Have you ever heard of red spider mites? Are you wondering about What is a Red Spider Mite? Have you ever seen small little red coloured insects on the plant leaves? If you just sighted some moving dust like moving insects, then you have probably sighted red spider mites. These red spider mites are tiny sucking pests that can harm your plants. They are considered as a garden pest and can infect your plants causing them to deteriorate and result in poor health of the plants. Spider mites can be categorized into two categories the Southern red spider mites and the European red spider mites. They can cause harm to the indoor and outdoor plants as well. They cause leaves discolouration, speckled plants, and bronze coloured leaves which affects the plants adversely. Not only can they harm the plants but God forbid if you get bitten by a red spider mite then it may cause you swelling on the bitten area and itching too thus it is essential that you get rid of these spider mites from your vicinity. These red spider mites are highly active during summers and inactive during winters. In such a situation it is very necessary that you get rid of these red spider mites at an early stage before it obliterates your plants. So continue reading to gain an insight about identifying red spider mites and ways to get rid of these tiny monsters.
Identifying Red Spider Mites
Many people are considered about what is a red spider mite? They hardly know how it looks like and ways to identify them on plants. Keep reading to identify these monsters. If you find a plant that looks unhealthy and if the undersides of the leaves look dusty then it is quite probable that the plan is infested by spider mites. The dust that you see is not dust actually but are spider mites. For this, you need to carefully analyse the plant and find out if the dust is moving or not. Another way of identifying red spider mites is by spotting cobwebs that you can see on the branches. Many times it is challenging to spot a red spider mite with naked eyes, for this, you need to have a magnifying glass to observe the leaves more closely for finding out if there is any red spider mite infestation on the plants. There are plants such as eggplants, pea pods, tomatoes, beans, etc., which are more prone to red mite infestation. So keep checking these plants regularly so that your plants do not fall prey to any such spider mite outbreaks.
These red spider mites are capable of sucking up the sap from the plants deteriorating its leaves and stems. Thus it is very necessary to keep vigilant and check out any such infestations. If you find yellow coloured leaves or white spots and tans, then it is quite probable that your plants are being spoiled by red spider mites. At the last stage of infestation, you can also see leaves curling up and eventually detaching themselves from the stems and falling off. Of you sight such signs, then your plant is undoubtedly infected by these mites, and you need to take control over it before it spoils your plants completely.
How to Control Red Spider Mites?
There are various ways to control the infestation of spider mites. You get a lot many pesticides and insecticides to kill these insects. If you use insecticides and pesticides, then surely you can skill the red spider mites, but along with these mites, there are chances that you can kill the other useful predators too. Here are a few ways to control spider mites organically. These predators can be helpful for you which can feed on the spider mites and in return save your plants. But using insecticides will kill them as well. So it is better that you use organic methods for cutting down the population of red spider mites. You may be surprised to know but the female red spider mites can lay eggs approximately 300 eggs at a time within a weeks’ time, and there are high chances of these insects not being killed by the insecticides. So it is better that you go by the natural methods of removing these monstrous little red creatures from your garden.
So if you are looking out for ways on how to control red spider mites, then here is something helpful for you:
Isolation of the plant
If You find a plant that is infested with red spider mites, then the very first step that you need to do is to isolate that particular plant from others. This is required of you so that the red spider mites don’t get a chance to creep on to other plants and start harming them as well.
Once you are done with the isolation process of the plants infected by red spider mites, you need to prune it. Pruning is the method of removal of stems, leaves and other such parts of the plant that is infested by these red spider mites and throwing it away into dustbins that are far away from your garden. Once you are done with the pruning, ensure that you have done it properly and there are no cobwebs left on the plant. Sometimes it may happen that the whole plant may be infested with red spider mites, in such a case there is no other chance left rather than disposing off that plant completely. Also when you throw away the leaves and stems of the plant, make sure that you have thrown it away in trash bins or somewhere far off so that there are no chances of the red spider mites to get re-entry in your garden and harm new plants.
We have already mentioned about natural predators above and how they are helpful in getting rid of these red spider mites. These predators can be of great help to remove red spider mites from your garden. So a great way of getting rid of red spider mites organically is by introducing few natural predators in your garden which will dine on the spider mites and leave your plants free from spider mite infestation. Having natural predators inhibiting your garden will cut down the population of these mites and will stop them from spoiling your plants as well. You can welcome some predators namely lacewing, ladybugs, etc. to your garden so that you can shove off the red spider mites that may be harmful to your plants. You can easily get these predators at nurseries and bring them to your home to save your plants.
Herbal tea hack
If you are really adamant about getting rid of the red spider mites, then herbal tea can be your saviour. You can take a mixture of grounded cinnamon powder mixed with grounded cloves and tea and then dissolve it in water to prepare an herbal solution. Now you need to boil all the ingredients combined together and keep it away for some time to cool down. You can then filter this solution, fill it up in a spray jar and use it on the plants which are infected by red spider mites.
Another way to get rid of red spider mites organically is by spraying the plant with water with a high force pressure water pipe. Performing this spraying action will cause the red mites to drop down from the leaves and stems and thus freeing off the plants from the infestation. If the plant is kept inside the home, then you can either take them outdoors and then perform the water spraying task. If you want to treat the plant indoors, then you can also use a wet sponge to wipe off the red mites. Keep repeating this process so that you annihilate all traces of spider mites.
Organic salts for your help
You can also use organic salts such as potassium or fatty acids and apply it on the infected area of the plants to free your plants from spider mites. Also, make sure that you keep your plants free from weeds and remove dust and debris lying near it to keep a spider mite control check.
The soapy spraying hack
Like the water spraying, you can also use a soapy water solution for performing the same task of removal of red spider mites. For this, you need to add two tablespoons of cooking oil and soap in one gallon of water and spray it on the plants directly. You need to continue doing this task in every three to four days until and unless you find that the red spider mites have vacated and are no longer there on your plants. Also, make sure that you do not use a harsh and strong shampoo for doing this, or it may affect your plants. Always make sure that you use a mild shampoo or a baby shampoo for preparing this soapy mixture. If you are unsure about the harshness and mildness of the shampoo, then you can take a patch test and spray this solution on a small part of the leaves to find out of the leaves are burning or not. If nothing as such happens, then you can proceed further and use this solution for treating spider mites.
Another thing to keep in mind while using this solution is that there are no other useful predators in the plant that you are spraying with this soap mixture or they will be killed as well.
Pepper spray has all the capabilities of keeping of the red spider mites from infecting your plants. This is a very helpful hack for controlling the red spider mites. For this, you need to take one spoon of hot sauce or pepper mixed in warm water added with a few drops of liquid dish wash detergent. Now you are required to keep this solution for a night and strain the solution using a filter. You can also add garlic and onions to make this pepper solution more strong and to give out better results. Once you are done with it, you can use this solution at the bottom of the leaves or the places where the plant is infested in order to free your plants from red spider mites. Also, take care that you use this solution carefully and maintaining a safe distance from your eyes. Ensure that you take a patch test by using this pepper solution on a small part or a particular leaf so that you get to know that it is not harming the plant in anyway.
The oily solution
There are many essential oils such as eucalyptus oil, cinnamon oil, rosemary, peppermint, thyme, neem oil, etc. that can come to your rescue when you are on the task of removal of red spider mites from your plants. These oils can help you to get your plants free from spider mites by killing them and also preventing them from causing further infestation. These essential oils hack is one of the best ways to get rid of spider mites because in no way do they cause any harm to the plants but are inevitably going to cut down the red spider population. So you can mix these essential oils in Luke warm water and spray it in the plants. Ensure that you are not using the essential oils directly on the plants, you should take care that you always use a dilute solution by mixing water to it and then further use it to prevent any damages that may be caused to the plants.
Dusting the plants regularly
Ensure that you sift the plants and clean it with water at regular intervals so that red spider mites do not infest your plants. Also make sure that you provide proper nourishment to the plants such as water, soil and are exposed to adequate light so that these plants stay healthy. Also, keep a check on the eggs. red spider mites lay eggs mostly in the warm season, so keep a check that you do no sight any such eggs on the plants. If you happen to sigh these eggs, then remove it at the very first step before the eggs hatch up and give birth to new spider mites that may hamper your plants in significant ways.