How to get rid of Spider Mites
Spider mites are little mites that are smaller than mm in size and vary in a range of colours. Spider mites are a part of the Acari family Tetranychidae, which includes over 1200 species. They can cause damage by puncturing the plant cells to feed from.
There are many different forms of mites but only a few are common to specific plants like Canna including, two spotted mite, hemp russet mite, broad mite, black spotted mites, red spotted mites and oriental mite.
Spider mites mainly sit on the underside of the leaf making them very hard to notice, unless infestation is bad then they are pretty much everywhere and their effect would be clearly visible.
If your plant is suffering from some unknown reason, inspect your plants thoroughly to ensure there isn't an infestation of these mites.
Spider mites thrive in warm conditions (preferably around 27°C), which is why they are more common indoors because they are searching for an ideal environment to breed and live in.
A female spider mite can live for approximately 3-4 weeks, laying up to 20 eggs per day once sexually mature (they are sexually mature from 3-5 days old!)
A single female spider mite can lay close to 500 eggs in her life cycle.
The eggs are transparent and minuscule and will hatch within 3 days, they have a hard outer shell to protect the eggs from attack. Many growers confuse these eggs as sessile glands, always get a second opinion if unsure, one notable difference is that sessile glands will rarely be cloudy, the eggs are always milky white, amber or red.
If spider mites are not noticed early, health problems they can take over your grow room within a week.
To get rid of these nasty little pests I like to make up an natural spray to try deter/kill them from the growing area.
What you will need:
- 1L spray bottle
- 1L of water
- 5mls of Neem oil
- Garlic cloves and chilli seed broth (strained & cooled)
- 2-4 drops of organic dishwashing liquid
Crush your garlic clove as small as possible and add into your 1L of water.
- Add teaspoon of dishwashing liquid.
- Add Neem oil
- Add contents into 1L spray bottle.
Once you have made the spray, mist the undersides of the leaves until saturated. You want to do this at least 2 times per day once in the morning and once at night, ensuring your ventilation system (if you have one) is switched off, the idea is to permeate the room, lighting should also be turned off (or coming to end of day) otherwise severe damage will occur on leaves.
Keep spraying for around 5-7 days this should put an end to the spider mite’s life cycle.