Like aphids, red spider mites love to feed off the sap of living plants. This weakens your plants and, if left untreated, kills them. Red spider mites dwell on the underside of your plants’ leaves. Their tiny eight-legged bodies are oval and pale to dark red. Once spider mites begin to infest your plants, they can be difficult to get rid of, so prevention and control is the best strategy against these pests.
How to Prevent Red Spider Mites
- Examine your plants during the spring or fall to check for spider mites. Infected plants will appear unhealthy or weak. The undersides of their leaves look dusty or have fine webbing crossing them. If the dust appears red and moves, it’s really spider mites.
- Lacewings, ladybugs and predatory mites all feed on red spider mites, so buy one or all of these species depending on the conditions of your plants. Release the predators near or on the affected plants.
- Quarantine any new plants before adding them to your garden. Red spider mites are typically introduced to a garden when new, infested plants are brought in. Leave the plant in your garage or shed for a few days and then check for spider mites. If the plant is infested, return it to where you bought it.
- Maintain your plants to keep them healthy. Pests usually attack plants that are already unhealthy, so nurturing your plants, trimming off unhealthy stems and keeping the ground below plants nice and tidy will help prevent pests. Red spider mites love dry areas, so it’s important to keep your plants watered to help prevent infestations.
- Spray any affected areas of your plants with a forceful stream of water. This knocks the red spider mites right off of your plant.
- Treat plants that are still infested with Pure 3-Way or Kapow. This product contains lemon grass oil, an all-natural ingredient, which will coat the pests and kill them. Because Pure 3-Way and Kapow are organic, they will also keep your plants, the environment, and your loved ones safe.