Do you have spider mites? You may not be able to tell at first, considering these little pests are extremely small. Furthermore, the damage they cause to your garden or house plants can look similar to other types of damage like drought stress or fungus gnats.
Still, if you pay attention and learn what to look for, it’s easy to identify a spider mite problem and quell the issue.
If you’re here today wondering how to get rid of spider mites, keep reading. We are going to talk all about how to identify a spider mite, the signs of an infestation, and how to get rid of spider mites both inside and outside of your home for good.
Let’s get started!
What Are Spider Mites?
Spider mites can infest plant life and create webbing and damage, as shown in this image..
Today, spider mites are found all over the world. Like other mites, spider mites are extremely small and are often difficult to see with the naked eye. That said, if you look closely you should be able to recognize a spider mite infestation going on.
These puny pests lay their eggs and feed on the underside of plant leaves and vegetation. They are most active in dry, warm temperatures and while they are completely harmless to people and pets, they can wreak serious havoc to outdoor vegetation and houseplants.
There are nearly 1,200 species of spider mites throughout the world, but the most common spider mite in the United States is the two-spotted spider mite, who has been known to infest over 200 different plant species and, in severe cases, can stunt the growth of plants or even kill them altogether.
The two-spotted spider mite is around 1/50th of an inch in size and often a tan, orange, or yellowish color. It is called the two-spotted spider mite because this mite has two dark spots on either side of its body.
Spider mites are prolific breeders and can produce multiple generations of spider mites throughout the year. Most active in the warmer months, spider mite eggs lay dormant on vegetation throughout the winter until spring, when they hatch.
Development from egg to adulthood only takes about a week or two, and sometimes only five days if temperatures are ideal.
But what is the ideal temperature for a spider mite? Most experts agree that spider mites thrive best in temperatures between 55 and 90 degrees, which means an infestation can happen in less than a few weeks on your plants in the right conditions.
Infestations can be massive and quite destructive, as these pests live in large colonies on vegetation. They spin protective webs on plant life and suck plant nutrients like chlorophyll out with their sharp, needle-like mouths.
This feeding and webbing can destroy plants, often deteriorating them one leaf at a time. Sometimes working on how to get rid of spider mites is as simple as clipping a single affected leaf, wrapping it and tossing it.
However, in serious spider mite infestations, sometimes the only way to eradicate the problem is to get rid of the infected vegetation and begin again. For many gardeners, this is certainly not an ideal solution.
With that said, if you do have spider mites, don’t panic and toss your plants yet. There are methods you can use for how to get rid of spider mites that may help solve the problem before you have to remove a plant (or plants) and begin again.
Before we begin, it’s important to note that part of the process of knowing how to get rid of spider mites is understanding what has attracted them to your plants in the first place. Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons people get spider mite infestations in their home or garden.
How To Get Rid Of Spider Mites – What Attracted Spider Mites To Your Home Or Yard?
Spider mites love to snack on strawberry plants, amongst others.
As we mentioned above, spider mites are most active in dry, warm environments. Adult spider mites lay their eggs on vegetation, and these eggs go on to hatch and continue feeding, breeding, and laying eggs, thus leading to a repeated cycle until that specific plant has become seriously damaged or died altogether.
Spider mites love invading our homes to feast on our house plants because of the ideal temperatures and the natural protection from predators, including some other species of mites.
Some of a spider mite’s favorite plants include:
- Fruit trees
- Ornamental trees
- Ornamental flowers
- Cannabis plants
- And a variety of houseplants
Though spider mites are attracted to dry, warm climates and are known to have favorite types of plants, what often brings spider mites to your home are newly introduced plants that are already infested or, surprisingly, the wind.
Spider mites are talented windsurfers and are small enough to hitch a ride on the breeze, making their way from plant to plant starting new infestations as they see fit. You can also mistakenly carry spider mites into your home on clothing or skin, and they can be transferred to house plants that way, though this is not as likely as the other processes.
In fact, though talented windsurfers, spider mites aren’t much for traveling and usually won’t leave a good food source unless they are knocked off or fall off. If they tumble from a plant, they may infest the nearest leaf or plant in sight, which can cause other plants in the garden to get infested.
This can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, since spider mites aren’t heavy travelers from plant to plant, if you catch a spider mite infestation early you can often save other plants and vegetation from becoming infested. You can sometimes even save a plant from being destroyed by its own infested leaves if the mites haven’t branched out too far.
However, if you don’t catch a spider mite infestation or you let one go without treatment, it can lead to complete destruction of your garden and even indoor plants. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how to get rid of spider mites early on by identifying a spider mite infestation.
How To Get Rid Of Spider Mites – Identifying A Spider Mites Problem
This Yucca plant is suffering from spider mites, as you can see from the white markings.
While it is true that spider mites can infest both indoor and outdoor plantlife, the signs of spider mite damage and activity are the same for either environment.
Most people start to research how to get rid of spider mites once they notice the first signs of spider mite damage, which often resembles drought stress in plants. This can look like discolored, brozny plant leaves with yellow or white spots known as “stippling” on leaves and tree needles.
Another sign that you need to look into how to get rid of spider mites is the webbing. Like spiders, spider mites weave a thick, protective web on plants that can be quite obvious in severe infestations.
If you notice any of the above signs of a spider mite infestation on your houseplants or in your garden, there is a way to know for sure. Experts recommend taking a white piece of paper and holding it below the leaves of the plant in question. Give the leaves a little tap, and look closely as you do.
Are tiny, spider-like critters falling down onto the paper? If so, you have spider mites.
The below video talks more about identifying spider mite damage and how to recognize signs in the early stages.
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Alright, now that we know how and why you have spider mites, let’s learn about products and methods you can use for how to get rid of spider mites effectivley.
How To Get Rid Of Spider Mites – Most Popular Methods
Because spider mites are arachnids, you can often get rid of spider mites using the same methods you would use to get rid of spiders or ticks.
While spider mites are not technically considered insects, they can still be eliminated and controlled quite effectively with common insecticides and repellents often used to combat insect problems.
Most any type of repellent or product that gets rid of spiders or ticks will work on spider mites, but you still may face challenges finding the right products for you. Keep in mind that spider mites thrive on vegetation, so the products you use to deter and get rid of them should be products that are safe and gentle on plants.
Luckily, there are a few different options you can choose for how to get rid of spider mites.
For those who like organic pest control methods that use ingredients which are safe for people, pets and the environment, we recommend looking for natural products or using home remedies.
When it comes to how to get rid of spider mites, natural repellents have proven quite effective without the use of harsh ingredients or chemicals. If you would prefer doing your own pest control, home remedies can offer the same benefits without the trip to the store and give you the added confidence that you know what you are spraying around your yard and in your home.
Of course, natural products may not always work in every type of spider mite infestation, and some serious infestations may require a more intensive approach.
If you are wondering how to get rid of spider mites and feel you would do best using an insecticide, there are plenty of tried and tested insecticides that are safe to use when used as directed.
Are you curious about which method for how to get rid of spider mites is right for you? If you’re not sure which product or method to choose, we’ll help you out.
Let’s start by taking a look at some of our favorite natural products you can use for how to get rid of spider mites below.
How To Get Rid Of Spider Mites Using Natural Products
Because spider mites often target edible vegetation, many people prefer to use natural repellents and products to get rid of them.
As we mentioned above, natural products for how to get rid of spider mites are not only an effective form of pest control but often one of the safest. There are plenty of different types of natural ways you can go about protecting your plants and gardens from pests like spider mites including natural sprays, essential oils, dusts and more.
We have listed some of our favorite natural products for how to get rid of spider mites both inside and outside of your home below. Take a look.
Mighty Mint Indoor and Outdoor Spray
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Peppermint oil is a natural essential oil that helps to repel a number of pests from spiders to mites to bed bugs, and works well for how to get rid of spider mites naturally. We have listed Mighty Mint pest spray above because it is not only effective against spider mites but can be used both indoors and out.
You can spray this solution directly on garden vegetation, potted plants, and even around the home to protect it against different insects and arachnids. Best of all, it is completely non toxic and safe to use around people, pets and the environment.
Trifecta Crop Control
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Since spider mites can be so problematic for crops especially, using an insecticide that is designed to protect plants from these pests is super effective.
The product above is an all natural insecticide, pesticide, fungicide and miticide that is non-toxic and is safe to use on plants. It works for how to get rid of spider mites, insects, mildew, mold, and other plant-destroying organisms that can wreak havoc on crops.
It uses plant-based ingredients that are safe for people, pets and the environment and comes concentrated, so all you need to do is dilute it with water as directed.
GrowSafe Organic Bio-Pesticide
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GrowSafe offers another organic method for how to get rid of spider mites, insect pests, and other garden-destroying organisms like fungus and mildew. The product is made with natural ingredients like corn oil and clove oil to help eliminate spider mites and insects in all stages of life.
It is safe to use on a number of different plants and kills pests on contact while also helping to prevent and reduce new infestations. Not only is it safe to use on garden plants and to use around people and pets, but it is also safe for beneficial insects like bees and butterflies.
Wondercide Indoor Spray
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Wondercide is another natural product for how to get rid of spider mites. The indoor spray uses essential oils like cedar oil, peppermint oil, lemongrass oil and more depending on your choice of scent preference.
The spray is safe enough to use inside homes around people and pets and can be sprayed directly on plants to help keep them protected against not only spider mites, but also spiders, gnats, and other insects.
Wondercide Outdoor Garden Spray
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If you like Wondercide for indoor use, you’ll probably like Wondercide outdoor garden spray for how to get rid of spider mites in the garden. This product can be sprayed directly on garden plants and edible vegetation. It can also be sprayed around the perimeter of your home to protect against other pests from entering like roaches, spiders, beetles, and more.
The order includes a spray wand for easier application around your yard and garden and is perfectly safe to use around people and pets.
Bonide Mite-X Indoor and Outdoor Spray
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Bonide Mite-X is a great product you can use for how to get rid of spider mites. It again uses natural ingredients and botanical extracts to control, kill and prevent mite infestations on garden plants outside as well as your houseplants inside.
This natural insecticide also works on other pests including aphids and thrips. We like that the spray uses essential oils like garlic oil, cottonseed and clove oil in order to kill spider mites, making it safe to use around people and pets while also being gentle on the environment.
Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer
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Diatomaceous Earth is a popular natural insect killer that works using fossilized algae. This is a dust insecticide that penetrates the spider mites’ exoskeleton, which ultimately dehydrates and kills them.
What we like most about using Diatomaceous Earth is that it is harmless to people and pets but is effective against garden and indoor pests like spider mites, spiders, roaches, bed bugs, sugar ants, scorpions, and other crawling insects.
You can use it on your garden and house plants as well as on edible vegetation. That said, this product works best when dry and will need to be reapplied if it gets wet.
Supreme Growers Smite Spider MIte Killer
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We love organic pest control products that are designed for the specific pest targeting plants. This product by Supreme Growers is made to help eliminate spider mites but also works to kill and prevent other pests on garden plants like aphids, mole crickets, mosquitoes, whiteflies, chiggers, and thrips.
It uses natural, plant based oils to kill pests on contact without harming garden vegetation and can also prevent spider mites and other pests from returning. Best of all, it is completely eco friendly and safe to use around children and pets.
Best Home Remedies For How To Get Rid Of Spider Mites
Spraying your garden plants with a bit of added pressure on your hose can help get rid of spider mites naturally.
If you would prefer to work on how to get rid of spider mites using home remedies for pest control, then you’ll love this part of the article. As you may have noticed above, many of the natural repellents and products for how to get rid of spider mites contain ingredients like essential oils, vinegars, and dusts that many of us already have in our homes.
In fact, there are several home ingredients that can repel and prevent spider mites, including the ingredients and recipes listed below:
Essential Oils For How To Get Rid Of Spider Mites
- Neem Oil
- Eucalyptus Oil
- Lemon Oil
- Cinnamon Oil
- Rosemary Oil
- Peppermint Oil
- Canola Oil
The above essential oils are popular ingredients used in pest control products for both commercial and home use.
However, we should note that, because spider mites infest plants, the use of pure essential oils should be used with caution and along with some background research on the specific plant you want to spray the specific oil on.
Essential Oil Spider Mite Spray
You can take any of the essential oils of your choice above and mix between five to ten drops of oil in two cups of water. With less potent oils, add more to the water. With more potent oils, add less.
Once you have the right combination, mix the solution in a spray bottle and spray it onto your plants. You can use this method both indoors and outdoors and it is safe to use around people and pets. Some essential oil sprays may also help get rid of spiders, ticks, roaches, flies, and even mosquitoes.
Perhaps the most simple home remedy for how to get rid of spider mites is using the pressure of a water hose. This is an outdoor home remedy, of course, and can be used regularly as you water your plants.
Simply wash plants down with a water hose, adding a bit more pressure to the water coming out of the hose by blocking some of the hose head with your thumb. This will help shake any webbing or spider mites from the plants.
Eliminate Infested Plants
If you have severely infested plants, the only solution may be to get rid of them. For houseplants, we suggest uprooting them from their pots and wrapping them securely, then tossing them in a sealed garbage can. Do not put these infested plants outside in your yard to await trash pick up, as this can lead to further infestations in your garden.
While eliminating plants, inspect nearby plants for signs of spider mite damage. Check beneath the leaves and do the paper trick to see if spider mites might be hiding somewhere out of sight.
Make A Soap Spray
When it comes to insects and pest control, dish soap is often a secret weapon that many people are not aware of. Dish soap actually coats insects and suffocates them, making it an excellent and natural pest control agent that is safe for people, pets, and the home.
You can make a dish soap spray by simply adding a few drops of liquid dish soap to a spray bottle and shaking the mixture up so it is mixed well. Spray it around your plants both indoors and out to protect them and kill spider mites.
However, before you do, we suggest doing some research on your particular plants. While dish soap is effective and can be harmless to some plants, it can on the same hand be harmful to other plant species and may cause more harm than good.
Cayenne Pepper Spray
This is another super simple spider mite spray you can use for how to get rid of spider mites naturally using home methods. To make this spider mite spray, mix a teaspoon of cayenne pepper and mix it with one cup of water in a spray bottle.
You can spray this on garden plants or affected house plants inside the home to not only deter spider mites but also gnats, aphids, and other plant-destroying pests.
How To Get Rid Of Spider Mites Using Insecticides
While some growers find many of the above home methods for how to get rid of spider mites effective, others prefer using stronger methods like insecticides to control their plant pest problems.
Insecticides are a traditional form of pest control that often uses chemical ingredients to kill a number of insects both inside and outside the home. While insecticides often work well and quite quickly, they can contain harsh chemicals and toxins that may be harmful to people, pets and the environment if not used correctly.
We also remind you that it’s important to get an insecticide that is specifically designed to control garden and house plant pests like spider mites, so make sure you do your research and read the labels.
If you’re not sure which type of insecticide for how to get rid of spider mites either inside or outside of your home would be right for you, we have you covered.
Take a look below and check out some of the best products for how to get rid of spider mites according to consumers.
Ortho Max Malathion Insect Spray Concentrate
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Ortho Max provides an insecticide that works well for how to get rid of spider mites and other garden pests like mosquitoes, aphids, whiteflies, and mealybugs. It is for outdoor use only and is meant to be used on ornamental plants like flowers, trees and bushes.
It can also be used on edible plants to protect them from garden pests including vegetables and fruits.
That said, this product does contain Malathion, as the name suggests. This is a toxic chemical that can be harmful to people and pets, especially if not used as directed. For this reason, do not use this concentrated insecticide indoors and make sure you use it with caution.
Ortho 3-in-1 Insect and Mite Spray
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Another insect spray by Ortho is a 3-in-1 spray that helps get rid of a number of pests like spider mites, caterpillars, beetles, aphids, crickets, whiteflies, and more. It also helps prevent fungal disease, mildew, and leaf spot. This product can be used on garden plants and houseplants, as well as on edible vegetation like fruits and veggies.
While it is safe to use indoors and outdoors when used correctly, this insecticide uses chemical ingredients to work that can be dangerous to people, pets and the environment. It should be kept out of reach of children and pets and should be used only as directed.
How To Prevent A Future Spider Mites Problem In Your Home Or Yard
You can help prevent spider mites in your garden by adding mite-repellent plants to your garden.
When it comes to trying different methods for how to get rid of spider mites, many experts agree that prevention is key. While spider mites are not harmful to people or pets, they can be seriously damaging to our gardens and leave our house plants looking rotted and unsightly.
Along with knowing how to manage a spider mite infestation and get it under control, it’s also important to take a look at some ways to prevent spider mites from becoming a problem in the first place.
Let’s take a look at some different steps you can take to protect your garden and house plants from these annoying arachnids.
Try To Keep Your Plants Healthy
This goes for both indoor and outdoor plants. If a plant is unhealthy, neglected, suffering from water drought, or other issues, it is more likely to get infested with spider mites.
Keep your plants watered properly, remove any infested or sickly plants or growths, and keep the plants free of dust and debris.
Plant Spider-Mite Repellent Plants
You know that spider mites are attracted to certain plants, but did you know there are some plants they are actually repelled by?
If you don’t want to do a complete garden overhaul, you can always try companion planting. The best spider mite repellent plants to include in your garden are:
- Chinese Parsley
- And Garlic
Introduce Beneficial Predators Into Your Garden
You don’t have to fight a spider mite infestation alone. In fact, there are plenty of natural and beneficial predators you can invite into your garden to help prevent a spider mite problem safely and naturally.
Some of the most common insects known to help reduce spider mite infestations in gardens include:
- Lacewing Larvae
- Predator Mites
- Six-Spotted Thrips
- And Minute Pirate Bug Species
Introducing these natural predators into your garden may not only protect against spider mites, but also other garden-destroyers like aphids and gnats.
Last but not least, remember that spider mites are small but mighty, especially in very large colonies.
Your best chance to eradicate a spider mite infestation without suffering plant casualties is to catch the problem early on and then to use treatments and preventatives like those listed above to keep these pests from returning.
If you have any other useful tips and tricks on how to get rid of spider mites, we would love to hear from you. Leave us your thoughts in the comment section below.
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.