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Can You Drown Spider Mites? (Plus Alternative Methods to Consider)

Can You Drown Spider Mites? (Plus Alternative Methods to Consider)
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Taking care of your plants is something that you likely take pride in. You want to do your best to ensure that your plants are able to thrive and grow strong.

That’s why it’s so important to look out for potential threats that can harm your plants. There are many things that you need to worry about such as plant diseases and fungal infections, but you also need to be concerned about pests.

One of the most common pests that bother many houseplants and outdoor plants is the spider mite. Spider mites are pests that can suck on your plants and cause them great harm.

It’s a very tiny type of spider that’s incredibly common in North America. They’re so small that you can’t even see them with the naked eye most of the time.

You might have heard that you can kill spider mites using water. Drowning spider mites is a good method to try to get rid of them, but do they really drown?

Read on to learn about whether you can drown spider mites. You’ll also be able to explore some other ways that you can get rid of spider mites and protect your plants.

You Can Indeed Drown Spider Mites

Spider mites infesting a plant

Yes, it is indeed possible to drown spider mites to get rid of them. In fact, this is probably the most common way that people choose to try to get rid of spider mites.

Spider mites can be easily washed away using water, and you’re going to be able to use this to your advantage. If your plant only has a few spider mites, then just spraying the leaves might be enough to get rid of them.

Severe spider mite infestations might be a bit more problematic, though. Sometimes plants will have so many spider mites that you will need to submerge the plant to get rid of them.

In this instance, you’re going to want to hold the plant underwater for around 60 seconds. Generally, this is enough to do the job and get rid of the spider mites.

When you have a bad case on your hands, you might need to repeatedly dunk the plant under water to solve things. This can be a bit more complex, but it still isn’t hard to pull things off.

You could try to dunk the plant in a basin of water that is at least as tall as the plant. For larger plants, you might need to use something such as a bathtub.

Holding the plant properly is going to be essential during this process. You don’t want the plant to slide out of its pot and fall into the water.

Use your hands to firmly hold the pot and have one of your hands pressed against the soil holding the plant in the pot while you submerge it in the water. You should be able to kill the spider mites and everything will be okay.

It’s also worth noting that experts recommend submerging your plants in soapy water to get the best results. After you’re done, you can rinse your plant and allow it to dry out.

Apply Neem Oil to Your Plants

One of the best ways to try to control spider mite issues is to use neem oil. Neem oil is a safe and natural way to keep spider mites away from your plants.

You can easily purchase a neem oil spray that is easy to use as well. This will allow you to apply neem oil to your plants every so often to keep spider mites from coming around.

This is also good for helping you to keep other pests away from your plants. Many people who are passionate about keeping houseplants and gardening in general have learned how useful neem oil can be.

Pure neem oil can actually be applied to plants to interrupt the reproductive cycle of spider mite eggs, too. You can apply it every three to five days to kill eggs.

The only thing to remember is that you aren’t supposed to apply neem oil when it is hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s a very useful thing that can help your plants to stay healthy.

Rubbing Alcohol Can Kill Spider Mites

Rubbing alcohol to prevent spider mites

You should also know that rubbing alcohol is capable of killing spider mites. If you want to, it’s going to be possible to wash your plant’s leaves using rubbing alcohol.

The best way to go about doing this is to soak cotton balls in rubbing alcohol. Once the cotton balls have soaked up the rubbing alcohol, you’ll be able to wipe the foliage down properly.

You’re supposed to let the rubbing alcohol sit on the foliage for a few hours so that it can do what needs to be done. After several hours have passed, you’ll be able to rinse the foliage off.

Just be sure to rinse the foliage as thoroughly as you can so that no harm is done to the plant. This is a great method for killing spider mites that is very easy to implement.

Most people are going to keep rubbing alcohol around to treat cuts and things like that. You probably have what you need already and you won’t have to spend much money even if you do need to go to the store to get some.

Insecticidal Soap

Spraying insecticidal soap to prevent spider mites

It likely won’t come as a surprise to hear that insecticidal soap is a good option. When you’re dealing with a bad spider mite infestation, it’s going to be easy to get rid of them using insecticidal soap.

You just need to wash the foliage of the plant thoroughly with the insecticidal soap. It’ll kill the spider mites that are present on the plant.

Also, the insecticidal soap is going to have a bit of a lingering presence which should keep pests away from the plant for a little while. This is a good option when you know that a spider mite infestation is really bad.

Some people try to only use this as a last resort, though. This is because insecticidal soap will also kill many beneficial insects that you don’t want to get rid of.

You can try other things first that won’t harm beneficial insects. Just know that this is a good option for severe situations.

It should be noted that using insecticidal soap on a stressed plant can be problematic as well. Certain plants might be too sensitive and will experience further issues if you use the insecticidal soap.

Avoid Causing Water Stress

Water stress can make it much more likely that your plant will have to deal with spider mites. You see, when a plant isn’t being watered properly, it’s going to be more susceptible to mite infestation.

This means that you could put your plants at risk if you aren’t watering them as often as you should. It’s also true that watering plants way more than you’re supposed to will be bad.

If you want to keep your plants safe from spider mites moving forward, then you should try to focus on your watering habits. Make sure that you’re watering your plants properly without going too far either way.

Remember that you often have to check the soil with your fingers to see if a plant is ready to be watered. It isn’t necessarily true that you can get good results by just watering a plant once a week or bi-weekly.

Every plant is going to be a bit different and it might benefit you to look up some specific information about the plants that you’re caring for. It should help you to avoid mite infestations in the future.

Wipe Dust Off of Your Houseplants

Wipe the dust off your house plants to discourage spider mites

Houseplants will sometimes get dusty due to sitting around on shelves. Dust is something that forms after a certain amount of time, and many people don’t do a good enough job of getting rid of dust.

This relates to the spider mite issue because dust actually encourages spider mites. If you aren’t dusting your plants, then the dust on the plants will make it more likely that spider mites will bother them.

You should try to prevent this from happening by regularly dusting your plants. It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to dust the foliage of your plants, but it’s going to be very beneficial.

Try to dust the objects that are near your plants as well. For example, you should also dust shelves, tables, or racks that your plants are sitting on.

Being more proactive about dusting will help you to avoid many issues with spider mites. Combine this with good watering habits and you won’t have to worry as much about spider mites.

Final Thoughts

Spider mites can be killed by drowning them and even just rinsing your plants off can help you to get spider mites off of the plants. Drowning spider mites is more involved than rinsing since you need to actually submerge the plants to get the job done.

This needs to be done in a particular way to get good results. You have to focus on holding the plant properly so that it doesn’t slip out of its pot and you’re also going to need to use soapy water.

There are other ways to kill spider mites as well. Many people use neem oil to keep spider mites at bay and some clean their plants with rubbing alcohol to kill the pests.

Now that you know more about spider mites and what can encourage them, it should be easier to keep your plants safe. Just try to be mindful of the danger that spider mites pose so that you can make good decisions.

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