Ready to reclaim your succulents from the clutches of these sneaky invaders? In just a few minutes, learn how to get rid of spider mites on succulents and restore the health of your beloved succulent collection. This article unveils effective methods and expert tips to combat spider mites, ensuring your succulents thrive once again.
Spider mites are a common issue for succulent plants, particularly if they are kept in dry, warm conditions.
They destroy precious plants, robbing them of their life and colors. With their multiple egg sacs and small size, they can be a real pain to dispose of.
Host plants are many, including melons, eggplant, trees, houseplants, tomatoes, beans, strawberries, and many ornamental flowers.
But don’t panic! There’s nothing to worry about.
You can use several methods to control these little pests with a little effort and time! Spraying the plants with water, using neem oil or insecticidal soap – so many things are here to help you.
Let us first understand how you recognize that there are spider mites on your succulents.
Signs of Spider Mites on Succulents
Spider mites can be a common problem for succulent plants, especially if the plants are kept in dry, warm conditions. Some signs of spider mites on succulents include:
- Webbing on the leaves and stems, appearing as a thin layer covering the plant.
- Small yellow or brown spots on the leaves due to spider mites feeding on the sap of the succulent.
- The wilting or limp appearance of the plant as spider mites continue to feed on it.
- Stunted growth of the plant caused by the infestation of spider mites.
- Visible tiny dots move around on the leaves, which are the spider mites themselves in case of a severe infestation.
Once you notice these signs, take sudden action!
Remember that light to moderate spider mite infestation can be treated successfully.
However, the heavy infestation is pretty hard to control. It might be possible that it puts even all other plants in danger. So, be careful about that!
Also Read: How to Get Rid of Mealybugs
Why Do Plants Get Spider Mites?
These insects are notorious for thriving in hot, dry weather—about 80° F is considered optimal. And wide varieties are prevalent from July to September when they find the conditions favorable for them.
In general, they make the host plant their habitat to feel themselves. This ultimately damages them, causing yellowing on leaves. Indoor plants get mites during cold months most of the time.
Therefore, keep checking them regularly if the indoor air turns dry!
Proven Methods on How To Get Rid of Spider Mites
Spider mite infestations are frequently signaled by leaves that become dry-looking and grow yellow. Your precious plants will slowly lose their health if not treated on time.
Fortunately, there are plenty of effective methods you can use to get rid of these irritating species.
Method #1 – Spray with Water
You can use the Bug Blaster to wash your plants with a powerful stream of water. This will considerably reduce the pest numbers.
Dust on fruit, branches, and leaves encourages mites. The mid-season hosing to eliminate dust from trees and plants is a worthwhile preventative.
It’s essential to remember that water stress makes garden plants and trees more susceptible to these infestations. Also, ensure that the plants are watered regularly and properly.
Method #2 – Clean the plant
Use a mixture of water and Isopropyl alcohol to kill and remove visible spider mites. Dilute 1 cup of alcohol in almost 30 oz of water & pour this solution into a quality spray bottle.
After that, spray both sides of the leaves properly and wipe them off using a paper towel.
Method #3 – Use Horticultural Oils
Botanical insecticides and insecticidal soaps can be used to spot and treat highly infested areas. You can use horticultural oils on fruit trees early in the season to destroy overwintering eggs.
Now, mix Coco-Wet with Neem Oil and apply every 3 to 5 days to kill pest eggs. This will also interrupt their reproductive cycle.
Ensure that you spray on every part of the infected plants, including the undersides of the leaves.
Note: Don’t apply it when temperatures exceed 90˚F. Wait for a minimum of six hours before turning on the lights.
Method #4 – Use Rubbing Alcohol
It is also possible to kill spider mites by combining a nice mixture of 4 cups of water and 1 cup of rubbing alcohol. Then, spray this solution thoroughly on your plants.
Cover the flowers, foliage, and flowers properly. Rubbing alcohol kills these pests by dehydrating them. Try to spray the mixture on just one leaf a few days before you treat the plant.
This is because some plants are highly sensitive to rubbing alcohol compared to others.
Method #5 – Release Beneficial Insects
A variety of predatory mites and insects are famous for feeding on spider mites.
Some beneficial insects such as lacewing, predatory mites, and ladybugs are super effective enemies of mites.
And the best thing is that they are widely available commercially at online retailers and garden centers.
For best results, release them when pest levels are medium to low.
Method #6 – Neem Oil
Neem oil is a proven pest control that kills not only these irritating mites on contact but can completely eliminate them for good.
As neem oil is non-toxic to humans, you don’t even need to worry about any long-term side effects while using it.
Apply it liberally with a garden sprayer or spray bottle to all parts of the plant. Make sure that you cover stems and both sides of leaves.
Remember that spider mites mainly thrive on the underside of leaves, so don’t skip this step anyway.
Re-apply Neem oil on a weekly basis until you stop seeing signs of infestations. If you re-apply it early, you can easily prevent new baby pests from hatching.
That’s all about the methods you can use to eliminate spider mites!
If you don’t feel like doing it independently (whatever the reasons are), it’s better to call a Tree Disease Specialist.
How Spider Mites Look Like?
Spider mites are tiny arachnids that are typically less than 1/20 inch in size, making them difficult to see with the naked eye. Depending on the species and life stage, they come in a range of colors, including red, yellow, green, and brown.
Adult spider mites have eight legs and an oval-shaped body, which is covered in tiny hairs. They also have two dark spots on their body, which are their eyes.
In general, they are identified by the damage they cause to plants, such as the presence of fine webbing on leaves and stems. The appearance of small yellow or white dots on the leaves is another major sign of their presence.
How Spider Mites Kill Plant?
These pests mainly target the stomata (pores that regulate water retention) of leaves – making them vulnerable to water loss.
Consequently, when enough leaves fall and shrivel up from the plant, it weakens and eventually kills the plant. Tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, pumpkins, and squash are some outdoor plants that these pests damage the most.
Not just these, but they are highly harmful to a wide range of landscape shrubs and trees, especially in dry conditions.
Why Do Spider Mites Keep Coming Back?
As you may have guessed, mite infestations usually pop up in times of drought. Spider mites, in indoor growing areas, are more likely to become trouble on underwatered plants.
There are several other reasons why spider mites may keep coming back, including:
- Resistance to treatment: Overuse of pesticides or incorrect use of pesticides can lead to the development of resistance in spider mites. Once resistance has developed, the mites will not be affected by the pesticide and will continue to thrive.
- Reinfestation: Spider mites can be carried into an area on clothing, plants, or other objects. If the infested plants are not isolated and treated immediately, the mites can easily spread to other plants.
- Lack of thoroughness in treatment: Spider mites can hide in the crevices of plants and lay eggs that can survive treatment. If the treatment is not thorough enough, some mites may survive and reproduce.
- Favorable conditions: Spider mites thrive in hot, dry conditions and can reproduce rapidly under these conditions. If the environment is not modified to make it less favorable for spider mites, they may continue to thrive.
How To Prevent the Spreading of Spider Mites?
Potted plants that spend warm months outdoors must be checked carefully before you bring them indoors for the winter. Especially the dry winter months are favorable to spider mites. So, it’s better to try to examine the plant properly before moving it outdoors.
Take the following precautions to take care of your succulent plants:
- Establish a regular check-up routine (once every 7 to 10 days).
- Misting leaves with water frequently helps to keep these pests away.
- Lightly spray leaves under and top and stems with quality Neem Oil once every two weeks.
- Don’t allow your precious plant to get dehydrated.
- Before bringing any new plant into your home, examine it closely.
- Wipe leaves and stems with a damped paper towel once every two weeks.
Heavily-infested plants will not recover easily. So, placing them in the trash may be a good choice to safeguard the health of nearby plants.
Remember, you’re a strong fighter. And with the right materials and tools, you will succeed!!
This article has provided valuable insights and practical solutions on how to get rid of spider mites, a common issue that affects succulent plants. By promptly identifying the signs of infestation and implementing effective methods such as spraying with water, using neem oil, and releasing beneficial insects, you can successfully combat spider mites and restore the health of your beloved succulents. Remember to also practice preventative measures to prevent future infestations and create an environment where your plants can thrive.
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]
1) Are spider mites harmful to humans?
Spider mites are not harmful to humans. They are tiny arachnids that feed on plants, and while their bites can cause minor skin irritation, they do not pose a threat to human health. However, some people may have allergic reactions to spider mites, which can cause symptoms such as itching, redness, and swelling.
2) Are spider mites aphids?
Both spider mites and aphids are two different pests that conquer and invade gardens, greenhouses, and household plant pots. It means that they’re not the same at all! Spiders mites generally eat the leaves of plants, whereas aphids are tiny arachnids that feed off the sap present in plant leaves.
3) Do ants eat spider mites?
Yes, ants can eat spider mites and may actively hunt or scavenge them for food. Some ants even protect spider mites from predators in exchange for their sweet secretions. However, ants alone may not be enough to eliminate a spider mite infestation.
4) Do springtails eat spider mites?
Springtails are known to feed on a variety of organic matter, including fungi, algae, and decaying plant material. While they may occasionally consume small arthropods like spider mites, they are not known to be significant predators of spider mites. Therefore, springtails are unlikely to provide effective control against spider mite infestations.
5) Do wasps eat spider mites?
Yes, indeed! Certain species of wasps feed on spider mites as part of their natural diet. These wasps lay their eggs inside the spider mites, serving as a food source for the developing wasp larvae. Therefore, wasps can provide effective biological control against spider mites, especially in agricultural settings.
6) Can you drown spider mites?
Spider mites are tough to eradicate. One of the most useful and frequently used techniques to deal with them is to use water to drown them. This is because spider mites are pushed away from your plants temporarily.