If you grow houseplants, it can be a worry thought that you might have a spider mite infestation in your home. Spider mites can cause lots of problems in your houseplants or the plants in your yard. They can kill plants are need to be dealt with so that they don’t spread and ruin your whole lawn, yard or houseplants. Spider mites can live without plants for about a week. The best way to kill and prevent spider mite infestation is to look after your plants well and keep them clean.
The good news is that spider mites can’t survive for very long without plants as they depend on plants for their nutrients. This means that they won’t be able to infest your whole house. Spider mites can only live for about eleven days without a plant but can withstand harsh conditions.
Spider mites can be challenging to eliminate as they have unique survival instincts. Read on if you’ve ever wondered ‘can spider mites live without plants?’ This article will tell you all about these little pests.
What are Spider Mites?
Spider mites are part of the arachnid family which are related to many other insects, including spiders, ticks, and scorpions. These tiny white insects are often compared to spiders as they can spin silk webs that they attach to plants. One of the main reasons people will realize that they have a spider mite infestation is due to the threads of silk they see on the leaves. Plants with spider mites often have a fuzzy appearance.
Spider mites go through five growth stages while transforming from a tiny egg into an adult insect. Female spider mites have a lifespan of approximately a month and will lay about a hundred eggs during that time. With that amount of babies, you can see how your plants can quickly become infested.
Spider mites are so tiny that they’d lily go unnoticed if it wasn’t for the webs they produce. It’s almost impossible to see a spider mite with the naked eye.
Can Spider Mites Survive Without Plants?
Spider mites aren’t able to survive for long if they aren’t living on a plant. If you have houseplants with spider mites, they won’t invade your whole house as they need a specific environment to thrive.
In fact, spider mites are very fussy when it comes to plant and soil conditions. They like the air and soil that surrounds the plant to be dry, hot, and humid. They also like dusty conditions, and this is when the insect’s fertility is at its highest, and breeding conditions are likely to be right.
Spider mites can be transported around your home and yard unknowingly by people and pets. However, they can only survive for about eleven days without the nutrients and shelter a plant provides. This means that if you have spider mites in your yard or on one of your houseplants, there’s a high possibility that they will spread to your other plants.
Spider mites are a hardy species that have evolved with some protection against the elements. Their eggs have a protein layer that helps to protect them and allows them to stay alive in the harshest conditions. Spider mite eggs are microscopic and can remain alive even if they aren’t on a plant. However, when the egg hatches, the insect will need to feed on plant matter and won’t survive for long if it’s in a weird location.
Spider mites and their eggs can also lie dormant throughout the winter and will survive even the coldest winter outside. Adult spider mites can live for between three and eleven days without food. The females can survive for a lot longer without a plant, whereas the males will perish after just a few days.
Check your plants for spider mites
It’s much easier to prevent spider mites from invading your yard or infesting your houseplants than it is to try and get rid of them. Aim to look after your plants well so that they remain as healthy as possible.
You should also check your plants weekly for signs of spider mites. Look out for white silk like threads that are similar to a spider’s web. These may be underneath your plant’s leaves and on the steams. It’s wise to check houseplants as well as plants in your yard. Houseplants should be checked more frequently, as the temperature inside your home will be more stable, and breeding conditions will be better, especially if your plants have been left to gather dust.
You can wipe houseplants with a damp cloth every week or two to keep them healthy and in good condition. Carefully check plants that are fruit-bearing, as well as vegetables as spider mites prefer these types of plants.
How to Get Rid of Spider Mites?
In the unfortunate event that your yard or your house plants become infested with spider mites, you’ll need to be careful how you get rid of them. Don’t be tempted to use a chemical pesticide as this is more likely to kill beneficial bugs that prey on the spider mites. With fewer bugs to eat the spider mites, their numbers will increase, and these pests will likely spread.
To get rid of spider mites, prune your plant’s leaves. Remove and leaves that are infested with spider mites or have visible webs. You can also wipe your plants regularly with a damp cloth as this will remove the eggs and adult insects. Dust of the entire plant so that conditions aren’t right for the insects to live and breed. If this doesn’t work, you may like to try an organic pesticide that is specially designed to get rid of spider mites.
Conclusion: Spider Mites Can Live Without Plants
Spider mites can survive for between three and eleven days without a plant, depending on their gender. They are very tricky to eliminate once an infestation has occurred. It’s best to take steps to prevent a spider mite infestation in the first place.
Water your plants correctly and ensure the soil is moist, clean, and free from dust. Spider mites prefer dry soil, so water can help prevent these insects from thriving.