How to get rid of little red spider mites

Updated February 21, 2017

Red spider mites are common yard and garden pests, but hard to detect because they are the size of a poppy seed and inhabit the underside of leaves. The first indication of a red spider mite infestation is often small brown and yellow spots on plants. Left unchecked, spider mites can cause serious damage to plants--or even kill them. Learn how to get rid of red spider mites before it's too late.

Use a hose to spray cold water on the infested plants, which will knock the red spider mites from their hiding places. Be careful that the stream is not too strong to avoid harming your plants. Make sure to spray the undersides of the leaves.

Mix 1 part Isopropyl alcohol and 1 part water in a spray bottle. Add a few drops of dishwashing detergent. Spray the solution on the plants infested with red spider mites, concentrating on the bottoms of the leaves. Repeat the spraying after 20 minutes to kill any remaining mites.

Dilute 1 tsp of pure Neem oil in 1 qt. of water and add to a spray bottle. Thoroughly spray the infested plants, along with the roots and soil. Neem oil repels spider mites.

Purchase natural predators from a garden store or nursery. Ladybirds and other parasitic insects will kill spider mites. Check that the insects you purchase to kill the red spider mites are appropriate for the infested plants.


It is not necessary to attempt these steps in a particular order. Any of them have the potential to eradicate red spider mites. Keep infested plants isolated from healthy plants to prevent the spread of the red spider mites.

Things You'll Need

  • Hose
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Spray bottle
  • Neem oil
  • Ladybirds
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