How Do You Make A Natural Spray For Spider Mites?

How Do You Make a Natural Spray for Spider Mites?

I have a serious problem with spider mites eating the strawberries and other plants in my garden this summer. I’m trying to grow organically this year, so I don’t want to use insecticides. How do you make a natural spray for spider mites?

Spider mites are a big problem for gardeners. They can infest house plants, too. You can make more than one kind of natural homemade spray against spider mites. Many of these treatments won’t harm beneficial insects either.

In fact, you can tackle spider mites on two fronts. You can spray for them, plus you can turn predatory insects loose in your garden to fight the infestation. Consequently, the spider mites won’t have a chance.

As for sprays, here are three of them you can mix up at home. The first, rosemary oil, is one of the top ways to kill spider mites without harming your plants and it also makes a great natural insect repellent. Mix it with water and spritz your plants. You can add in other essential oils like clove and peppermint for a homemade bug spray for plants to deter pests like aphids, too.

Neem oil is the second kind of natural spray that kills spider mites and it also makes a great homemade aphid spray. You can check out this article for specific instructions on how to mix up a solution and use it: It’s important to treat infested plants on a certain schedule for best results.

Also, you can make the third type of natural spray to get rid of spider mites from soap and water. The guide article explains the recipe and how to apply it.

Natural remedies are almost always preferred to get rid of household pests and to take care of issues in the yard, like eliminating tree stumps with a homemade tree stump killer or keeping snakes and rodents away.

Hope this information helps. Happy gardening!

Beware, spider mite: how to deal with a pest settled on a balsam?

Balsam (Vanka wet, Impatiens) — one of the most popular plants among gardeners. But he has one drawback: he is predisposed to infection with spider mites. This is a rather insidious pest that can cause irreparable harm not only to the balsamic, but also to the plants nearby.

The parasite feeds on the sap of the flower, actively propagates and is small enough to be found. This is precisely its danger. If you find the parasite in time, the plant can be saved, but everything is in order . What is this pest? How to deal with it? How to prevent its occurrence? This article will answer all these questions.

Spider mite is a member of the family of spider-like arthropods of the order thrombithiformis, is one of the most common of the tick family. It is a soft-bodied representative of an ellipsoidal shape with a convex upper and even lower body. Its coloring depends on many factors: most often spider mites are yellowish, brownish, greenish in color. The size of ticks: the length of the females is from about 0.4 to 1 mm, the male — from 0.3 to 0.45 mm.

This pest multiplies very quickly: after 10 — 20 days from the moment of laying eggs, the individuals are considered adults. In the web, woven by ticks, live for several generations. Their colonies are located under fallen leaves in a pot, under clods of earth, on the back of a leaf, on a frame and a window sill. Often, the pest can only hit a flower bought from a store, so do not forget about the two-week quarantine.

Important! In order to prevent spider mite damage of any plant, including balsam, it is recommended to disinfect it before planting it in a pot: wipe the soil with fungicides or thermally, wipe the container and tools with alcohol or a solution of potassium permanganate.

Spider mites feed on balsam cell contents: an adult individual bites off its part, and through the hole made it drinks out all the juice. As a result of such vital activity, a part of the cells is destroyed, and the intensity of photosynthesis decreases. In addition, spider mites can infect any member of the flora with incurable viral infections and gray rot spores.

How to identify?

Balsam — one of the favorite delicacies of spider mites, its green leaves and succulent stems attract the pest first of all flowers.

This parasite is very difficult to detect. Most often, the grower begins to fight the pest at a time when the plant is already badly damaged. The main symptom of the presence of spider mites on balsam is the presence of black small dots on the leaves (traces of bites) and the presence of the thinnest film — cobwebs.

With a strong lesion the leaves turn white, the flower is wrapped in cobwebs, and at the tips of its leaves one can see an accumulation of moving bodies of pests. At the last stage, the balsam loses its leaves and flowers without generating new ones.

With the naked eye to detect this pest on the pet will not work: too shallow, and their color coincides with the color of the leaves. You can only see the female: she is larger than the male, and she is red.

A photo

Here you can see photos of the plant:

Why appear on a flower?

The main factor provoking the emergence of a spider mite is inadequate conditions for balsam. This pest feels great in dry and hot weather. Ticks attack primarily those plants that lack less moisture.

Possible consequences

A plant affected by a spider mite looks like it was doused with boiling water: the stem is red-gray in color, dried leaves and flowers, which are gradually discharged (why balsam can also throw off its buds and flowers, it is described here). The final result is the death of the balsam. But other representatives of the flora, especially those in the vicinity of the affected flower, are at risk (fuchsias, roses, hibiscus). Parasites multiply very quickly and can almost hit almost all plants.

How to fight and what to do if you could not get rid of?

It is very difficult to bring out a spider mite, and here it is necessary to approach the issue in a comprehensive way:

  1. When this pest is detected, the plant must be thoroughly washed with water and tar or household soap.
  2. Lather the plant covered with a plastic bag and leave for a day.
  3. After the time, the soap must be washed under a warm shower.
  4. Such treatment must be subjected to all plants in the vicinity of the affected balsamine.
  5. It is also important to wash the window sill, the frame with hot water with any detergent.
  6. If the measures taken did not give the desired result, then the flower must be treated with special chemicals.

Ticks are not insects, but spiders. Therefore, insecticides will not be able to help. In the fight against spider mite, you must use acaricides.

Of the most common acaricides, effective help will be:

  • «Fitoverm» — biological product, the use of which is allowed in the room. It is safe for humans and animals. 0.5 ml of the preparation is diluted in 0.5 l of warm water, then the resulting liquid is poured into 5 l of water, this solution should be sprayed with balsamine up to three times, observing the intervals between irrigations in 3 to 7 days. If a positive effect is not observed, then «Fitoverm» should be changed to another acaricide.
  • Akktelik — A drug that infects ticks by penetrating through the respiratory organs. 2 ml of the substance is dissolved in 2 liters of water. It is possible to spray a plant only 1 time.
  • «Apollo» — the action of the drug is aimed at the destruction of tick eggs. Dissolve 2 ml of the substance in 5 l of cold water.
  • «Sunmite» — 1 g of the powder is diluted in a small amount of water, and then in 1 liter of water.
  • «Antikleshch» — it is necessary to dissolve 10 ml of the product in 10 l of cold water.

All the listed drugs, except for «Fitoverma», are toxic and dangerous. for humans and animals. Therefore, processing plants must be carried out in special clothes outside the premises.

Attention! If none of the methods destroyed the mite, then the balsam must be eliminated: the risk of infestation from other plants is too great.


The main preventive measures include:

  • Placement on a two-week quarantine of purchased or brought plants.
  • Disinfection of soil, pot, instruments during balsam transplantation.
  • Systematic inspection of all colors for pests.
  • Regular watering and irrigation Vanya wet.
  • Systematic airing of a plant in the fresh air.
  • Timely removal of affected plant parts, as well as dried leaves and flowers.
  • 1 time in 3 months it is necessary to spray the Touch up with the Fitoverma solution (2 ml per 1 l of water).
  • One of the popular folk ways to solve this problem is the following: it is necessary to pour plenty of water and cover the bush with a plastic bag for 2 to 3 days. It is believed that a wet environment will kill all harmful individuals. It is important not to allow direct sunlight on the leaves to avoid burns, and the whole flower can simply be “cooked” in a similar environment.

    • Why balsam does not bloom and what to do about it?
    • What causes balsam leaves to turn yellow and how to reanimate it?

    It is much easier to prevent the appearance of spider mites than to save a plant from it. It is imperative to observe all precautions, as well as provide the balsam with the conditions in which he feels comfortable. Otherwise, the risk of losing your favorite plant due to pests and diseases becomes too great.

    Red spider mite, what is the best treatment ?

    Red spider mite is a tiny mite of the Tetranychidae family. It attacks leaf and flower plants, indoors and outside.

    Red spider mite facts

    NameOligonychus ilicis, Panonychus ulmi, Tetranychus cinnabarinus & others
    Lifespan – 4-7 weeks (if not hibernating)
    Size – 1/64 th inch (0.5 mm)

    Danger to plant – fatal if too many
    Side effects – none. Rarely transmits viral diseases
    Beneficial – no beneficial species

    Appears in – spring & fall (year-round indoors)
    Contagious – very (wind-carried on web strands)
    Treatment – moisture & biocontrol

    The term “spider” is a bit misleading, because in reality this is a mite. However, it does have 8 legs, spins webs, and is related to the same zoological class as spiders, Arachnida.

    A few red spider mites will only cause little damage. If they are numerous, though, they might lead the plant to perish.

    Here is how to eliminate red spider mites with organic treatments.

    Conditions for red spider mite to appear

    Red spider mites tend to multiply and attack plants when the weather is hot and dry.

    That’s why they are found indoors all year round and in the garden in summer, when it doesn’t rain and that temperatures stay above 70°F (20°C).

    Additionally, these spiders aren’t insects, and abusive use of pesticides actually contributes to their spread.

    • Since many other insects are their predators, killing insects blindly helps spider mites prosper.
    • Red spider mites quickly adapt to chemical threats. They build up immunity to many pesticides.

    Red spider mite development cycle

    Red spider mites feed on sap of plants, sucking it out of leaves to absorb leaf cells.

    • Since they reproduce very quickly, an invasion can be devastating if not caught early.

    Moreover, they are perfectly capable of migrating from one plant to the next, which leads them to spread to multiple plants if one is infected.

    • If you locate an invasion on one plant, move the other plants out of reach, especially if they’re touching.

    Red spider mite invasion symptoms

    Their tiny size makes them very difficult to see with the naked eye, but a small magnifying glass helps lift any doubt.

    • The first symptom is the appearance of small white or yellow dots and then leaves turn completely yellow.
    • Unlike thrips that produce larger white patches, red spider mite feeding is randomly spread around the area.

    Also, the fact that they weave small webs around the leaves also helps one notice them more easily.

    • For that, spray or mist water on the plant and check if you see any webs appear.

    Treatment against red spider mite

    As mentioned earlier, red spider mites love it when the air is very dry, it helps them spread.

    Red spider mite on indoor plants

    On houseplants, getting rid of them is straightforward:

    • Spray calcium-free water on the leaves to create a moist environment that will make them disappear. A simple hand-spray is enough for this.
    • Hosing down & showering also dislodges red spider mite. Best move the plant to the shower or bathtub first. Wrap the pot in a plastic bag tied with a knot around the trunk to avoid washing soil out.
    • For minor infestations, wipe a soft moist cloth on leaves (topside and underside). Repeat daily until no more red spider mites are seen.
    • If that isn’t enough, purchase mite-killer that can be found in any garden shop.

    Although red spider mites often only cause limited damage, keep an eye on your plants, especially in case of high temperatures and dry weather, because that is when they reproduce the fastest.

    Red spider mite in greenhouses or in the open

    Again, spraying soft water regularly for a few days is usually enough to dislodge small colonies.

    There are other forms of biological control that don’t require daily work:

    • Fungus against red spider miteBeauveria bassiana is a type of fungus that greatly reduces red spider mite fertility and and egg hatching.
    • Red spider mite natural predatorsPhytoseiulus is also a type of red spider mite, but a beneficial one! It eats plant parasite red spider mites much like a ladybug eats aphids. Ladybugs also eat red spider mites, too, not only aphids!
    • Bordeaux mixture is a valid organic mite killer.
    • Predatory thrips will also devour eggs, nymphs and adult red spider mites.

    Different trials have shown that a range of natural pesticides can help get rid of the pest. Pyrethrum-based insecticides are a good example of this.

    Red spider mite repellents

    Certain plants will repel red spider mite near where they’re planted. Such protection usually extends about a yard (one meter) all around the healthy, mature plant. Sometimes a decoction, an extract or essential oils work better than simply growing the plant itself.

    Herbs that fend off red spider mite

    Many herbs naturally repel spider mites, among which you may find:

    • Marjoram and thyme often stay small enough to be planted together with other plants in an indoor pot.
    • For rosemary, peppermint, chamomile and lemongrass, it’s the opposite. Give each a pot of its own and place it near houseplants you want to protect.

    Vegetables that repel red spider mite

    • lettuce
    • chili pepper
    • wild tomato

    Trees and shrubs that repel red spider mite

    • eucalyptus
    • neem
    • pongam
    • malabar nut
    • vitex (not a repellent per se, but a decoy plant)

    Ornamental plants & flowers that repel red spider mite

    • santolina
    • some varieties of croton

    Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
    Red spider mite on a leaf by Lori Erickson ★ under © CC BY-NC 2.0
    Two mites eating by Angelo Milioto ★ under © CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    How to Get Rid of Spider Mites Off Hostas

    21 September, 2017

    When healthy and well cared for, hostas are a colorful addition to any shady garden. However, if they begin to look discolored or the leaves seem to be wilting away, spider mites may have moved in to your hosta bed for a long summer’s snack. To get rid of spider mites on hostas you’ll need to start with simple remedies, and if these don’t work you can escalate the fight.

    Blast the hosta with a heavy stream of water, working to spray the underside of leaves as well, to throw the mites off the hosta plant. Spray the plant like this every two to three days for a month as a first resort to see if you can drive the spider mites away.

    Collect from your yard or purchase from a garden center ladybugs, also called ladybeetles, which are a natural predator of the mites, if the spraying isn’t working. Place the insects directly onto your hostas in a known spider mite area and leave them to eat all they want. If these natural methods don’t work, go to the next step.

    Apply a miticide to the hostas following the directions on the packaging for application method, dose, and frequency.

    Trim away badly damaged leaves by cutting them off the plant as close to the ground as you can once you have gotten rid of the spider mites. Discard the leaves rather than composting them as they may contain spider mite eggs.

    Watch any of your other plants which are near the hostas for signs of spider mites and treat them in the same manner as soon as possible.

    Try growing marigolds, dill, cilantro, and butterfly weed, all of which attract ladybugs to your garden and can keep spider mites and aphids away in the future.

    Be sure you are using a miticide and not an insecticide. Spider mites are not insects and an insecticide can actually make things worse as the natural predators of the mites will be driven away by an insecticide.

    Russet Mite

    These tiny pests can give growers big problems. Here’s how to prevent, treat and control russet mite infestations using organic methods.

    Best product
    for Russet Mites

    Nuke Em

    This no-messing-around formula works without leaving a nasty residue on plants.

    Hemp and russet mites are part of the eriophyid family of mites. Among the 100 or so plant-specific eriophyid species, including gall, rust, and blister mites, the tomato-attacking, microscopic russet mite is among the hardest to detect. Visible, if then, only in clusters, a single mite is too tiny to be seen by the human eye without magnification of 10x and higher. Their near invisibility makes these mites a particular threat to become established in your garden before you realize it.

    Unlike spider mites, these voracious plant pests leave no webbing or other secretions when present. Visible damage to the plant is the first indication of its presence a damage often mistaken for mineral and other nutritional deficits.


    Seen through a lens, russet-hemp mites are tapered, translucent, wedge-shaped cylinders that take on a yellow tint, especially in groups. Unlike most varieties of mites, eriophyid, including russet mites, have only two pairs of legs.

    Like spider mites and others, they are increasing their range and are now common in places not previously seen. Because of their size, they’re effectively dispersed by wind.

    Crop specific, they tend to multiply in areas of intensive growing, like the tomato raising regions of Florida, and also do quite well indoors where warm, moist environments facilitate rapid reproduction. In the past decade, they have spread from growers in California north into Oregon.


    Females over winter just inside stems of the plants they infest or where twigs are joined to stems. Translucent eggs, nearly adult in size, are laid in spring and go through two nymph stages, both little different than the adult. The mites produce multiple, over-lapping generations through the course of a season, maturing in as little as eight days in warm, humid conditions.


    Mites are sap suckers working at the cellular level. Damage typically appears first at the bottom of plants and moves upward as they feed. Lower leaves begin to yellow and curl, the leaf droops and the stem discolors. As the plant’s nourishment is sucked away, less vigorous green growth and flowering is observed. The tiny mites, in increasing numbers, spread to all parts of the plant. The mites seem particularly attracted to flower resins and will congregate in flowers and blossoms where they can effectively hide and do great damage. If left unchecked, the mites will eventually sap the entire plant.

    Russet Mite Control

    The best controls for both indoor and outdoor growers are preventive methods. Make sure you don’t introduce mites into your grow space by bringing in infected plants or contaminated potting soil that may carry female mites or eggs. Regular and close scrutiny of your plants, especially around the leaves nearest the soil line if outdoors, or anywhere a plant is flowering, is crucial to early detection. What might appear to be an iron or magnesium deficiency may well be an infestation of russet mites. If in doubt, treat for mites as well as adjusting nutrient solutions or amending soil. Finding and removing mites in their first generation, a period that can be short as a week under the right conditions, can short-circuit a cascade of generations once the mites begin laying eggs.

    Many of the precautions and treatments used on spider mites also apply to this pest. Inspection of plants is crucial during treatment. Look to see if damage has stopped. Remove all damaged leaves, stems, and even entire plants and dispose in a way that won’t spread the tiny creatures or its eggs.

    Outdoor Plants:

    • Russet mites are most frequently found in outdoor container plantings. This suggests that they’re introduced both in potting soils and plants brought into the garden. Use only dependable, high-quality potting medium and plants from a nursery you trust. Don’t be afraid to ask if mites have been a problem. Even if they’ve been dealt with and the plant shows no signs of damage, eggs may still exist in the soil.
    • Introducing beneficial nematodes just as soil temperatures begin to warm and ahead of planting can help destroy eggs that are in the soil and nymphs once they hatch. Apply a second round of vermiculite-carried nematodes if damage to lowest leaves is spotted.
    • Avoid over-fertilizing plants. Mites are attracted to vigorous green growth that comes of too much nitrogen.
    • Periodic releases of predatory mites can blunt infestations, giving you time to deal with them. (Yes, the same spray mentioned below will also kill beneficial mites.)
    • Because of their near invisibility, it’s difficult to apply insecticidal soaps to suspected mite infestations. Home-made sprays using garlic, hot peppers, or citrus oils will not usually take down mites but may provide some deterrent. (Because they often arrive in the wind, russet-hemp mites aren’t easily deterred.)
    • Neem oil will repel and kill mites. It should be applied at first signs of damage.
    • Pyrethrum sprays have proven effective in killing mites but require complete coverage to ensure that none of the microscopic pests are overlooked. Tailor applications to the lifecycle of the mite. Spraying once a week — once every five days in warm conditions — for three to four weeks should cover adults, emerging nymphs, and eggs.
    • No matter which method you’re using, close inspection of plants during treatment is crucial. Use a lens of 14X magnification or larger to see mites gathered at the center of curled leaves, at stem junctures, or in flowers. Don’t wait to see how effective one treatment is before continuing or using another. Once infestations spread up plants, it’s almost impossible to save the plant.
    • Don’t hesitate to discard entire plants, even if they’re not entirely affected. While you’re treating affected plants, the mites are hurriedly spreading to others.
    • Prevent spreading mites. Discard infested plants in plastic bags and dispose of them in sealed garbage containers.

    Indoor Plants:

    • Do not bring uninspected plants or plants from any grower who’s had previous problems with mites into your grow space. This is especially important, whether taking clones or tomato starts from friends and professionals. Know your grower.
    • Keep a clean grow space. Don’t introduce unnecessary tools used outside or suspect soil or growing mediums.
    • Periodic releases of spider mite predators in a greenhouse can help keep pests at bay.
    • At the first sign of mites, reduce their breeding environment by adjusting room temperatures and moisture content as much as possible. This will slow the breeding cycle, buying you time to inspect and treat plants before the mites next generation is spawned.
    • Azamax will discourage mites from feeding and slow their breeding cycle, especially helpful if you’re moving towards harvest.
    • Neem oil and pyrethrum/ canola oil sprays, used as above, will knock down mite infestations with repeated use.
    • If your grow space has been infected, clean it from top to bottom. Scrub benches and other equipment with a mild bleach solution (1:10 bleach-to-water solution is said to be safe for cleaning according to the Centers For Disease Control), sterilize all hydroponic equipment, throw away any soil that can’t be sanitized, and leave nothing that was in the space during the infestation unscrubbed. The invisible eggs of this troublesome pest can survive in tiny, unseen places.

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