Spider mites can affect outdoor plants or potted indoor plants. While extremely small in size, they can cause a large amount of damage, affecting the overall health of plants and leaving them vulnerable to disease. Spider mites reproduce rapidly, and the problem can quickly spiral out of control into a full-blown infestation. Home remedies for spider mites on plants can help you get the problem under control.
Spray the Plant With Water
A good starting point for spider mite removal is to spray them with water. Use a garden hose with a spray nozzle to clear dust, webs, and mites off the stems and both sides of the leaves. The water pressure should be strong enough to displace the pests, but not so forceful that you damage your plants.
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Wipe With Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is a simple and effective home remedy for spider mites. Pour rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball or cotton swab and wipe both sides of the plant's leaves. Allow the alcohol to remain on the plant for several hours; then wash it off with water.
Use Dish Soap
You can make a dish soap solution by mixing 3 tablespoons of liquid dish soap with 1 gallon of water. An unscented, dye-free liquid castile soap or dish soap works well. Pour the solution in a spray bottle and saturate both the tops and undersides of the leaves. Repeat every five to six days as needed.
Try Essential Oils
Essential oils smell great, and several scents, including rosemary, chamomile, spearmint, and coriander, are effective at killing spider mite eggs and adults. Fill a spray bottle with water and add several drops of one of the suggested essential oils. Read the label for specific dilution directions. Then shake well and spray the liquid on the leaves.
Prepare a Hot Pepper Solution
Mix 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and 1 cup of water in a blender. Another option is to blend together one hot chili pepper and 1 cup of water, pour the strained mixture into a spray bottle, and apply it to the affected plant and the soil. Spider mites are repelled by the strong taste and scent of hot peppers. Wear gloves when applying the spray to the plant as it can irritate your skin and avoid getting any in your eyes.
Make a Garlic or Canola Oil Spray
Mash two garlic cloves and place them in 1 liter of water. Allow the garlic to steep in the water overnight. Use a strainer to remove the garlic, pour the solution into a spray bottle, and apply it to the fronts and backs of leaves.
As an alternative, use a canola oil spray for spider mites by mixing 1 tablespoon of canola oil with several drops of liquid soap. Dilute it by adding a quart of water. Mix the solution well. Then pour it into a spray bottle and apply it to both sides of the leaves.
Apply a Neem Oil Soil Soak
A neem oil soil soak can be an effective treatment for spider mites on plants. Add 1 tablespoon of dish soap or castile soap to 1 gallon of water and mix lightly. Then add 2 tablespoons of cold-pressed neem oil. Mix again right before application. To apply, add 2 to 4 cups of the liquid to your plant's soil instead of using plain water. According to Plant Care Today, each application should last for 22 days.