Spider mites are one of the most common pests to attack plants in households. These tiny bugs in the arachnid family feed on houseplant tissues, resulting in little brown or red dots on plant leaves and stems. If left untreated, the houseplant may die. If the plants in your home are afflicted with these mites, several home remedies can kill them.
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No need exists to use toxic chemical sprays when a homemade soap spray also works to kill spider mites. The soap coats the spider mite's body and essentially suffocates it. For effective spider mite control, An Oregon State University Extension Service publication suggests mixing 3 tbsp of standard, liquid dish-washing soap with 1 gallon of water. After the mixture is poured into a spray bottle, it can be misted evenly across all exposed surfaces of plants. Spraying can be repeated every five days until all of the spider mites are dead.
Spider mites are easily dislodged from their host plant with water. Thus, spraying your plant with a strong jet of water works as an effective way to kill and remove the bugs, according to the University of California Integrated Pest Management Program Online. A potted houseplant placed outdoors or in a bathtub can be sprayed with water from a garden hose or shower head. Water should be focused on the underside of plant foliage, which is where the bugs often congregate. This action also removes dust that may have collected on the plant; dust is a strong attractant for the mites. Additionally, well-watered plants are far less susceptible to mite invasions.
Rubbing alcohol is good for more than just disinfecting and cleaning wounds. It's also lethal to spider mites. To kill the mites, Oregon State University Extension Service recommends dipping a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol then wiping an entire plant down with the cotton ball. The alcohol kills the mites on contact.
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