Spider mites are members of the Acari family Tetranychidae, which includes about 1,200 species. They generally live on the undersides of leaves of plants, where they may spin protective silk webs, and they can cause damage by puncturing the plant cells to feed.
The first thing you’re likely to notice is patterns of silvery dots or stippling on the leaves of your plant. Looking closer, you will see small, delicate webs in corners of stems or underneath leaves with what look like tiny white dots scattered throughout. Those are spider mites! It is best to mitigate pest like spider mites by being proactive and practicing I.P.M. (Integrated Pest Management).
How to treat spider mites
- To treat a plant for spider mites, the first step is to hose the plant down under the sink or shower faucet, dislodging the bugs.
- Follow this with an insecticide, such as neem oil.
- For serious infestations that are undeterred by neem oil, insecticidal soap is a stronger treatment option.