Insect Control: Houseplants

Spider Mite

Spider Mite
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Spider mites are a common houseplant pest. They are not insects but are more closely related to spiders. Since they are extremely small, plant damage is typically the first sign of their presence. A silky “spider-like” web is seen with a heavier infestation. Spider mite adults and their immature forms suck plant sap. Damage appears as light-colored speckling on the surface of leaves and makes the plant have an overall faded look to it. If left unchecked, mites will cause plant foliage to yellow and the plant itself can die. Spider mites can attack plants that are outdoors as well as indoor houseplants.

Monitor houseplants on a regular basis. Plants that are brought indoors should also be checked closely before being brought in. Sturdy plants can be sprayed forcefully with water, including the undersides of leaves, to dislodge mites and break up their webs. Multiple insecticide sprays may be required to insure adequate control.