How to Kill Spider Mites Without Harming Plants
Spider mites are plant dwelling arthropods that live on the undersides of leaves and spin silk webs to protect their eggs. They have tiny mouth parts designed to suck chlorophyll from microscopic plant cells. They can inflict significant damage to plant and tree life, but they don’t often bite humans. In rare instances, their bites have been known to cause allergic reactions in people, but they don’t have the capability to live on or within human skin. To kill spider mites and leave a protective barrier that discourages new mites from entering sprayed territory, apply our outdoor concentrate with a hose end sprayer. Spider mites are notorious for developing resistance to chemical pesticides quickly. Therefore, a good organic pesticide is worth its weight in gold. In a press release, leading U.S.D.A. scientists proclaimed that our formula represents an historic breakthrough in the control of nematodes and crop pests.
More Facts About Spider Mites
SIZE AND APPEARANCE: Spider mites are visible to the naked eye only under the brightest light. Under a magnifying glass, they tend to look like little red spiders, though they may vary in color. Their eggs look like tiny translucent pearls covered with webbing to protect against predators.
MODE OF TRANSMISSION: Spider mites don’t travel much; they rarely leave the plant they’re feeding on. They can, however, infest other plants indoors, particularly if the plants are touching. Mites can also drop from one plant and crawl to another. In outdoor environments, spider mites can be transported on clothing or objects that touch infested plants.
ABILITY TO INFEST PEOPLE AND HOMES: Spider mites may be found in homes with abundant plants, but since they can’t live far from their food source, they aren’t likely to disperse throughout the home. They may occasionally bite humans who brush past potted trees or handle plants directly. Bites will typically look like a very small pimple surrounded by a red circle. Several bites in the same area may form the appearance of a rash.
SIGNS OF SPIDER MITE INFESTATION: Plant leaves infested by spider mites have a speckled or stippled look from feeding punctures. By the time webbing becomes visible, there may be millions upon millions of mites infesting your plant. To identify spider mites before webbing becomes visible, wipe the underside of a leaf with a facial tissue or soft white cloth. If the tissue comes out red or rust colored, your plant has spider mites. You may also hold a piece of white paper under a leaf and sharply tap the plant to release mites clinging to the surface. If the plant is infested, you’ll find tiny specks that look like dust. With the help of a magnifying glass, you may see the mites move.
ABILITY TO TRANSMIT DISEASE: Spider mites are not known to spread diseases to humans.
OUTDOOR TREATMENT: If caught early enough, a spider mite problem can be corrected with a simple blast of water on the underside of infected plant leaves. To treat advanced infestations of crops and gardens, spray the entire area with our outdoor concentrate. (One quart makes eight gallons of solution.) As you rinse each plant, angle your hose-end sprayer to hit the underside of plant leaves.
INDOOR TREATMENT: Indoor treatment is usually not necessary because spider mites that roam away from plants will soon die. Direct treatment of plants is a better option. Note: Our indoor formula is not intended for application to plants. It is only meant for cabinets, carpets, couches, bedding, animals and human skin. To treat plants directly without damage, use our outdoor concentrate.
TREATMENT OF BITES: Spider mite bites rarely need treatment, but people who are allergic to mites may experience more itching and swelling than usual. If affected areas feel hot to the touch, apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. Oral antihistamines and cortisone ointments may also be helpful. For severe allergic reactions accompanied by fever, go directly to the hospital.