Red Spider Mites: Lifecycle and Elimination

Red spider mites, Tetrachys urticae, abbreviated as R.S.M., also called Two-Spotted mites, are small arachnids that infest crop plants and cause distinctive leaf damage. The bottom part of the leaves is where juveniles and adults feed.

Mites feed on the sap of the leaf, leaving it flecked with some yellow marks. Plants that have been heavily plagued can be very stunted, chlorotic, or even wilt due to water stress in a dry environment.

A massive infestation can cause premature foliage drop. The spider mite rotates webs, which wilt plants and make it hard for sprays to get to the leaf area, sucking the contents out of the cells and causing chlorotic marks on the top of the leaf surface.

How to get rid of red spider mites

Red Spider Mites

In the scenery, red spider mites might be a major issue. They are frequently brought in from outside sources on plant material, but air currents can also blow them in. They eat a variety of woody and ornamental plants and vegetables, fruit-bearing ropes, and conifer and broadleaf trees.

Integrated Pest Management (I.P.M.) is the most effective way to control spider mites. In a nutshell, I.P.M. is the application of numerous control methods in a preventive and comprehensive approach to lessen pest populations, preserve plant health, and lower pesticide usage environmental impact. These management techniques are all mechanical, cultural, physical, chemical, and biological controls.

Cultural Controls

Reduced plant strain and making sure the plant’s surroundings is not amenable to spider mite growth are the major cultural controls for the spider mites. The mites are most commonly found in garden areas that stay dry, like along landscape bed corners and pathways.

It’s important to keep plants well-watered, especially in droughts, because red spider mites are more likely to attack drought-stressed crops first. Higher humidity levels in indoor settings or greenhouses can help decrease spider mite damage and populations.

Biological controls

Spider mite communities are kept in check by natural predators like lacewings, ladybugs, thrips, and predatory mites or rather Phytoseiulus persimilis. Prevent using pesticides to promote the beneficial insects to stay. Water garden and flower beds regularly and mulch them.

Essential oils

A 2017 study found that chamomile, spearmint, rosemary, and coriander essential oils were the most efficient in killing the two-spotted spider mite adults and eggs. Fill a bottle of spray with water and just a few drops of the oil of your choice from the top list, and spray on the affected leaves. Asphyxiating spider mites is another benefit of neem oil sprays.

Calcium-free water

Spray it on the foliage to develop a wet surrounding that will take them away. For this, a basic hand spray will suffice. Calcium-free water is water that is soft and low in minerals. Rainwater is an excellent example, but you can also use deionized water.

Mechanical Control

Spider mites, like aphids, can rinse them off the plant leaves. You must repeat the use of rinsing remedies frequently enough to prevent mites from returning to the crops. Washing the foliage in the middle of a season can help to avoid spider mite population explosions. Rinsing, sadly, is ineffective in large populations.

Controlling Chemicals

Chemical miticides may be required when other standard precautions have failed to maintain the populations under regulation. The main objective of miticide usage is to select one that has the least negative impact on natural enemies and pollinators while still being effective against the pest insect. Always learn to follow all label instructions before using the miticide.

The law is written on the tag! The label is the ultimate say on which plants, sectors, and speed one can use the product. When buying a miticide, check the pack for the active substance and select the product that contains the active ingredient that will effectively manage the pest.

Hot peppers

The researchers investigated the toxicity of pepper extracts such as bell peppers, chile, cayenne, and jalapenos peppers against spider mites. These peppers killed about 45 percent of older spider mites. Spider mites are also repelled by other pepper variants, like Bishop’s crown and lemon drop peppers. You can purchase hot pepper repellent from stores or online, or you can make it at home.


Are red spider mites harmful to humans?

Red Spider Mites

Although these small black, red mites are innocuous to animals and humans and do not harm foodstuffs and textiles, they could be a menace. People occasionally object to many of them on their walls, furniture, and window sills.

Scaling back any greenery outside close to infestation zones or access points, such as air bricks and windows, is the first step toward control. Indoors, one can spray on plagued surfaces, and you can use powder to spray outside in cracks, air vents, and crevices.

How to get rid of red spider mites on plants.

Chemical controls are recognized to develop resistance in red spider mites quickly. The goal is to keep mites from targeting the crops in the first place. You can use a white paper test to look for signs of red spider mites before implementing any newly potted plants into one’s home. If there are mites on the plant, don’t buy them.

Don’t put your new vegetation near heat vents or open windows when you get home; with a non-infected plant. Spider mites can access from outside thrive in toasty, dry environments. You can keep them at bay by maintaining dust to a minimal level on plants. Clean the plant fronds with a wet cloth once a week. Spider mites choose dry environments, so regular misting your plants can help repel them.

If the mite invasion isn’t severe, it will likely take several weeks to completely eradicate the mites, based on the red spider mite control approach used. If you decide to use sprays, do so once a week until you resolve the problem. The spider mite issue may disappear faster if you use predatory insects since they can eat thousands of mites per day.

Spider mites can live for a while without plants.

Take away

Of course, the most effective way to get rid of spider mites is to avoid them first. To keep them at bay, keep your crops healthy and the regions around them free of dust and debris. Also, ensure that the plants are getting enough water. It will aid in the control of red spider mites.  

Related:  How to Eliminate Spider Mites on a Jade Plant Stem.