How to Get Rid of Spider Mites on Indoor Plants
We all know Spider Mites sucks
Spider mites are a common pest problem in indoor hydroponic systems, especially when the grow area isn’t kept clean. For instance, if the room is kept too humid, hot, or too many contaminants are allowed to enter it, you may end up having to deal with these pesky little bugs. The most common time of the year for an infestation of spider mites to occur is at the beginning of the grow season.
There are three main signs that your hydroponic plant is infested with spider mites:
1. Visible white eggs on the underside of the leaves
2. Silk webbing covering the leaves and stems
3. Visible yellow or brown speckling on the leaves
The first place that you should look when you are inspecting the plant for mites are the veins of the leaves – most of the time, you will find the white eggs adhered closely to where the leaf veins are. However, spider mites can lay their eggs anywhere on the plant.
The following are the most common methods used to get rid of spider mites:
1. Soap and water. There are many variations of the soap and water method; you will have to find a mixture that works well for your situation. Make sure you use an anti-bacterial brand of soap, and don’t forget to rinse off the leaves thoroughly after application.
2. Rubbing alcohol and water. For most indoor growers, this method is either very effective, or it doesn’t make a dent in the mite population. Since rubbing alcohol can harm the leaves, make sure you start out with a weak solution, and then gradually increase the amount of alcohol while decreasing the water.
3. Introduce predatory mites. Although it may sound counterproductive, you can also use a species of predatory mite that will eat the spider mites. These will not eat plant matter, and you won’t have to worry about them overrunning your system.
4. Manually scrubbing leaves under water. If you catch the infestation in the early stages, then you may be able to get rid of a large portion of the mites by throwing away infested leaves and wiping down the rest of the plant daily.
5. Chemical miticides. These should always be your last choice, but they are very effective in spider mite removal.
Regardless of the treatment method you choose, you should always attempt to isolate and treat all infested plants at the same time to prevent reintroduction of the pests into your indoor garden. Additionally, the removal process will also go a lot faster if you regularly prune the plants for heavily infested leaves.
When maintaining an indoor garden, it’s very important to keep the grow area as clean and sanitized as possible. This includes, but is not limited to, disinfecting the area thoroughly before and after growing, pruning plants to get rid of all dead leaf matter, and using an air purifier in the grow room to remove foreign contaminants. A mild bleach solution is usually the best option for cleaning off equipment and other surfaces in the room because chlorine is easy to remove.
Additionally, if you are growing plants in an environment that also houses indoor pets, like cats, then you will need to ensure that the grow room is kept free of pet dander and other contaminants that your pets may track in from the outside. Keeping your hydroponic system in a clean grow area is the first step to preventing spider mites from taking hold – this is why it’s so important to do your best to prevent all possible contaminants, like pet dander, organic material from outdoor gardens, and traces of outdoor pesticides from coming near your indoor garden.
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