Your plants have spider mites, and you’re wondering what to do about it. Can spider mites live without plants? Will they survive on your carpet or household surfaces? There are so many questions about these minuscule pests. The massive (for a mite anyhow) colonies can contain hundreds of individuals and eventually engulf large sections of your plants. However, you’ll probably notice them first underneath the leaves where they thrive. Mites shared, dense little webs can extend out from the preferred home and eventually engulf more of the plant. Stems and even fruit aren’t safe if your spider mite colony becomes a true infestation, so you should deal with it while it’s still small. At one-twentieth of an inch long, adult mites may not seem like a big problem, but they will eat your plants. Moreover, they will keep breeding and eating, creating new colonies. After years of gardening, I’ve encountered these problematic creatures quite a few times, and I am happy to share everything I know about spider mites and how to get rid of them.
Can spider mites live without plants? Spider mites cannot live without plants. Since they feed on the plant itself, mites will only survive about eleven days without fresh green plants. Unfortunately, in the winter, spider mites can become dormant and are known to survive even under the snow, only to return the next year. When you see these little pests, it’s best to get rid of them right away.
Can Spider Mites Live On Surfaces
Spider mites cannot live away from plants very long, and going without them means starvation and death within eleven days. When spider mites feed, they puncture the cells of the plant to suck out the juices. Hence, a spider mite typically only lives on the surface of plants.
If you find them on your plants, they will almost always be the under-surface of leaves. However, this question is more about the surfaces around your home. The answer is a very qualified yes. These little pests won’t simply die if they land on your carpet or crawl across a table. Fortunately, they also won’t last too long away from fresh green food sources.
A lucky spider mite could probably survive in your refrigerator for quite a while if it got inside the vegetable drawer. Additionally, eleven days is a long time. As small as they are, a spider mite can travel a fair distance in that time and still have plenty of life left in it to start a new colony on a different plant.
Trifecta Crop Control Super Concentrate from Amazon fights powdery mildew, spider mites, russet mites, broad mites, botrytis, grey mold, aphids, fungal and parasitic species on plants. Better still, it is one-hundred percent natural and non-toxic. This easy-to-use concentrate is good for all plant species. Best of all, they offer a no-questions-asked happiness guarantee. Read the stellar Amazon reviews when you click here.
How Long Can Spider Mites Stay Dormant
Winter is a tough time for spider mites who can’t live without plants. However, they are a hardy species, and they can lie dormant for a long time when it gets cold. That said, you will find that spider mites handle cold well, and they will often continue eating your plants at low temperatures for as long as possible.
In general, spider mites go dormant when daylight gets less than thirteen hours a day. Spider mite eggs will lie dormant all winter. When spring comes in the US, they will start hatching between March and April, though they could emerge sooner if it’s warm or later in colder climates.
Alternately, hot temperatures can cause dormancy as well. According to Find Any Answer, “If summer temperatures exceed 86°F for three straight days, the female mites lay dormant, over-summering, eggs.” Still, a dormant spider mite is alive and will likely become active again, so don’t let a lack of motion fool you.
What Temperature Kills Spider Mites
Spider mites are the most active when temperatures are between 55 °F and 98 °F. However, they can live in temps from 48 °F to 111 °F and go dormant rather than die immediately outside this range. Although their breeding depends on relative body temperature, which they absorb from the air around them, mites are very resilient creatures.
If you want to kill off spider mites, increasing or decreasing the heat is a bad plan. Not only will this almost surely fail, but the temps in question will likely harm your plants as well. Instead, it would be best if you opted for a high-quality miticide, preferably made from organic ingredients.
Skip the heat and guesswork with Premo Guard Bed Bug & Mite Spray from Amazon. This formula is not only odor-free, but it is also safe around kids and pets. You get guaranteed results, and all the ingredients in Premo Guard come from products are supplied from Certified Natural Products Association (NPA) and Approved Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facilities. To learn more about Premo, click here.
Can Spider Mites Live In Soil
When you see hundreds of miniature spider-like creatures on your plants, it is creepy, to say the least. However, your plants aren’t the only place they survive, though spider mites need plants to live. It may surprise you to learn that spider mites can indeed survive in soil. Furthermore, it’s part of their natural life cycle in many regions.
So long as there are plants to eat, some mites will likely stay active to get the most out of them. Regrettably, indoor environments are naturally more shielded and climate-controlled than outdoor growing areas. While this is superb for plants, it’s also a benefit to the mites that eat them. Your indoor spider mites may not go dormant at all.
During the winter months, spider mites survive in the soil. This means a ‘disappearing’ colony may have moved to go dormant. Unfortunately, if you live in an arid climate, the spider mites remain active all year. The good news is that spider mites don’t usually live in potting soil, so you’re unlikely to get them from planting new indoor greenery. Instead, they’ll come in from outside on sprouts or even your clothing if you brushed a colony while you were outdoors.
While it doesn’t happen very often, spider mites can bite people and animals. If you brush into a colony with bare skin, you will likely scare at least some individuals enough to get nipped. Yet the mites’ tiny size means they can’t bite through your clothing, so wear sleeves and long pants if you expect to encounter spider mites.
Can Spider Mites Infest A House
Mites are happy indoors. Although they require plants to survive, and spider mites cannot live without growing greens, they enjoy a good dry, controlled climate. Sadly, preference aside, spider mites can tolerate damper climates for a while, and they do get into greenhouses and moist regions.
On the one hand, the spider mites won’t infest the home itself. They don’t thrive on furniture, carpets, or other areas of your home and will make for the nearest source of green and growing life around. Regrettably, these pests can infest all your indoor plants. Thus, they ‘sort of’ infest homes. If you have a lot of plants around, then you may have a valid cause for concern.
Dust and carpets seem to bother spider mites, but ultimately, you need to use a miticide to get rid of them. Furthermore, when you’ve killed all the mites, you should clean up. Solutions of rubbing alcohol and water, or bleach and water, can help prevent mites, but you need to make sure they’re diluted enough to prevent damage to your particular plant species. Otherwise, the spider mites won’t be the only thing killing your indoor garden.
Spider Mite Life Cycle
Spider mites breed very rapidly. Females lay twenty eggs per day for the four weeks of their adult stage life cycle. That means five-hundred-sixty eggs per female every month. Although they are small, this becomes a big problem. In a few days, the eggs will go through their own early-life and be ready to breed and lay still more eggs.
The life cycle of spider mites is complex. They will go through egg, larva, protonymph, deutonymph, and adult cycles. They will develop through the early stages for up to twenty days in ideal conditions, but it can be as short as a mere five days. After that, adults live another month or less.
I recommend Fox Farm BushDoctor Force of Nature Miticide at the first signs of mite infestation issues. This garlic-based miticide deters mites on plant leaves. You’ll love how effective it is against spider mites. Have Amazon deliver to your door by clicking here.
There’s no good reason to ignore spider mites. Although they seem small, a colony of these pests will use your plants for food and housing, causing damage and possibly killing your plants. Although they can’t survive without the plants, removing the green and growing things from your home isn’t necessary.
Instead of ditching your beautiful plants, get a good miticide. There are many highly effective variations of miticide. However, I recommend sticking to natural products as they are less damaging and usually non-toxic to humans.
As soon as you see mites forming webs under your plants, take action. Otherwise, you’ll have more mites and fewer plants sooner than you might expect.