Organic ways to get rid of spider mites?

Ratmosphere

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Anyone have any organic remedies for wiping out spider mites on plants? I want the most organic way possible.
 

mickiem

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What kind of plant are you noticing them on? In my garden, there are a few plants that are prone to red spider mites. All I ever do is jet a spray of water at the plant. I try to "rinse" the stems and branches. That's it! I don't believe there is anything that is 100% safe. Even the water jet will jet anything in it's path. Any chemical or organic solution that claims to kill spider mite is a biocide - kills life. If it kills one life form it will kill others; us included.

The best defense is always the best heath. Keep it all healthy and they can withstand a bite or two. Balance.

I'll step down from my soap box now. o_O
 

Ratmosphere

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The kind I am growing cannot have too much water exposure. Maybe garlic cloves boiled in water, then spray it on the leaves of the plant?
 

Leila

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Are the plants indoors or outdoors?

I used to grow plants in my house. I had issues with spider mites. Lady bugs helped tremendously. :)
 

mickiem

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The kind I am growing cannot have too much water exposure. Maybe garlic cloves boiled in water, then spray it on the leaves of the plant?
I like the lady bug idea. Garlic would be worth a shot. If the plants are potted, you could take the plants out of their pots, swish the tops in water and replace in their pots. I have done all kinds of things to take care of issues but it would help to know what kind of plants you have; in or out of doors and potted or in the ground. Treatment (if you want to call it that) would be different for all these situations.
 

Ratmosphere

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Awesome. I actually found a dead lady bug in the soil so it looks like they come!
 

Leila

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I bought huge bags of live lady bugs off the internet. I'm not sure how effectie one single lady bug would be, @Ratmosphere :)

@mickiem, I'd never heard of using garlic. Sounds interesting. :)
 
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Ellenantula

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What kind of plant are you noticing them on? In my garden, there are a few plants that are prone to red spider mites. All I ever do is jet a spray of water at the plant. I try to "rinse" the stems and branches. That's it! I don't believe there is anything that is 100% safe. Even the water jet will jet anything in it's path.
This.
I clicked on thread to say the exact same thing! I grew a Deadly Nightshade (Belladonna) and that thing was covered in spider mites every time I turned around. I found rinsing it in water fixed it and learned to just keep that one spritzed regularly. Never had spider mites bother any other houseplants, just the nightshade.
 

The Snark

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USFS recommends sulphur and slaked like (Calcium hydroxide) in water for mite control in areas where they forbid commercial pesticides.
 

schmiggle

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In addition to ladybugs you could try predatory mites. The thing to remember with any predator or parasitoid, though, is that once pest density gets low enough they have a tendency to die off, even though the root problem is unlikely to be totally solved (two spider mites can't support predators, but they can reproduce).
You might also try neemoil or insecticidal soap, if you can't control just with spraying water.
Finally, my philosophy on toxic chemicals (beyond neemoil and its ilk): they have a time and a place. If you have one or two succulents, you probably don't need them--you can probably wipe out all your pests with repeated applications of various low-impact control methods. If you have a really large collection, though, but not large enough to support predator populations (or you can't for some other reason--I don't know, maybe your pest is milkweed aphids, which are highly toxic :p), you may need to use proper pesticides. However, these vary widely in how bad they are. DDT is fat-soluble and highly persistent in the environment, so it should never be used (as far as I'm concerned). Organophosphates are broad-spectrum neurotoxin that should similarly be avoided. But sulfur, as snark suggested, is a pretty low-impact fungicide and acaricide in the grand scheme of things. If you can use it to permanently wipe out your mite population (which is only possible in a small collection) it will probably be worth it
 
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