How do you get rid of spider mites on tomato plants, shrubs, apple, lime, and other trees? Here are the secrets to use especially during the flowering season.
For many farmers across the world, spider mites pose a challenge. This is mainly due to the pest’s destructive nature.
However, despite this problem, the good news is that there are solutions and we are here to show you how. We aim to show you the best way possible to get rid of spider mites easily.
Also, getting rid of any insect pests includes knowing about their behavior. Hence we will provide these and more.
The best part is; we are providing the reader with as many options to choose from. You can also use a combination of the several methods we will provide here.
With the information contained here, we are confident your pest issues will be a thing of the past.
So, What are Spider Mites Exactly?
These aren’t spiders exactly but little pests notorious for sucking plant saps. As a result, they cause heavy damage to gardens. To make matters even worse, they have an extreme appetite which drives their feeding behavior.
A little delay in getting rid of them will lead to heavy losses within a short time.
However, getting rid of a spider mite problem during flowering isn’t as easy as it looks. But never mind as there are proven ways to keep them at bay.
Spider Mite Life Cycle
The life cycle of spider mites is one of the most important things you should know.
This enables you to understand their breeding behavior and control them efficiently. Dry or hot weather, as well as windy environments, provide ideal conditions for spider mites to thrive.
Winds transport them easily to newer territories. As regards hot and dry weather, spider mites take a considerably short amount of time (mostly 4 to 6 days) to molt from and egg stage to adulthood.
It all starts with spider mites laying their eggs on host plants during the winter season.
However little or nothing happens until Spring. At such periods, the drop in temperature enables these eggs to hatch. Very tiny mites emerge and find shelter on surrounding plants after feeding for a day or two. The next stage of development is the nymph stage.
Here, spider mites develop 8 legs with development continuing to maturity. At maturity, female mites lay as much as 300 eggs.
How to Identify a Spider Mite Problem
One of the reasons why spider mites are difficult to control is due to their size. Also, these pests perch underneath the leaves of crops.
Though tiny, they leave a huge trail of destruction in their wake. However, there are ways to identify a mite problem before the situation gets out of control. If there’s an existing spider mite infestation, a close examination will reveal tiny red or white dots.
These aren’t static but move. If you can see this, then you are looking at the culprits; spider mites!
White, yellow and tan spots on leaves are also evidence of spider mite feeding activity. Further turning the leaves will reveal a whitey webbing.
Finding all of these is evidence enough that you are faced with an infestation. Under such circumstances, fast action is needed.
How to Get Rid of Spider Mites
The sections above have been necessary to allow you to have a better idea of what’s involved as well as the nature of the problem.
Getting rid of spider mites involves several strategies as you would see shortly. By the end of this section, you should have several options you can choose from.
Each of these has proven to be reliable and should solve your pest issues no matter how bad the situation is.
Chemical or Natural Control?
This has been an issue for most farmers as they ponder which approach best solves their spider mite infestation issues. Chemical control normally involves the purchase of appropriate chemicals. These are sprayed directly onto infested crops.
For best results, such chemicals need to be applied all over the plants.
However, the problem is its negative effects on beneficial insects. These are called beneficial because they feed on spider mites too.
This is the first step in getting rid of spider mites. From the moment you notice an infestation, you are in a race against time to exterminate the problem. Any delay will result in further damage which is most severe.
We’ve mentioned that these pests are a nightmare to farmers. This is as a result of their huge appetites, their seeming resistance to treatment, resurfacing after seeming success in ridding them as well as rapid reproductive rates.
Given the above reasons, immediate action is required when detected. To ensure your plants are safe, constant monitoring is of the essence.
Therefore in the event, you notice a discoloration of your plant leaves, it may not necessarily be due to nutrient deficiency. You will need to check for spider mite infestation.
This is one of the sure ways you can get rid of spider mites. We earlier stated that these pests love hot environments. Such temperatures are favorable and speed up reproduction.
As such, you need to find a way to alter or drop the temperature around your crops. Windy surroundings contribute to lowering spider mite activity. Although effective, heat control doesn’t completely solve this pest issue.
However, it helps other extermination methods to be more effective.
To solve the problem of stagnant air and high temperature, you can introduce artificial measures. Such include the use of fans, especially for indoor plants. While dropping temperature, strong winds discourage mating among spider termites.
Use of Insecticides
Whenever insecticides are mentioned, some farmers tend to develop cold feet. This is due in part to the resilience of spider mites. Other reasons include its harmful effects on the environment and other beneficial organisms.
However, there are natural insecticides. These are organic insecticides and are safe.
They are also designed to be lethal to destructive pests while being safe around beneficial organisms.
A few of these insecticides include the following;
i. Essentria IC3
Though used effectively on bed bugs, this has also been used successfully on spider mites. For best results, you need to spray this on your plants daily until they are free from this pest.
When spraying, every part of the plant including the soil should be covered with this insecticide.
The good thing with this method is that it can be combined with other strategies in ridding your plants of this pest.
Spider mites can be gotten rid of by using this insecticide. This can be used in a variety of ways. One of such is by adding it when watering your plants.
This isn’t only applied to all parts of the plant but also the soil. This acts well by killing all spider mites it comes in contact with.
To keep these pests at bay, this should be repeated as often as possible.
This is yet another organic insecticide that is considered safe for use around your home and gardens. To treat your plants, this can be applied with water and sprayed all over.
For best results, this insecticide should also be applied to the soil around your plants. This needs to be repeated as often as possible as spider mites might be lurking around and waiting.
Calling a Pest Management Service
Pest management services are ever ready to take control of your pest issues. This is an option you can exploit for complete riddance of the most difficult spider mite problems. This option is also the easiest among the rest. This is because you only need to point to the problem and give way.
Pest control technicians step in to investigate. They start by inspecting your plants to determine the causes as well as the extent of the infestation.
This enables them to choose the most effective treatment techniques. Pest management services offer a wide range of pest solutions. These fall under different plans.
Upon inspection, the pest control technician recommends the best action as well as the plan to choose from.
Prune Affected Plants
Affected plants need to be pruned.
However, in situations where the plants are badly affected, they need to be completely pulled from the roots. These are either be burned or disposed of in the trash.
The longer immediate action is delayed, the more severe the damage and spread is.
Spray Some Water
As ordinary as this may seem, hosing your plants with water is a great way to limit spider mite activity. This is because dust attracts these pests. Hence to keep them away, some hosing is necessary. You don’t need to do this frequently but as often as required.
However, this strategy shouldn’t be considered sufficient enough but can be combined with other methods.
Water your Plants
Plants need water to survive but such water also helps keep spider mites away. This is why plants need to be constantly watered. This step, though simple helps in no little way to solve a difficult problem.
The steps above have shown you how you can get rid of a spider mite infestation no matter how difficult it may seem.
Although each of these strategies has been tested with success, combining any of these gives better results.