Spider mites are one of the most common pests you could find in your succulents that is incredibly tiny in size, making it hard to detect from naked eye. When the weather gets warm, spider mites come out and pierce the plants’ cells and suck the sap out of them. This can lead to the plants’ weakening, making the succulents defenseless against diseases and other issues which is really bad. Since every female spider mite can lay hundreds of eggs every week, these pests reproduce at an accelerating pace creating spider mite problem.
Due to this reason, a severe infestation can manifest in only a matter of days. Hence it is pivotal to get rid of spider mites as soon as you detect them. So lets see How do you get rid of spider mites on succulents?
What are spider mites?
Known as arachnids, spider mites are not strictly insects. Since they have eight legs, they’re more connected with spiders than insects. Many spider mites come in various colors like red, brown, green, and yellow. But the ones we’re most familiar with are the two-spotted spider mites and red spider mites.
Spider Mites Symptoms and signs
Since spider mites are incredibly tiny in size, they look like red, yellow, brown, or green dots moving on the leaves. Spider mites suck the sap out from under the plates, but the detriment is shown on the surface of the leaves.
Below are three signs that would help you identify spider mites on your succulent plant.
- Leaves being covered with silky woven webs.
- The leaves of the succulent turning bronze or yellow in one or many areas. (This is an indication of a heavy infestation)
- Tiny yellow or white spots on the leaves.
If you have a suspicion that your succulent could be infested with spider mites, take a piece of paper and hold it under the plant. Then lightly shake the plant. The spider mites will fall off onto the article, and it will look like speckles.
How do you get rid of spider mites on succulents?
Flush with water
Spray pressured water on your succulent and wash the predatory mites away! You can either use a hose to power spray or do strong steam from a spray bottle on your succulent plants. This method is surprisingly effective on spider mites. Make sure to spray water from below to hit the leaves’ back. Then take a clean sponge and dampen it. Use it to clean behind the leaves. Clean the sponge following each wipe by dipping it in a water pail.
Another easy method to getting rid spider mites is to spray alcohol on the infested plant. You can pour 70% isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) on to your plant without mixing with any water, neat you could say! Though it might sound a bit frightening to shower your lovely succulents with alcohol, fortunately for you.
This is not harmful to your plants. Since alcohol evaporates quickly, you can even use this method every day until you eliminate all the pests on your succulents. Isn’t that great?!
Pruning any leaves or stems of your succulent attacks will also help you eliminate these pests. Prune all the infected leaves, place the clippings in a polybag and toss it in the trash. Always make sure not to use these clippings for your compost since spider mite eggs can lay dormant until the perfect climate arises to hatch.
If the entire plant has been infested with mites or the plant’s health seems to have gone too far to recover, consider pulling the plant off from the roots. This is to prevent the infestation from spreading into the other plants.
Neem oil is a natural insecticide that has been used for a long time to control pests. The best thing is that it’s nontoxic for many beneficial insects, birds, and animals.
All you have to do is mix neem oil with water, spray it from a spray bottle and then wipe it all from your succulent plant’s leaves. It’s best to carry out this method once per week.
This is a more effective treatment than neem oil of severe infestations. When you detect spider mites on your succulent plant, thoroughly apply insecticidal soap to all the plant surfaces. Repeat the same procedure once every ten days until all the spider mites disappear.
It’s essential to apply insecticide in the evening or when the plant has been moved from direct sunlight since insecticide combined with sunlight can cause the plants to burn.
Lemon water sprays
For this method, what you have to do is squeeze some lemons, pour the lemon juice into a spray bottle and dilute it with water to make a 50/50 solution. Then spray the lemon juice mixture on to your infested succulent plants. After the insects die, make sure to rinse off the lemon juice mixture from your plants.
This is an essential step since lemon juice is a natural herbicide, and in case you forget to rinse it off, it could accidentally burn the leaves of your plant.
Since spider mites thrive In a climate that’s dry, warm, and low in humidity, the best way to attack the mites is to keep the humidity high around your succulent plants and mist the plant.
Natural Predators to control spider mites
This is a biological control method used to control pests using other organisms. Ladybugs, Lacewings, Pirate bugs, and Predatory thrips are all predators that feed on pests that harm plants. These bugs can help you eliminate the spider mites feeding on your succulent plants through natural predation.
These bugs mostly prey on pests like mites, scales, and aphids. Ladybugs are attracted to pests and pollen. So you can attract them by planting some flowering plants such as cilantro, calendula, marigold, etc.
These are natural predators that prey on mites, mealybugs, whiteflies, etc. They feed on plant nectar, pollen, and insect larvae. To increase the number of Lacewings in your garden, it’s best not to use any chemical insecticides.
Pirate bugs –
Like ladybugs, these creatures help us to get rid of aphids, mites, and even thrips. These bugs are attracted to plants like cosmos, fennel, spearmint, etc.
Predatory thrips –
These insects eat pests like mites, scales, whiteflies, and lace bugs. These predators are usually found on fruit-bearing trees or vegetables. Introduce these insects to your succulent plants infested with spider mites so that they’ll eat away all the mites and make them disappear along with all your worries!
Using artificial insecticides
You can use any synthetic chemical insecticides to get rid of spider mites. But it’s essential to be careful and take precautions when using these. Always read the given instructions before using these artificial insecticides. Certain insecticides are imidacloprid or acephate. These will help to control the spider mites infesting your succulent plants.
This is one of the most effective ways of eliminating spider mites. All you have to do is mix two-part mouthwash with one tablespoon of dish wash along with 1 liter of water and spray it on to your infested plants.
This will destroy all the spider mites on your succulent plant in only a matter of days since it contains alcohol. Keep spraying for a few days until you get rid of all the mites.
Diatomaceous Earth is a type of powder made from the sediments of fossilized remains of algae found in water bodies. Since Diatomaceous Earth contains about 80% – 90% of silica, it can kill the spider mites by causing them dehydration and death. All you have to do is cover the soil, stem, and leaves with diatomaceous Earth and wait for it to do its wonders!
How to identify spider mites on succulents
These tiny creatures are tough to spot, and they usually hide under the leaves. So you may only notice there’s something wrong with your succulent when it’s growth stunts. These are some signs that would indicate that spider mites have taken over the plant.
§ Once a week, check under your plants to spot any yellow, brown, or red tiny dots.
§ Tiny white spots on the leaves.
§ If the plant is seriously infested, the succulent leaves will start turning white first. Then they will turn yellow and finally turn brown and eventually fall off.
§ Another way to know if your plant has been infested with spider mites is by looking out for silky webs on the leaves or stem.
Signs of spider mites on succulents
Keep a close eye on your succulents, and if you see any white spots on the leaves, this could be a sign of spider mites. If there are any webs around the stems or on the leaves, this is another sign that would indicate spider mites might infest your succulent plant. Suppose these symptoms go unnoticed and the infestation manifests into a serious one.
In that case, the plant’s infected leaves will eventually turn white and yellow and then brown and fall off even though the other leaves look healthy.
Will vinegar kill spider mites?
Since vinegar is highly acidic, spider mites hate it. So the answer is yes! Vinegar can kill spider mites, and you can use this method to get rid of these pests. All you have to do is mix ¼ cup of vinegar with one tablespoon of baking soda and a few drops of liquid dish soap in 1 liter of lukewarm water.
Spray this mixture in all the places overrun with pests.
What is the best way to get rid of spider mites?
The best solution to eliminate spider mites would be spraying alcohol on your plant. You can either stream or dab alcohol on the leaves of your succulent plant. But I would say the best option is to squirt 70% isopropyl alcohol and spray it on all the plant’s infected areas.
Make sure to spread it well, especially on the back of the leaves where the spider mites could be hiding. Since alcohol evaporates quickly, you don’t have to worry about damaging your plants.
From Where Do Spider Mites Come?
Since spider mites are too tiny in size, you could be carrying them around on your skin, on your clothes, and even your pets could have mites on them. The most common source of spider mites could be from buying new plants that already contain mites. So it’s best to isolate the newly purchased plants for about two weeks before putting them together with the other plants.
This way, you can prevent these spider mites from being spread to your already established plants.
How do I get rid of spider mites on my indoor plants?
You can use bellow methods in indoor.
- Rubbing alcohol spray
- Apply Neem oil
- Lemon water sprays
- Spray Mouthwash