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How to Get Rid of Spider Mites on Your Houseplants, Naturally

Last Updated: May 5, 2022

Are your succulents and snake plants silently suffering from a pest invasion? It’s time to fight back. Learn how to protect your houseplants from spider mites with natural products that are free from harsh chemicals.

Spider mites are tiny creepy-crawlies who love your houseplants just as much as you do. Contrary to popular belief, these little guys aren’t actually insects — they’re a type of arachnid, related to spiders, scorpions, and ticks. Spider mites look like miniscule green, white, red, yellow, or brown spiders that are almost too small to see with the naked eye. But their most defining feature is that they have an insatiable appetite for your indoor plants.

If you’ve got a case of spider mites and don’t know what to do, don’t despair — you’re in good hands. We’ve got some au natural tips to help you get rid of spider mites before they cause lasting damage to your leafy green babies.

What causes spider mites on indoor plants?

illustration of passionflower

Underwatering your plants is the biggest cause of spider mites. They thrive in warm, dry, and dusty conditions, and prefer their meals — aka the leaves of your plants — to be on the drier side, as well.

Where do spider mites come from?

Wind surfing: Spider mites hitch a ride on the wind and end up on your doors and windows, where they have ample opportunity to infiltrate your household.

New houseplants: They’re likely to sneak in on new houseplants and spread to your established plants from there.

Usual people: Spider mites could also hitch a ride on you and find their way onto your houseplants after you’ve entered your home. But don’t worry — spider mites don’t bite, and they aren’t harmful to humans.

Got pests? We’ve got answers. Learn how to get rid of moths, ants, flour bugs, and roaches with our natural pest removal guides.

How do you know if you have spider mites?

illustration of green leaves
  • White or yellow dots on the leaves
  • Webs in the corners of stems or on the underside of leaves
  • Yellow or brown discoloration on the leaves
  • Live spider mites on the plant

Do houseplants really purify the air? We debunked the myths and misconceptions about indoor plants once and for all.

The problem with conventional pest control sprays

Conventional pest control sprays — and bug repellants, for that matter — contain harmful ingredients that’ve been linked to a host of health issues when used indoors. Symptoms like upper respiratory tract irritation, headaches, dizziness, and nausea are just a few of the risks to your family. Children exposed to indoor insecticides are 47 percent more likely to develop leukemia than kids who have never been exposed, and 43 percent more likely to develop lymphoma.

Here’s a list of the toxic chemicals to watch out for in pest control sprays and bug repellants:

  • Pyrethrins
  • Pyrethroids
  • DEET
  • Cyfluthrin

Read up on natural ways to banish weeds without using gnarly chemicals.

What you’ll need to get rid of spider mites

How to get rid of spider mites naturally

DIY pesticide spray

Peppermint, neem, and rosemary are all toxic to spider mites but safe for humans. Mix 1 tablespoon liquid peppermint soap, 1 teaspoon neem oil, and 1 teaspoon rosemary essential oil in a spray bottle filled with water. Spray the leaves of your infected plants once a day until the infestation is gone.

Rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol dehydrates and kills spider mites. Mix 1 part rubbing alcohol to 4 parts water in a bowl and use a clean cloth to rub the leaves of your plant with the mixture. You can also put this mixture in a spray bottle and spray the leaves. Repeat daily until the mites are dead.

Natural pest control sprays

Natural pest sprays are a stellar way to keep spider mites at bay with ingredients formulated for maximum effectiveness. Aunt Fanny’s and Arber both carry a stellar line of natural pest control products that use ingredients like good bacteria and essential oils to fight spider mites while preventing infestations from happening in the first place.

How to prevent spider mites

  • Spray the leaves of your plants with water to keep them moist and make them unappetizing to spider mites
  • Thoroughly inspect any new houseplants for signs of spider mites before you buy them
  • Make sure your indoor plants are getting the right amount of water to prevent the leaves from drying out
  • Move infected plants to a cooler room and keep them away from healthy plants until the mites are gone

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