trees. Normally, spider mites are noted to attack all kinds of crops and plants are grown in household garden, vegetable gardens, fruit gardens, nurseries, and fields.  Spider mites can even affect flower-bearing plants on landscapes.  Spider mites can occasionally even affect humans but it causes some allergic reactions and red spots across the body that can be cured after some minor treatment.

The damages caused by spider mites can be curtailed by following some general precautionary measures like proper preventive care of the environment.  However, good biological and chemical control measures can even avert or lessen the damages caused by spider mites.

Some effective biological measures are:

  • Check out for the existence of the spider mites
  • Notify the symptoms of plants that have been affected by spider mite bite and remove the infested plants
  • Apply organic salts on the plants and ensure that the moisture still remains on the plants for a long time
  • Use of plant miticides that have natural ingredients can be used to kill spider mites. For example, Rosemary oil and Pyrethrum
  • It is necessary to eliminate all the debris in the garden after harvest and also the weeds that can give hiding space for the spider mites to spoil your plants.
  • Try to give more space to the predators of spider mites as ladybugs to invade and attack the latter

Some effective miticides like Oberon and Acamite can be used to control or kill spider mites but must be applied carefully in such a way that the poison only damages the spider mites and not affect the plants.

How To Get Rid Of Spider Mites/Spider Mites Treatment?

Spider mites can be curtailed or prevented or killed by applying the following methods:

General Precautionary measures

general-precautionary-measures

  • Locating the spider mites
  • Look out any white webbing that is made of the plant
  • Getting assured that there are spider mites moving around by taking a white sheet of paper and placing it under the plant that one feels dubious of being infested. Then gently shake the stem of one of the leaves
  • Identify certain species of plants that are frequently attacked by spider mites
  • Exercise extreme caution during dry summer times and dusty weather

Biological Control

biological-control

  • Cut out the spider mite-infested plants immediately
  • Wash the houseplants on a routine basis with soap water
  • Apply organic salts on the plants and ensure that the moisture still remains on the plants for a long time
  • Use of plant miticides that have natural ingredients can be used to kill spider mites. For example, Rosemary oil and Pyrethrum
  • Making a home-made herbal tea and allow to cool it down completely. Then add a squirt of dish soap to the tea and then pour it in a spray bottle. This manufactured tea spray must be applied at least once in three days on the affected leaves of the plant
  • It is necessary to eliminate all the debris in the garden after harvest and also the weeds that can give hiding space for the spider mites to spoil your plants.
  • Try to give more space for predators of spider mites such as ladybugs to invade and attack the latter

Chemical Controls

chemical-controls

  • Isopropyl rubbing alcohol in some small quantity can be put on a clean cloth and can be used for wiping the underside of affected leaves. This will definitely kill spider mites
  • Use of liquid sulfur that can be sprayed to eliminate spider mites
  • After gaining comprehensive knowledge about chemical spraying, a plant grower (indoor or outdoor) can selectively buy good proprietary spray/s and cautiously apply it to the plants
  • Miticidal soaps and oils i.e. horticultural oil and dormant oil can even be effective in controlling or killing the spider mites. Once the mites come in contact with these oils and soaps, they will be killed The only thing to be ensured is that the infested leaves of a plant, right from the top to bottom surface must be applied with these oils and soaps.

Spider Mites Spray

Spider mites spray comprise of both chemical pesticides and even organic sprays, which are manufactured at home. Although chemical pesticides contain properties that kill spider mites effectively it can lead to counter responsive effects also.  It is mandatory for every user of spider mites spray to first notify the infestation levels caused by spider mites on the leaves of plants or trees prior to using sprays.

Spider mite sprays can be of two kinds and can work effectively in controlling or killing pests and spider mites

Natural methods of preparing sprays through:

natural-methods-of-preparing-sprays

  • Use of Garlic and Onions to make a solution or spray that can be extremely valuable in fighting out  spider mites to the maximum possible
  • Utilising Tomato, Wormwood and Rhubbard leaves that can be crushed and used along with needed quantities of water, which can be boiled and then applied after a few hours
  • Growing Pyrethrum daisy flowers at home can be effective for controlling all kinds of pests and insects, including spider mites as they cannot roam freely in the garden
  • Eucalyptus mixed with some quantity of water and soap to get a strong Eucalyptus oil solution that can be applied on the leaves of infested plants and on the soil
  • You can take a pure soap at home and make a soapy solution after grating it and then mix it with warm water. After the solution dissolves, this soapy water can be used and it is usually noted to be a good solution in controlling spider mites. This water can even be mixed with some insecticide sprays and applied
  • Use of vinegar that is available in the house, to prepare a related solution or spray that is to be applied in line with the weather conditions as strong vinegar could sometimes affect plants
  • Placing some fences, row covers, and screens on the sides of plants in the garden to disengage pests or insects from causing harm to those plants

Spider mites can be controlled by using chemicals and they can be categorized under miticides that constitutes:

spider-mites-can-be-controlled-by-using-chemicals

  • Organophosphate miticides
  • Antibiotic miticides
  • Formamidine miticides
  • Carbamate miticides
  • Mite growth regulators

There are new and old miticides that differ on how they are used based on categories of:

  • Mites
  • Plants
  • Trees
  • Locations of plants such as those grown in nursery, greenhouse and landscapes

A few spider mites spray brands that are available in the market seem to have good demand from the public at large like:

Spider Mites Control

Spider mites can be controlled by either applying chemical methods or natural methods.

The chemical methods of control of spider mites can be by application of miticides that comprises of a variety and to name a few:

  • Organophosphate miticides
  • Antibiotic miticides
  • Formamidine miticides
  • Carbamate miticides

The users are required to ensure that the effectiveness of these miticides is based on how well it is applied so that the poison hits the underside of the leaf of a plant.  It must be noted that spider mites can even have the power of easily resisting these chemical miticides. The problem of applying these stated pesticides might cause reverse effects of killing the natural enemies of spider mites and some good insects that are valuable from a natural standpoint.

Organic methods

Normally, natural methods can play a very valuable role in saving the house plants and vegetable gardens in a big way. It is very tough to completely get rid of the menace of spider mites but natural methods can largely alleviate this problem.

Some organic methods to control spider mites are:

  • Spraying the plants can remove the mites stuck in the plants and ensure mites do not attack the plants. Spray clean with water and fine spray is helpful for cleaning the plants and controlling the spider mites
  • Maintain the plants in the cleanest manner possible. Walk the
  • Cleaning the garden without the slightest remains or debris and also dry leaves. Plants infested with spider mites need not be accumulated somewhere in plastic bags for disposal but burn it
  • You can use biological control agents like using other predator mites that can kill the spider mites and control the damages caused by the latter. To cite some examples, ladybugs and lacewings can do this job efficiently. They are bigger and quicker than spider mites.
  • You can use horticultural oils since it contains paraffin waxes and it is very effective when applied to trees and it prevents excess egg laying during winters. You can spray it on the leaves and trunks of trees to avoid the infestation by spider mites
  • Neem oil sprays must be used for soaking the soil so that this makes the tissues in the plants to gain more strength. Neem oil sprays can be effective in controlling spider mites and insects.
  • Harpin Alpha Beta protein sprays can largely build the resistance power of plants from the problems caused by spider mites and other pests.

Control Spider Mites Organically

A stepwise procedure can be adapted to control spider mites in an organic or natural fashion like:

  • First, you need to find out which all plants are likable to spider mites
  • Notify the symptoms of plants that have been affected by spider mite bite
  • Check out for the existence of the spider mites
  • Try to gather comprehensive knowledge about the organic treatment, majorly its advantages
  • Set aloof the damaged plant by removing it and then placing it somewhere suitable, where there are no other plants
  • The infected or damaged parts of the plant can be chopped off
  • Then, water can be used to spray on the plant
  • You can clear the path for the natural enemies of spiders to do their job
  • Create some soap spray as they are found to be effective in destroying spider mites
  • You can apply some hot pepper spray that contains a mix of some drops of warm water, drops of liquid dish detergent, a small amount of cayenne pepper. You can even make a more powerful solution using garlic and onion pieces.
  • Various oil solutions are found to have natural qualities. Some oils like Neem oil, lemon oil, and Rosemary oil are known to kill spider mites
  • Some precautionary measures to avert the recurrence of spider mites in the future can be done. They are proper nourishing and dusting of plants alongside doing frequent water sprays on plants and trimming them. You need to look out for the presence of eggs or mites on the leaves.

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