Pioneering Hydroponics

Since 1976

How to Kill Spider Mites

Spider mites are common sap-feeding mites that affect plants and cause early leaf loss and mottled leaves. If you’re wondering how the pest got to your plants and how to kill spider mites, they are usually very difficult to spot. They measure around 1mm and usually difficult to see without a magnifying glass. They can be red, light brown, or green and you can find them on the underside of leaves.

Temperatures above 28℃ are ideal for these mites. At 25℃, an adult mite emerges from a freshly laid egg to lay more eggs after 10 days. When temperatures rise to 30℃, this time shortens to just 7 days.

Some plants that can be affected are:

  • Strawberries

  • Begonias

  • Mint

  • Beans

  • Indoor houseplants

  • Miniature roses

Symptoms of Spider Mites

Their very small size makes them almost undetectable until it’s too late. They feed on plant sap, with discoloration appearing as small, white dots on leaves’ upper surface. Advanced symptoms usually include mottling, specking, and yellowing leaves that turn brown before falling. Plants are usually very difficult to nurse back to health at this point.

Spider mites are related to spiders and you’ll find webbing on infected plants. The webbing first appears between leaves before covering the rest of the plant, providing spider mites with a good transportation path and protective barrier. It restricts air flow to plants, leading to water loss and fungal pathogens such as botrytis.

Where Do Spider Mites Come From?

Many people wonder, where do spider mites come from? Inadvertent transfers of small numbers of spider mites tend to be the cause for infestations in the grow room. This can happen through infected transplants from sources other than an indoor garden or controlled grow room environment.

New transplants could easily be infected without your knowledge, as spider mites are notoriously small. It’s advised that new plants always stay in quarantine before being introduced to your grow room. This will allow any pests or diseases to develop into a stage that makes them easier to detect.

Spider mites are known hitchhikers;you can transfer these mites simply by brushing against infected plants and stepping into your grow room. They can travel on skin, clothes, tools, pets, hair, shoes, soil debris, organic growing media, and equipment. They can even travel on other pests such as whitefly. Spider mites create parachutes composed of fine webbing, proceeding to be carried through doors and other openings by air currents.

How To Kill Spider Mites

If you’re wondering how to kill spider mites, the first step is prevention. Spider mites prefer dry surfaces, so it’s vital to ensure that your grow room has the right level of humidity. Temperature should also be carefully controlled, including water temperature, as spider mites love warm environments. Make sure to dust your plants regularly. Smaller plants should be carefully cleaned with a cloth and stronger plants can be sprayed.

Isolate all infested plants andstrip the infected leaves off. Burn them or throw them away - don’t use them as compost! You may have to consider throwing away the entire plant, as spider mites can easily travel in air currents and may still infect healthy plants.

Get in touch with our team on 01695 554 080 or 01226 320 850 to know more about our products. You can also become a stockist of leading hydroponic brands today.