Spider mites are nasty predators and the dread of many gardeners because they can greatly reduce the lifespan of garden plants. They are often hard to get rid of within foliage. These tiny mites are very hard to see, and some of them -- such as the two-spotted spider mite -- are barely visible to the naked eye. If your outdoor patio is crawling with these little beasts, you can bet your foliage is, too.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Garden hose
- Castile soap
- Spray bottle
- Phytoseiulus persimilis mite
- Isopropyl alcohol
Inspect and quarantine any infested plants that are on the patio by removing them, if feasible. Avoid placing them near other plants in your yard to avoid spreading the infestation.
Hose the porch down well with cold water. Mites do not mind the damp, but cold water will both drown them and create a hostile environment. Repeat this daily for one week.
Spray the patio down with a homemade insecticidal soap after you apply the cold shower. It is chemical-free and will turn any survivors to mush. Use three drops of Castile soap per quart of water. Spray the affected area daily after applying the cold water treatment.
Introduce a predator if they are also in your foliage. The Phytoseiulus persimilis is a mite that feeds not only on spider mites, but its own species. Within a few weeks it will have eaten the spider mites and cannibalised itself.
Mix 50 per cent isopropyl alcohol and water in a spray bottle to use for spot annihilation of the pests on the patio. Keep it nearby when you're outside. Spray the area every 20 minutes as needed.
Tips and warnings
- Inspect plant leaves by holding a paper towel under them and tapping the stalk to see if any fall out. Spider mites are tiny and can sometimes be hard to see.
- Be cautious when using insecticidal soaps on affected plants as you will also be killing off other insects in your garden.
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