What is a safe and effective treatment for spider mites?


Quick Answer

Control spider mite populations by limiting their food, which is other insects, reports Planet Natural. Other methods include isolating and removing infected plants, providing adequate irrigation to wash away dust or introducing predatory species such as ladybugs.

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Full Answer

Spider mite populations often boom after insecticides are applied, according to the University of California Statewide IPM Program. Spider mites can develop resistances to pesticides, but other insects are less adaptable. As their natural predators are killed and the competition for food lessens, spider mites multiply rapidly. They are attracted by dusty conditions. Water-stressed plants are less resistant to the damage inflicted by spider mites.

Introducing a predatory population to combat a spider mite infestation is excellent for people who do not want to expose their plants to pesticides, states the University of California Statewide IPM Program. However, carefully consider the type of insect. Predatory mites are excellent for large orchards, but if the spider mite population is too small to sustain them or the environment is uncomfortable, they may die or migrate elsewhere. The spider mite destroyer lady beetle, named for its hunting capabilities, along with sixspotted thrips, minute pirate bugs and lacewing larvae, hunt and feed on spider mites. However, do not introduce predators if a population is too high. To thrive, they need favorable conditions, such as low-to-medium levels of spider mites.

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