How To Get Rid Of Spider Mites On Indoor Plants

If your houseplants have yellowish or white spotting or spider webbing, it could be spider mites. Spider mites are arachnids, but they aren't actually spiders. These insects measure 1 mm, and they prefer the underside of leaves so that you won't see them with bare eyes. 

In fact, you likely won't see them until they cause obvious damage to the plant. Luckily you can treat the infestation yourself by following these tips. 

Prepare to Remove the Spider Mite Infestation

To get rid of spider mites, gather:

  • plastic work gloves
  • garbage bags
  • sponge
  • dishwashing liquid
  • white paper 
  • magnifying glass
  • spray bottle
  • pruning tools
  • natural oils (rosemary, oil neem oil, peppermint oil)

Examine the plant for other signs of an infestation. Besides webbing and spots, look for wilted, dried, or curled under leaves, and holes in the leaves. 

To determine if you have a spider mite infestation, hold a sheet of white paper under a leaf, and shake it. Spider mites are red, green, yellow or brown.  

Clip all bad parts of the plant, discard fallen leaves, then place them in a garbage bag or burn them. Discard completely damage plants to protect good plants.

Blast them with Soap and Water

Fill a spray bottle with water, and mist all parts of the leave, since spider mites can also feed on upper parts of leaves. Use the sponge to wipe the leaves.  

Combine three tablespoons of liquid dish soap in a gallon of water, then fill a spray bottle with the solution. Avoid using citrus soaps or powdered soaps, which may burn leaves.

Test a hidden part of the plant for reaction, and check it after two days. If no injury occurs, spray the entire plant, then rinse after two hours. Check plants every five or six days for recurring infestation.

Apply Natural Oils

Apply natural oils when the temperature cools, since using oils in humid weather may burn leaves. Natural oils can be purchased from natural food markets.

Since rosemary is strong, combine five to ten drops at a time in a spray bottle of water, the mist the plants. Use peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, and lemon oil in the same manner. 

Combine one-third teaspoon of dish soap and two teaspoons of neem oil in a quart of warm water. Fill a spray bottle with the solution, and mist the plants. After you remove the infestation, mix the solution with a teaspoon of neem oil for prevention. Contact a company like Bio-Lab Pest & Termite Control for more information and assistance.