Q:

How do you get rid of spider mites?

A:

Quick Answer

To get rid of spider mites, confirm the infestation, remove heavily infested leaves and knock the spider mites off with a stream of water. Severe infestations can be treated with chemicals or by introducing natural predators.

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Full Answer

  1. Confirm that the problem is spider mites

    Check the underside of the leaves for white webs. Look for yellow, tan or white spots on the leaves. The spider mites look like tiny white or red dots. If there are spider mites, isolate the plant immediately.

  2. Remove infested leaves

    If a leaf is heavily infested, remove it from the plant. Place the leaves in a sealed bag, and discard it in a secure place.

  3. Rinse the plant

    Thoroughly rinse the plant with a hose or faucet. Spray with enough force to knock the bugs off. Repeat this multiple times.

  4. Use chemical treatments

    Some infestations may require neem oil, insecticidal oil or miticide. Cover the plant with the chemicals according to the manufacturer's instructions. This kills beneficial insects as well as spider mites.

  5. Introduce natural predators

    A natural way to get rid of spider mites is to introduce predators into their habitat. Ladybugs and other parasitic mites can be purchased and placed on the plant. Make sure that the new insects are compatible with the plant and season.

Learn more about Invasive Insects

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