With the first official day of summer nearly upon us the hazy, lazy, crazy days of summer are ready to bring us all the great times we're used to. But along with the baseball and apple pie comes a very real threat to our gardens and household plants. That threat is the ever prolific spider mite.
Spider mites are among the most aggressive and invasive species in North America. They are especially pervasive in the southern states where warm and dry weather is the norm. So much so, that some southeastern states reported their first cases of a spider mite infestation in mid-May. The two-spotted spider might, which is usually the worst one in this part of the world, began making its appearance among ornamental flowers a little over a month ago. Even in the UK these little critters are on the prowl.
If you've made it this far without any serious spider mite issues, don't make the mistake of thinking it can't happen to you. Be proactive and take preventative measures to help ensure you don't become a victim. Those preventative measures begin with proper watering techniques. In other words, make sure you don't allow your plants and vegetables to dry out even the slightest. When you do water, make sure you soak not only the soil, but also the leaves, stems, and flowers of your plants. Proper watering is one of the best things you can do to prevent spider mite infestations.
Experts say proper watering helps because spider mites prefer dried-out vegetation. There is apparently a chemical reaction which takes place Remove Mites within the cells of plants when they don't have enough water, making the plant more nutritious for the spider mite. By keeping your plants properly watered you are more likely to send a spider mites looking elsewhere for meals.
Another preventative measure you can take is to use an organic treatment like Liquid Ladybug. An organic treatment is safe, non-toxic, and can be used throughout the year. In the case of Liquid Ladybug, it can be used to prevent eggs from hatching, thereby halting the reproductive process which turns one or two spider mites into a full-blown infestation.
Treating a Major Infestation
Organic treatments can be used for major infestations as well. Although, depending on how bad things are, you may need to add other treatments to the mix. Introducing natural predators, like Lady beetles, is another safe way to treat a major infestation without the use of chemicals. Once you do get an infestation under control, be sure to employ good preventative measures so that a new infestation won't arise in the future.
If you're unfortunate enough to have spider mites in your home, be sure to isolate any infested plants so that the mites don't travel to healthy ones. Remember that spider mites are incredibly invasive and aggressive; plants left un-isolated are an open door to the further spreading of an infestation.