Succulent Spider Mites Signs & How To Treat Spider Mites On Succulent

Succulents are relatively resistant to pests and diseases, but Spider Mites are one of the more common problems affecting the plants. You will find spider mites on the list of pests affecting even poisonous succulents such as euphorbias. Therefore, the ability to treat spider mites is a necessary part of the skill sets possessed by any plant parent who wants to grow succulents successfully.

Why Are There Spider Mites On Succulents?

The population of Spider Mites in succulents increases exponentially when the plant is in hot and dry conditions. Increasing the humidity around your succulent can help reduce the pests’ multiplication rate. These pests must have come from somewhere before they reproduce on your plant.

They could have come with the seedling after you bought it from the nursery. However, you are unlikely to accept a succulent with an apparent spider mite infestation from the nursery. In such a case, you probably bought a plant with spider mite eggs or larvae, which mature when you already have the plant.

Spider mites might also be brought to your succulents by humans working on an infested plant and inadvertently bringing the mite at its different stages of growth. Sometimes the dispersion can be done by a pet that interacts with an infested plant. One way of getting rid of the spider mites is ensuring the environment is unsuitable for their multiplication. Ensure a moderate humidity level and that you don’t keep the plant in a hot place.

Signs Of Succulent Spider Mites

The most obvious indicator of the presence of spider mites is webbing. It usually appears at the junction between the leaves and stems. The webbing may also appear at the base of the plant where you water it. You might find some white stuff on or around the web: spider mite eggs. The eggs hatch into larvae within hours of being laid, and larvae mature into spider mites in a matter of days. This is why early detection is so important in managing these pests.

Furthermore, you can tell your succulent is spider mites infested if you see tiny spider-like insects on your plant. Don’t ignore it even if you see one of them on the entire plant. One can turn into hundreds in days. You can check under the leaves occasionally if there is no rather obvious webbing.

If the problem remains unattended, you start seeing its effects on the succulents. The leaves start to turn yellow and discolored and may fall off. Also, leaves may develop white spots where the mites have been feeding. Ultimately the leaves will fall off, and the succulents will experience stunted growth and look generally unhealthy and unpleasant.

What Spider Mites Can Do to Your Succulents

By sucking the sap out of the leaves and boring holes to enable them to do it, spider mites create a cast on the leaf’s surface. This is the earliest indication; that there will be wilting of the leaves on sunny days. The following indication of a spider mite infestation is an advancement of the initial attack. The upper part of the leaf turns yellow due to the destruction of chlorophyll on the leaves. Without chlorophyll, the plant can’t produce food or transport the necessary nutrients. This stage, if not reversed, will lead to the death of the entire plant as it gets ravaged by the so-called spider plant disease.

Spider Mites on Succulents
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7 Ways To Treat Spider Mites On Succulents

Regular Trimming/ Pruning

Pruning and trimming allow more light and air into different parts of the plant, creating an unpleasant environment for the pests. It also works when you cut off any affected branches to keep them from spreading the peats to the rest of the plant. This is the easiest and fastest way to get rid of these bugs.

Soap Spray

Ordinary dishwashing liquid soap is an effective agent against spider mites. Please note that the word ‘ordinary’ is used because the antibacterial variety doesn’t work. Mix some of this soap with a suitable amount of water. After doing this, you need to spray the soapy mix on the leaves of the plant until the leaves are soaking. This will kill the spider mites and cause them to fall off the plant.

Neem Oil

Unlike the other pesticides listed below, neem oil is a systemic pesticide. It gets into the plant and poisons it against the bugs so that they don’t survive or reproduce when they attack the plant. Pure Neem Oil is made from the neem plant. Therefore, it is entirely natural and not harmful to humans.

Water Flushing

This approach is meant to dislodge spider mites from the succulent physically. You should spray the water under high pressure, but the pressure shouldn’t be too high to break the leaves. Examine the leaves from time to time while at it to ensure you focus on the infested areas. After spraying, see if none of the bugs fell on the substrate since they will likely be alive and crawl back to the succulent.

Alcohol

Applying rubbing alcohol to the mites is one of the most common and straightforward remedies for spider mites on succulents. You must dip a piece of cotton wool into rubbing alcohol with 70% concentration. Rub the alcohol on the infested parts of the plant. This will kill the bugs and render their eggs unviable. Check the plant closely to ensure you get to all the bugs. Remember, a single one can lay eggs and repopulate them on the pant in a matter of days. It is advisable to check the plant for a few days after the initial rub. It is the best way to see if you missed something.

Mouthwash Spray

This is another effective DIY domestic spider mite control measure. Mix one part of the mouth wash with nine parts of water and spray where there is an infestation. The mouthwash causes severe dehydration in the bags and can cause them to die instantly. Those that don’t die instantly get their digestive processes disrupted so that they die shortly after.

Mites’ Predators

Using biological methods is one of the most effective and eco-friendly approaches to managing spider mites. Examples of predators that can clean your succulents include ladybugs, praying mantis and lacewings. These predators don’t just come to live on your succulents. Succulents may not be their ideal habitat if you introduce the predators. The most sustainable way of constantly having these predators around to feed on the pests on the succulents is by providing suitable habitat for them.

This involves planting clover, fennel, dill, and such flowering plants. When you have these in place, you will constantly flow of predators.

Read More: How To Get Rid Of Mealybugs On Succulents

Final Words

Ultimately, the best way to keep spider mites at bay is to keep your succulent healthy. When well taken care of, the plant can remain healthy with little disturbance from pests. However, looking for spider mites on the plant is essential. You can quickly remedy this by using the methods we have mentioned above if you find them.

Also, you should avoid keeping your succulent under direct sunlight when spraying it with any of the remedies mentioned above. They make your plant more susceptible to being scorched in the sun.

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