Spider mites are one of the most dangerous plant diseases. They cut the food supply to the leaves of the plants making them incompatible to do photosynthesis that is required to oxidise food for the plants. These mites are tiny about 1mm in size and are spherical in shape. They lay around million eggs in a month which they protect by spinning a web around them. Due to this web spinning activity of these mites, they are called spider mites. The silky web spun by them protects their eggs from the predators. These mites are red, brown or green in colour and are generally found underneath the leaves. If not checked on time, the mites can completely destroy the plant making it lifeless. The average life span of a spider mite is from 2 to 4 weeks in which they layover million eggs. Thus the reproduction of this mite is quite extensive which may affect large areas of vegetation.
Spider Mites: Cure
The biggest remedy for spider mites is maintaining moist and not so hot conditions in the planted area. These mites prefer hot and arid conditions to grow so keeping the plants and the soil moist can help a lot. Regularly checking the leaves and underneath them for any evidence of spider mites is also recommended. Spraying the leaves with fresh water time and again can also check the growth of these mites. There are many natural predators of these mites too. These predators can be introduced in the vegetation which feed on these mites hence protecting the vegetation. Besides the natural methods a number of chemicals are also present which effectively reduce the growth of spider mites. Since these mites have a short life span of 4 weeks in which they lay about million eggs, can also develop immunity against a certain chemical if the same chemical is used time and again. Thus changing the chemicals used is surely recommended. Some of the home made combination of some commonly found chemicals at home can also help check the growth of spider mites.
- The most commonly used homemade pesticide is soap and water. A good combination of detergent and water can be sprayed to the leaves and underneath them to destroy the spider mites population.
- ¼ cup baking soda, ½ cup apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 drops of detergent and ¼ tablespoon of Epsom salt are added and sprayed on the plants to prevent them against spider mites. After spraying with this solution, it is necessary to spray fresh water on the leaves too as these chemicals may also harm the leaves of the plants.
- Rubbing Alcohol is another effective chemical used. After spraying the leaves with this chemical which evaporates quickly, the plants need to be given a fresh water bath. The alcohol can also burn the leaves of the plants so spraying a leaf before the whole plant to test the effect of the chemical is advisable.
Miticides are the last solution for protecting and destroying spider mites from the plantation. But the application of miticides to the plants should be done very carefully as they are very toxic in nature and can also effect the plants and the soil adversely.