Getting Rid of Spider Mites

How to Get Rid of Spider Mites

The common methods to get rid of spider mites include spraying water, using insecticidal soaps or oils to kill insectsencouraging the presence of predatorsmake use of neem oil, and use a chemical pesticide to spray. Getting rid of spider mites helps in protecting your plants and leaves of trees from spider mite damages.

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Spider mites are not actually spiders. They are tiny arachnids with four sets of legs, and they feed on the juice of plants and leaves. They are extremely small in size (about 1/60 to 1/25 inch) and run in colonies that reside on the underside of the leaves. They cause damage to plant foliage by sucking on the tissues. Eden brings you a list of tips on how to get rid of spider mites:

Water to Spray

1. Using Water to Spray

Spider mites form clusters on the underside of the leaves, therefore, spraying these parts with hard blasts of water, aimed specifically to dislodge the spider mite clusters, will be effective to get rid of the mites. Spider mites thrive in warm and dry conditions and thus will not survive under water pressure.

For outdoor plants, you can use a nozzle attached to a garden hose for this purpose and for indoor plants, you can hold the plants under the kitchen faucet or place them inside your bathtub and spray them using a faucet sprayer.

2. Use Insecticidal Soaps or Oils to Kill Insects

Applying chemical pesticides can be harmful and might also kill beneficial insects nesting on your plants. For this reason, you can use organic insecticidal soaps that are effective against spider mites. 

These are made from potassium salts of fatty acids, and are used by gardeners and landscapers to control insect and pest infestations on the plants. Soft-bodied insects like mealybugs and mites can be rid of by using soap sprays. 

Horticultural oils made from refined plant oils are also effective to bring spider mite infestation under control, as they suffocate the pests. These oils do not harm the beneficial insects on plants and therefore are considered a good, organic method to kill spider mites.

3. Encourage the Presence of Predators

When it comes to landscapes, following the natural order is what makes them thrive. Therefore, introducing some natural predators that feed on spider mites into your landscape is recommended by Eden. You can purchase these predators from online shops or local nurseries.

Some examples of spider mite predators are big-eyed bugs, ladybugs, lacewings, predatory thrips, and spined soldier bugs. When these bugs are present in your landscape, they will feed on the larvae, the adult mites and everything in between to make sure your landscape is completely rid of them. Also, the presence of these bugs will deter any reinfestation of spider bugs.

The advantages of using natural predators to get rid of spider mites are that they are not harmful to pets and plants, they do not require routine maintenance, and their application does not harm the people using the landscape.

4. Make use of Neem Oil

Neem oil is derived from the seeds of the neem tree (Azadirachta indica), a South Asian plant. It has been used as a natural pesticide for many years. Neem oil can be applied to the plants as a soak or sprayed as a foliar spray. The effects of these two types are different on the spider mites, but the end result is the same – they get rid of the spider mite infestation.

When neem oil is applied as a soak, the azadirachtin gets soaked in the plant and acts as a systemic insecticide. When spider mites ingest this, it does not kill them immediately. Instead, it affects the insects’ reproductive system, rendering them infertile and thus killing off the infestation ultimately. 

5. Pyrethroid Pesticide should be Used

Pyrethroid pesticides are another effective way to get rid of spider mites. The main ingredient of pyrethroid pesticides is pyrethrin, a combination of six toxic chemicals for pests, extracted from chrysanthemum flowers.

When pyrethrin is ingested by the spider mites or comes in contact with the pests, their nervous system gets impacted, leading to paralysis and death. Pyrethrins are used in combination with other chemicals to increase their effectiveness. The second chemical, which is combined with pyrethrin, is called a synergist. You can use a spray bottle to spray this over your indoor and outdoor plants.

6. Use a Chemical Pesticide to Spray

Chemical pesticides should be the last option to get rid of pests in your landscape. These should be only used when all other methods have failed and even then, only for certain plants.

For fruit and vegetable trees, Eden does not recommend the use of chemical pesticides to get rid of spider mites or any other kind of lawn pests. Chemical pesticides are harmful to humans as well and can enter into your system when you eat the fruits and vegetables sprayed with chemical pesticides.

You can spray chemical pesticides on ornamental plants and trees with a liquid spray bottle to get rid of spider mites. Focus on the underside of the leaves when you spray and wear protective clothing to avoid exposure.

7. Consult an Arborist or a Tree Disease Expert

Spider mites are persistent pests that can be very difficult to get rid of without the right knowledge and the required products. Therefore, consulting a certified arborist or other lawn pest specialists is a good option.

An expert will know the right places to inspect for spider mites, and they will also be able to recognize early signs of spider mite infestation. This will allow you to tackle these pests before they become a big problem that requires the use of powerful chemical pesticides.

Lawncare services can help you get rid of any existing pests in your landscape and develop a pest control program customized to your lawn and garden needs. This plan will be developed in consultation with you while keeping in mind the overall health of your landscape as well as environmental concerns. 

What Causes Spider Mites?

One of the most common questions regarding spider mites is, ‘Where do spider mites come from?’ Because a lot of times, it feels as if they have invaded your landscape out of nowhere; one day, your leaves look green and healthy, and a week later, they are losing color! This problem baffles a lot of homeowners, but you don’t need to fret. Eden will bring you all the answers you need.

Spider mites are extremely tiny, and therefore they can be transferred from one place to another through a light breeze and with the help of their webbing. When you visit local nurseries or other places with the possibility of spider mites, they can get attached to your clothes or shoes and thus come home with you. Pets, friends and family can also carry them to your home unwittingly.

One might also wonder how something so small can cause damage so quickly and devastatingly. To understand this, we need to understand the lifecycle of a spider mite. 

Spider mite eggs are laid on the host plant by adult mites. These eggs hatch and become larvae in just a few days. The larvae then feed on the plant and grow into nymphs with eight legs. These nymphs then turn into a second nymph stage and then into an adult in a few days.

Spider mite damage

How to Recognize Spider Mite Damage

Spider mites are really small in size and multiply at a fast rate. Therefore it is important to recognize them at an early stage to get rid of them effectively and prevent excessive damage. 

  • Spider mites tend to prefer hot and dry conditions. Therefore you should inspect your plants for infestation regularly during the summer months.
  • Spider mites form clusters and colonies on the underside of the leaves. Therefore, a cursory look over the plants will not reveal an infestation. You need to look at the underside of the leaves specifically.
  • Because of the extremely small size of spider mites, it isn’t easy to spot them with the naked eye. Using a magnifying glass will help see them better.

What are the Signs of Spider Mites Infestation? 

Every pest damages a plant differently. The signs given below will help you identify the damage caused by spider mites:

  • White Webbing: The presence of a white, cottony webbing on the leaves of plants indicates a spider mite infestation. This is one of the most distinctive signs.
  • Yellow, White or Tan Spots on Leaves: Spider mites suck on the plant sap and extract juices from leaf tissues. This causes discoloration, and you will be able to see yellow, tan or white spots on the leaves.
  • Small White or Red Moving Spots on Leaves: Sometimes, tiny red and white spots seem to be moving on the leaves when seen closely. These are the spider mites themselves.

What Tools do You Need for Treatment of Spider Mites?

Eden has some of the best recommended products and tools as follows.

  • Insecticidal Soaps: Insecticidal soaps come in the form of non-toxic sprays that are effective against soft-bodied pests like spider mites, aphids, mealybugs, mites, leafhoppers, thrips, whiteflies, etc. 

Eden’s recommendations for the best insecticidal soaps:

  1. Bonide Insecticidal Soap: Contact Spray, Indoor and Outdoor Use, Organic Gardening
  2. Garden Safe Insecticidal Soap: Ready-to-Use Spray, Indoor and Outdoor Use, Organic Gardening
  • Horticultural Oils: Horticultural oils are highly refined oils derived after distillation and filtration of petroleum to remove products that can harm plants. 

Eden’s recommendations for the best horticultural oils:

  1. Monterey LG 6299 Horticultural Oil: Oil Concentrate, Dormant and Growing Season Spray, Organic Gardening
  2. Bonide All Seasons Horticultural Oil Spray: Ready-to-Use Spray, Good for Fruit Trees, Dormant and Growing Season Spray
  • Neem Oil: Neem oil is derived from cold-pressed seeds of the neem tree. The main component of neem oil is azadirachtin which is an excellent natural pesticide. 

Eden’s recommendations for the best neem oils:

  1. Organic Neem Bliss: Cold Pressed Neem Seed Oil, OMRI Listed for Organic Use, Indoor and Outdoor Use
  2. Natria Neem Oil Spray: Ready to Use Spray, Organic Gardening, Insect and Disease Control
  • Pyrethroid Pesticide: Pyrethroid pesticides are made by combining pyrethrin and other synthetic chemicals. Pyrethrin is a natural insecticide derived from chrysanthemum flowers; it can paralyze spider mites.

Eden’s recommendations for the best pyrethroid pesticides:

  1. Southern Ag Natural Pyrethrin Concentrate: Pyrethrins and Piperonyl Butoxide Combination, Organic
  2. Monterey Take Down Garden Spray: Pyrethrins and Canola Oil Combination, Spray
  • Chemical Pesticides: Chemical pesticides should be the last resort for any gardener or landscaper to eliminate lawn pests as they kill all insects indiscriminately, including beneficial lawn insects. 

Eden’s recommendations for the best chemical pesticides:

  1. Bonide – Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew: Spray, Organic Gardening, Works on a Variety of Pests
  2. GROWER’S ALLY Spider Mite Control: Concentrate, Insecticide and Miticide, OMRI Listed for Organic Use

How can You Prevent a Spider Mites Infestation?

The goal of every homeowner should be to prevent spider mite infestation in the first place rather than scrambling for control measures later. One way to do this is to carefully inspect your plant before bringing it home from the local nursery or garden center. 

Pressure blasting your plants with water regularly will also help keep the spider mites away as they are too little to hold on when the elements – air and water, are strongly against them. Spider mites thrive in dry and dusty conditions. 

Are any Plants Immune to Spider Mites?

Plants with a thick leaf structure like succulents and some herbs and flowering plants that contain natural pesticide components are known to repel spider mites. Some examples of these are:


  • Snake Plant
  • Jade Plant
  • Rubber Tree
  • ZeeZee Plant

Herbs and Vegetables

  • Chinese Parsley/Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Garlic
  • Chives
  • Onion
  • Leek


  • Chrysanthemum
  • Shasta Daisy

An expert will be able to inspect your landscape for spider mites and other pests thoroughly and develop an integrated pest management program that is environmentally responsible. This program will also help in preventing further infestations.

Enjoy a beautifully manicured lawn with our timely yard work services that care for your yard according to the season. Call us today!

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