The spider mite is one of the most feared pests in a large number of countries. These tiny mites are a great danger due, above all, to their high propagation and reproduction capacity, thanks to which they can infest entire plantations in a few days if not treated properly.
In this article we are going to talk about how to eliminate spider mites from plants . Keep reading us if you are interested in discovering a practical guide with remedies and tips to get rid of this plague and learn how to prevent it.
How to identify the spider mite: characteristics and symptoms on plants
Before explaining how to combat the spider mite on plants , we want to detail what its characteristics are and what symptoms can be seen in the plants affected by this insect so that you can identify if this is the problem you have in front of you or if, on the contrary, it is another plague.
Although it is commonly called a spider, this pest is actually a mite less than 1 mm in size, which feeds on plants by sucking the sap from leaves, stems and fruits with its stylets. It can also display a wide variety of colors, and despite its red spider name it is possible to find colonies of these mites yellowish, brownish or greenish, depending mainly on the climate and the diet of each type. They lay their eggs, which are smooth and spherical, on the underside of the leaves . If this is observed with a magnifying glass, the amber eggs can be distinguished, but they are invisible to the naked eye due to their small size.
Among the symptoms of spider mites on plants , it is common to find the following:
- Small yellowish chlorotic spots can be distinguished on the leaves. In these early stages of infestation, the pest can be almost invisible to us, and it is necessary to pay attention to these spots on leaves or fruits.
- As the spider mite multiplies, fine cobwebs can begin to be seen on the plants, which will grow rapidly until they cover much of the plant.
- At this point, the mite forms a perfectly visible layer at the points where it concentrates, and spreads to other plants using cobwebs, wind or gravity.
- In severe cases the plants can be completely defoliated.
- In horticultural plantations, the fruits suffer stains that greatly decrease their value, causing great economic losses.
How to remove spider mites from plants
Although it is one of the most common pests on plants , there are many remedies to eliminate spider mites . These are some of the most common:
Natural predators of the spider mite
The use of natural predators as a means of pest control is very common. In the case of the spider mite, the most common is Amblyseius. This type of control, however, has the downside that, once the pest is decimated, the natural predator disappears due to lack of food, so it is necessary to repopulate the crops or the garden from time to time to control the pests of Red spider.
Use of pesticides
The abuse of insecticides or pesticides is never recommended, but there are cases of large pests in which it is advisable to use some and, in addition, many products with the capacity to combat red spider mites. Despite everything, this mite has a facility to develop resistance to these products, which also protects itself with its cobwebs if the infestation is large. In addition, many pesticides kill a large number of species, and not only with the plague to combat, so you have to try to avoid them and look for other methods or use them little.
It is one of the most popular ecological remedies, since it is not harmful to the environment and, especially when combined with the application of Neem oil, it is quite effective in the fight against this pest. The solution of this product is sprayed on the affected leaves and plants and, in a matter of a short time, a drastic reduction in the pest will be observed.
Home remedies to eliminate spider mites
- The garlic solution can also be a useful ally in reducing the number of spider mites. It is prepared by crushing half an onion, 2 cayenne chillies and 2 cloves of garlic and letting the mixture rest in a liter of water for about 48 hours, stirring it a little from time to time. After two days, filter it and add 3 more liters of water. Apply it especially on the underside of the leaves.
- The slurry nettle is also quite popular, but you must keep this product away from pregnant women, as this may cause damage to the fetus.
How to eliminate flowering spider mites
Actually, in the flowering stage, synthetic chemical insecticides should not be used , as their flowers and fruits are endangered.
Thus, it is best that you use biological insecticides or natural products, even if they are quite elaborate, such as potassium soap. In fact, if it is small plants, the eggs and adults can be removed from the underside of the leaves manually with a cotton ball dipped in the soap solution.
How to prevent spider mites on plants
Nitrogen fertilizers should not be abused , in addition to maintaining not too low humidity levels in the crop. The use of vermicompost also helps to prevent the appearance of the plague, since it is rich in microorganisms that are harmful to the mite.