Spider mites are a concern for any plant grower. Since they’re such a widespread problem, many people are willing to try an endless number of solutions for controlling these nefarious plant-eating pests.
USING A SPIDER MITE SPRAY
The best way to kill spider mites at home will always be using an organic, non-toxic spray like LavaMite™. You simply spray the leaves until fully covered, wait 30 minutes, and all mites who came into contact with the solution will be dead. It’s that simple.
If you’d rather exhaust all other options prior to spending money on an organic spray, feel free. There are many home remedies for killing spider mites that you can try.
SPRAYING OR MISTING PLANTS
The simplest method is to spray down plants with water. This will directly dislodge them and destroy the webs which they use to move around. This is particularly effective if the water stream is aimed at the underside of leaves, which they usually inhabit. In addition, spider mites are drawn to dry conditions, and the extra moisture will drive them away.
Overall, water spraying is a very easy and cost-effective control tactic against spider mites. However, it is very limited. If there is a large infestation, it probably won’t remove all of the mites. It’s also ineffective against their numerous sticky eggs.
Conclusion: Spraying water is a basic remedy that is only partially effective. You’ll need a stronger solution for a larger presence of mites.
WHICH HOME CONCOCTIONS KILL SPIDER MITES?
In order to turn up the intensity on spider mites, many people rely on solutions like homemade insecticidal soaps. Although spider mites aren’t classified as insects, these soaps and formulas can still reduce their numbers.
There are various mixtures that can be used. Mainly these involve mixing water with soap, detergent, vegetable oil, lemon juice, capsaicin, and even small amounts of alcohol. The idea is to use chemicals that are harmless to plants, but harmful to mites. These mixtures will stick to the mites, smothering them – which works because spider mites are aerobic and need air. Unfortunately, it’s hard to be sure of these recipes since you’re trusted the word alone of a random person. It’s telling that you rarely find videos of these alleged mixtures working.
In addition to home concoctions, some gardeners also use pure neem oil. This acts as a natural pesticide, smothering and directly damaging the mites. It also acts as a repellent, driving away other spider mites.
While these solutions do work in theory, finding a successful homemade concoction online is very difficult. There’s an endless supply of recipes that are alleged to work, but risking your crops on these long-shots isn’t advisable. Besides, do you want to garden and maintain your crops, or sit at home mixing random chemicals together?
In addition, it may take several treatments to see significant results, especially if you have a heavy infestation. The majority of these home spider mite killing remedies wind up damaging the plant itself, defeating the purpose of treating it.
Another problem is that spider mite eggs are very hardy and difficult to eliminate, especially with soft chemical solutions. Even if all the mites are wiped out, eggs can still hatch and form new infestations. Our product kills adult mites AND their eggs.
Conclusion: You can find many concoctions online that are said to help with spider mites. However, these are not proven methods and at best, they’d only kill mites and not their eggs (which are much more problematic). Personally, I’d rather go with a solution that has been proven to kill both mites and eggs, such as our LavaMite™.
CO2 FUMIGATION AND DROWNING
Growers looking for even stronger solutions have turned to drowning and CO2 fumigation. These methods rely on the aerobic nature of these pests, that is, their need to breathe air.
CO2 fumigation is very loosely a home remedy since it requires lots of effort and skill. This is aimed at a very small amount of plants that fit into a closed space. By replacing oxygen-laden air with carbon dioxide, you will suffocate all active mites.
This is a method that is certain to be effective if properly administered. However, it takes even more labor and expertise to execute this properly. You’ll need a properly sealed area and the right equipment to completely fumigate the plants with carbon dioxide.
You also need to ventilate properly when the process is done – although concentrated CO2 doesn’t harm plants right away, it can be problematic over an extended period. Personal safety is also a concern with fumigation. CO2 levels must be kept fairly high, typically at 35% or greater. These are toxic levels for humans, not just spider mites, so you must take precautions to ensure your health and safety.
Conclusion: If you’re familiar with fumigating insects and are skilled enough to execute this method, why not? But I feel like most people looking for home methods of killing spider mites are looking for something a bit less labor intensive.
The drowning method involves wrapping up the roots (to avoid plant damage) and completely soaking the plant for several minutes. This will eliminate all mites, but you’ll still need subsequent treatments when eggs hatch. Also, performing the process correctly is a bit labor-intensive, and it’s only practical for small-to-medium-sized potted plants. Larger plants or gardens are a no-go. It’s also not worth uprooting a plant from the ground to do this, since this stresses the plant too much.
Conclusion: This method would not be advisable for all plants as excessive watering can hurt many species of plant. It’s also a much bigger hassle than simply spraying a mite spray on the plants.