The red spider mite (Tetranychus urticae) is a tiny insect that feeds on plant juices. Most often, their invasion is quite difficult to get rid of. The most suitable time for this may be autumn when they slightly increase in size and acquire a more orange color. But regardless of the time of year when you decide to get rid of these parasites, certain organic remedies are suitable for this. If a spider mite has appeared – the methods of struggle can be varied. From the first try, usually, a little helps.
What Does a Spider Mite Look like – Photo and Description
First, you need to detect insects. You need to know what a spider mite looks like – a photo will help you “recognize the enemy in person.” The red spider mite can be found both indoors and in the garden – they are not particularly picky about what plant to eat. Most houseplants are prone to be infected with a red spider mite, especially if they grow under stressful conditions such as hot, dry air or inadequate watering and top dressing. Signs that an infection has occurred include:
- on the leaves there are pale yellow, red or silver spots;
- upon closer inspection, very small white spots (red spider mite eggs), as well as the mites themselves, are visible on the underside of the leaves.
If you see shiny white membranes between the stems and leaves, then this is also a sign of infection with a tick, but, as a rule, its extreme stage.
If you cannot make out insects but suspect that they are on a plant, you can try to knock them on a piece of white paper. At the same time, be prepared that pests, once on paper, will immediately rush to the edge to be under it, because they will perceive it as a leaf of a plant.
Spider Mite – Measures to Combat Improvised Means
If you find that you have got a spider mite – control measures should be taken immediately. To do this, you can use the means at hand. Humidity increase. The red spider mite does not tolerate increased humidity, so spraying and abundant watering of plants is a good step to get rid of tick insects and prevent future infections.
Prepare a soap solution for processing or purchase a ready-made organic mixture in the store. Spray the treatment under the leaves and wipe the surfaces of the sheets.
Spray with insecticidal soap. This can harm plants (phytotoxicity), so you need to either know exactly which plants may react poorly, or do test irrigation on one or two leaves.
Further Combating the Spider Mite
In the future, the fight against the spider mite will be reduced to creating unfavorable living conditions for it. Remove all leaves that show signs of damage. These leaves should be destroyed so as not to contribute to the spread of ticks. If the plant is very infected, you should consider sacrificing it for the health of the rest of the garden.
If the plant is in the garden, you should once a week carry out abundant irrigation of the entire garden with a hose.
Be sure to promptly and in sufficient quantities feed the plants with fertilizers and water to give them strength for self-defense in the future.
Plant monitoring should be carried out regularly to prevent infection in the early stages.
Remember that ticks show preferences for certain types of plants – roses, lilies, quinces, apple trees, blueberries, boxwood, juniper, and all plants are grown indoors.
Tips – How to Get Rid of a Spider Mite
The red spider mite, as a rule, lives in tropical and temperate climatic zones and successfully survives in greenhouse premises. Therefore, our advice on how to get rid of spider mites will include some aspects of plant maintenance.
In your garden, you can plant predatory insects that will eat a spider mite. You should consult a gardening store about this. Please note that this pest control option is quite expensive.
Warning Before Fighting a Spider Mite
Now you understand how to deal with a spider mite. But this war can drag on for a long time. And all this time it is necessary to observe personal safety measures. All insecticides have a toxic effect. You can inadvertently poison or harm people around you. Therefore, be careful, and only in this case, the fight against the spider mite will be safe for you. The option of switching to more toxic solutions for processing can be justified only if organic means did not help. In especially difficult cases, we apply “Malathion” (karbofos).
Things you need: insecticidal soap, disposable gloves, sprayer, appropriate fertilizers for plants.