Looking for ways you can use to get rid of white mites on plants in your backyard garden?
As a gardener, the most upsetting thing is when pests invade your orchid. While dealing with them can be an overwhelming experience, it is always important to know exactly what type of pest you’re dealing with before you start to fight back.
The more you know about the nature of the pests, the better prepared you’ll be to treat them and reduce the infestation. If you walked up to your plants and noticed that they covered in what appears to be a webbing or tiny white insects, then there is a very good possibility that you have a white mite situation on your hands.
How can you get rid of white mites on plants?
There are so many different ways to treat a mite infestation, which allows you to choose the best method that will work best for you as well as your plants. Here are the top 6 ways that you can choose from
- Neem Oil
- Insecticidal Soap
Let’s get into these one by one.
Water plays an important role when it comes to eliminating pests. While it doesn’t get rid of white mites by itself, it’s a very good place to start, regardless of what method of treatment you aim on using. Most of all, it is natural and won’t harm your plants in anyway (unless you overdo it)
So how can you use water as a treatment?
First of all, you have to spray your plants with the water, preferably at a high pressure. The pressure here depends on the strength of the plant itself. If it is very soft, you might want to use this a spray bottle. But, if the plant is a hardy, you can use a hose.
Here, you have to spray the areas of the plant where the mites are visible because these are the affected areas. Spraying those areas will help to knock the pests off while also removing most of the webbing.
SparyingSpraying can actually help in making the additional treatment methods more effective.
While spraying the plants with water may be effective, mites are known to find their way back onto the plants after they have been knocked off, which means the water method isn’t permanent.
- Neem Oil
Neem oil is a very common choice for eliminating pests. Most people consider Neem oil because it a natural occurring substance (or natural occurring pesticide as most people call it). This oil is actually found in the seeds of the Neem tree. Typically, Neem oil has a yellowish-brown color.
Although it is a natural occurring substance, it can be irritating to skin and eyes, so use the product very carefully. It is recommended that you wear gloves when using the Neem oil. Besides you, Neem oil is known to be to cats. By all means keep your pet away from this area.
What makes Neem oil very effective?
Neem oil actually affects the mites’ ability to grow and reproduce. In this way, the reproduction rate is slowed down, allowing you to take control of the situation easily. Besides that, Neem oil also affects the mites’ ability to feed on your plants too.
To use Neem oil, apply it to the bottoms of the leaves. Although, how you will apply will depend on the size of the plants. For small plants, hold the soil in the pot with one hand while you tilt or tip the plant over to expose the leaves’ underside without spilling out the soil.
For larger plants, on the other hand, wrap the container with clear plastic wrap to keep the soil contained while you tilt the container over. It’s as easy as that.
The only main downfall of Neem oil is that it needs to be reapplied every two or so until you’re sure the mites have been eradicated. So it will take a couple of treatments.
- Insecticidal Soap
The third and final way of taking care of white mites is through the use of insecticidal soaps. This is a very popular and effective method of pest control may seem outdated to some gardeners, but it works great on white mites.
Besides white mites, it is also good for other pests such as mealybugsmealy bugs. If you are not familiar with insecticidal soap, it’s simply a solution which is made from soap diluted in water. The best part about this solution is that it is non-toxic to both humans and animals, so you don’t have to worry if you have kids of pets around the house.
So, how insecticidal soaps work?
This soap solution kills pests by delivering a drying effect, which, as you may have guessed, dries the pests out. The solution breaks into the mites’ cuticles and causes their cells to collapse and eventually dry out.
However, you have to know that insecticidal soaps are not as fast as they may sound. It takes time to etget the results that you want. As such, so you’ll need to exercise a lot of patience if you plan on using insecticidal soap to treat your mite infestation.
In case you are wondering where you can find insecticidal soap, check your local nursery or favorite online retailer. But as we said, it is a simple solution made by mixing soap and water, so that’s something you can make at home very easily, which will save you a few bucks.
Simply add a few drops of soap in a spray bottle that’s been filled with water and you are ready to take care of those pests.
Before you rush on making your own soap solution, you have to note that you need to use actual soap for this, and not detergent soap. This is because detergents are said to be very harmful to plants. Use a real soap.
Once you are done mixing, you can thenits time to use the product. Here, you have to apply it to the bottoms of the leaves, just as you would with Neem oil, which we talked about earlier. And just like Neem oil, the insecticidal spray needs to come into direct contact with the mites in order to work.
If you can, you should also consider adding a few drops of cooking oil to your soap solution. A lot of gardeners have insisted that the cooking oil helps the mixture stick to the plants better. Once the cooking oil is added, make sure to shake your spray bottle thoroughly before you can apply to your plants.
Why haven’t we mentioned pesticides?
For the most part, pesticides can be very harmful to plants. Most of them are very strong, which can lead to adverse effects.
Besides that, pesticides can bring about a weird scent, which can be very uncomfortable particularly if you treated houseplants. On top of this, some of the common pesticides are quite poisonous as could be fatal if your kids of pets are around them.
So go for natural and non-tonic solutions.
How can you prevent white mites?
Compared to most pests, white mites can be very difficult to completely eradicate, and the fact that they have the ability to climb up the plant when they have been knocked off doesn’t make it any easier to control them. As such, so prevention is always the key. You can’t completely prevent all pests from infesting on your plants, though, regardless of how thorough you are. But there are a few steps you can take to ensure that the infestation is kept at bay.
So how can you prevent white mites?
- Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth is a crumbly substance is which helps in the prevention of a wide range of pests, including mites of course. This substance is actually made from the fossils of tiny aquatic organisms
How does it work?
The rough edges of the substances damage the mites’ exoskeletons, which dry them out- just like the way insecticidal soaps do.
- Predatory Mites
This point pretty much seems to go against what we are trying to achieve. I mean, the whole purpose of this is to prevent pests from being in the garden, so why are we adding pests?
These aren’t just any types of mites. Theyse are predatory mites, so they only feed on other types of mites, and NOT your plants. You won’They won’t cause any damage to your plants.
While predatory mites do eat a lot, they don’t simply can’t eat enough to reduce a huge white mite population the numbers of a huge white mite colony. So they will not work as a treatment, but only as a preventive measure.
While you are considering to promote beneficial insects into your garden as your longterm to controlling white mites, be aware that even predatory mites too are affected by the presence of diatomaceous earth, in this case, I would encourage you to abstain the use of diatomaceous earth,along with neem oil sprays, and insecticidal soap.
Make no mistake! these substances will not discriminate, and will surely kill both the good bugs[predatory bugs] as well as the white mites which are bad for your backyard garden plants.
In any case, beneficial bugs are best used as preventative measures instead of treatment.
Dealing with white mites is never easy, but once they have completely disappeared from your plant, you will certainly be relieved. You can either use water, Neem oil or insecticidal soap. However, water won’t work well but itself. Instead, you can use water to knock most of the mites off the plants and let either of the remaining methods do the rest.
To prevent white mites, you can use predatory mites or diatomaceous earth. But, if you plan on inviting predatory mites into your garden, avoid using diatomaceous earth, Neem oil, or even insecticidal soap.