When spider mites begin attacking your plants, ornamentals, crops, bushes, and trees, you need to fight back fast and hard. If you don’t, your plants will suffer, lose leaves, wilt, and die under their assault.
Assault is the correct word for it too. Spider mites reproduce quickly and it doesn’t take long for a true infestation to manifest itself in your garden or yard. When you look at the underside of the leaves on your plants, you’ll see an army of little dots sucking the life out of them.
You shouldn’t just “spray something” though. Normal insecticides can have unintended side effects when you’re fighting spider mites. Keep reading because we can help you fight smart instead of flailing at the wind.
1500 Live Ladybugs
|View on Amazon|
PyGanic Gardening Botanical Insecticide
|View on Amazon|
|View on Amazon|
|View on Amazon|
Southern Ag Natural Pyrethrin
|View on Amazon|
|View on Amazon|
|View on Amazon|
Safer Brand Insect Killing Soap
|View on Amazon|
Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
(updated as of 02/05/2020)
Ladybugs are natural predators for aphids, asparagus beetle larvae, spider mites, and other soft, slow-moving insects. Turn the ladybugs loose and let them eat the spider mites.
They arrive in a mesh cotton bag and can be safely stored in a standard refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. The best way to release them is to water your plants at dusk then let the ladybugs go around the base of the plants. The moisture gives them something to drink.
Once released, the ladybugs could fly away if you don’t provide a suitable environment for them. Get an insect house and nail it to a tree or post near the infected plants to give them a place to live.
Top 8 Best Spider Mite Killers
What Are Spider Mites?
In order to kill spider mites, you first need to know something about them. We won’t spend too long on this section but the information here is important to winning the war against them.
Spider mites aren’t insects, they’re arachnids. They’re called spider mites because they produce a fine silk web over the leaves, not to catch prey but to protect themselves. They have 8 legs instead of 6 and are classified as parasites that damage plants, crops, and trees.
They’re less than 1/50” in length, so small they’re difficult to see with the naked eye. They have an oval-shaped body and live on the underside of leaves where they suck on the sap. The female can lay hundreds of eggs in a season, which only takes 7 days to mature after they hatch.
Spider mites prefer hot, sunny, and dry conditions. These are the environmental conditions where they reproduce the best.
Signs of Spider Mite Infestation
Spider mites can infest over 200 different types of plants. The signs of an infestation will be faded or yellowing leaves. Other mite damage can include a white webbing covering the underside of leaves.
If you put a piece of white paper under a leaf you suspect of having spider mites and shake the leaf gently, you’ll see little dots falling on it like pepper. If you look at them with a magnifying glass, you’ll be able to see their legs and oval bodies.
Types of Spider Mites
The main species of spider mites in the United States are two-spotted spider mites, spruce spider mites, and European red spider mites. The European red ones are the easiest of the mite species to spot and identify.
What Are Spider Mite Killers?
Spider mite killers, known as miticides, are pesticides that are specially formulated to kill spider mites. Because they’re not normal insects, most insecticides won’t kill them and even if they do, their rapid reproductive life cycle assists them in quickly building up a resistance to them.
The chemicals Abamectin, Bifenazate, Hexythiazox, and Spiromesifen are some of the active ingredients often used in hard miticides. Horticultural oils (used mainly in the summer) and dormant oils (used primarily in cool weather) are the so-called “soft” miticides.
An insecticidal soap is also considered a good method of spider mite control. Predatory mites are natural predators that feed on spider mites, as well as insects such as lacewings and ladybugs. Six-spotted thrips are also natural predators used to control spider mite populations, as are pirate bugs.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Anything that kills spider mites or inhibits their growth and/or reproduction would be considered a spider mite killer. This would include any homemade spider mite killer too.
How Do Spider Mite Killers Work?
There is no one answer to this question. A chemical miticide will kill spider mites based on the mode of action of the active ingredient. Diatomaceous earth works by mechanically sucking moisture out of pests that cross it, while each essential oil will have a unique mode of action.
We’ll discuss how each method works when we get to them.
Check out the video below for more information on spider mites and how to get rid of them!
How Do You Find The Best Spider Mite Killers?
The best spider mite killer is the one that eliminates the spider mites without damaging the host plants, whether the infected plants are houseplants, field crops, or grown in a hothouse or hydroponics solution. If the plants are damaged, it’s counter-productive.
Are Spider Mite Killers Effective?
Yes, but if and only if you apply them correctly. A natural spider mite killer or if you prefer, an organic spider mite killer can be just as effective a method of pest control as any kind of chemical control or biological control.
To effectively control spider mites, consistent application is the key. Even the best spider mite killer in the world won’t work if it’s applied incorrectly. If you want to know how to get rid of spider mites, reading the label is the first step to success.
Assuming you apply any of these methods correctly, the real question becomes how effective is the chosen method? That is; what percentage of existing spider mites will it kill? We’ll discuss that with each method as we come to it.
How To Use A Spider Mite Killer
Every spider mite killer is deployed differently. Releasing beneficial insects such as lacewings or ladybugs requires more than simply setting them loose in your garden. Some methods will require the use of a sprayer and for others, you’ll need a hand spreader.
Are Spider Mite Killers Safe Around My Pets And Children?
As a general rule, yes. Some oils, such as neem oil may leave a strange taste on fruits and vegetables if you don’t wash them off before eating them but by and large, all the methods outlined here are considered non-toxic.
There may be the occasional pet or individual who is allergic to something but that’s the exception rather than the rule.
Best Spider Mite Killers Reviewed
Ladybugs are natural predators for aphids, asparagus beetle larvae, chinch bugs, leafhoppers, mealybugs, mites, moth eggs, scales, thrips, whitefly, and other soft, slow-moving insects. Turn ‘em loose and let them do what they do – eat other bugs.
They come in a mesh bag and can be stored in a standard refrigerator for 1-2 weeks without killing them. For the best results, water your plants at dusk then release the ladybugs around the base of the plants. The moisture gives the ladybugs something to drink.Once released they could fly away if you don’t provide a suitable environment for them. Get one of these Niteangel Wooden Insect Houses and nail it to a tree or post near the infected plants. Customers love this method of spider mite pest control.
Pyrethrum is an organic pesticide extracted from chrysanthemums and purified to be used as the active ingredient in insecticides like this one. Pyrethroids are the synthetic version made in the laboratory. It is OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) Listed.It has to be mixed and sprayed from a 1-gallon pump-up sprayer. It needs to be sprayed on the underside of the plant leaves of the infect plants, fruit trees, and crops. This means you’ll be spraying up so be careful not to spray yourself in the face. It isn’t toxic but it will sting if it gets in your eyes.
Neem oil is extracted from neem trees in India, cold-pressed to prevent altering the composition of the oil. It is OMRI listed to be used in organic farming and gardening. Many customers have reported excellent results from using this ancient method of pest control.
The active ingredient, Azadirachtin, works by disrupting the spider mite’s hormonal balance so they die before they can molt. This prevents them from becoming adult mites that can reproduce, thereby acting as birth control for bugs.
Mix 1.5 teaspoons of neem oil with a quart of water in a 32-ounce spray bottle and shake vigorously. Spray it on the underside of the infected plant leaves. It can be used inside or outside.
Diatomaceous earth is composed of the fossilized remains of microscopic sea creatures called diatoms. It acts as a desiccant to absorb moisture from insects and mites as they crawl across it. Because this is a mechanical action, bugs and mites can never develop a resistance to it.You’ll need to purchase a hand spreader to broadcast the diatomaceous earth in a fine layer on the ground around the base of the plants. Because it’s a powder, it won’t stick to the underside of the leaves where the mites are, which somewhat reduces its effectiveness.
This is another organic pyrethrum extract. Pyrethrins are organic and pyrethroids are man-made. It also includes Piperonyl Butoxide, which is a man-made pesticide ingredient known as a synergist. It doesn’t kill bugs directly but enhances the effect of the active ingredients that do.
It can be used inside and out on ornamentals, vegetables, and livestock. You’ll need a 1-gallon pump-up sprayer for mixing and spraying. Because it contains man-made chemicals, it’s not suitable for organic gardening or farming.
What the synergist takes away though, it also returns by increasing the knockdown power and speed of the primary active ingredient.
This is a chemical pesticide, top-to-bottom. Specifically, it’s a miticide, a pesticide designed to kill mites. Normal pesticides aren’t very effective on mites so a separate line of pesticides had to be created for them.
The active ingredient is Spiromesifen 45.2%. It requires a 1-gallon pump-up sprayer for mixing and spraying. It needs to be applied as soon as spider mites appear on your but before leaf discoloration or damage begins to show.
Because of its foliar action, the miticide can be sprayed on top of the leaves where it will then be absorbed. When spider mites begin sucking the liquid out of the leaf, the miticide will be present. They’ll ingest it and die.
Floramite is another miticide designed specifically to kill mites. The active ingredient is Bifenazate: Hydrazine carboxylic acid, 2-(4-methoxy-[1,1-biphenyl]-3-yl) 1-methylethyl ester 22.6%. So, yes, this contains lots of chemicals.
The good news is, it’s very gentle on predatory mites and beneficial insects. This makes it an ideal addition to an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan as recommended by the EPA. A 1-gallon pump-up sprayer will be required for mixing and spraying.
It can be used on ornamentals in a variety of settings such as greenhouses, shade houses, landscapes, nurseries, and fields. It has a residual impact of 28 days. Most of the people who used it like it, but it is not suitable for organic gardening.
This insecticidal soap uses potassium salts of fatty acids as the active ingredient. It targets a wide array of spider mites and other general pests and it is OMRI listed and approved for organic gardening.
However, it has also been reported to kill tomato plants in as little as six hours. One person compared it to spraying Round-Up on their plants, while another gushed over how great it was. Make of that what you will.It can be used throughout the growing season, all the way up until the day of harvest. The 16-ounce jug of concentrate will make up to 6 gallons of spray. It requires a 1-gallon pump-up sprayer for mixing and spraying.
Our Top Pick: 1500 Live Ladybugs
Ladybugs are natural predators for spider mites, aphids, and other pests. Turn ‘em loose and let them do what they do best – eat other bugs.
Release them at dusk around the base of your infected plants after watering them. By morning they’ll be busy devouring any pests they encounter. They can even be stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks until you need them.
- 100 % natural method of spider mite control
- Good for organic gardening
- No chemicals
Other Mite Guides
Curious about other mite related products? Check out our other detailed guides to help you deal with your pest problems.