There is nothing more frustrating to gardeners than dealing with pests. Even if you find a pest control method that doesn’t expose your plant to harsh chemicals, it can take weeks to remove the ravenous little creatures for good.
One of the worst contenders in the nuisance department is the spider mite. These insects look like tiny little spiders and leave behind delicate webs that blanket the leaves and stems.
More profound damage caused by these pests appears in the form of yellow or brown spots that pepper the plant leaves.
Letting spider mites have free reign over your plant opens the species up to severe damage over time. It’s best to treat the shrub or flower as soon as you notice a problem, which means employing a fantastic mode of attack.
A highly effective pesticide with natural ingredients is neem oil. Using this means you don’t have to worry about dangerous substances in your yard and ensures quick results.
Does neem oil work on spider mites?
Neem oil is magnificent pest control that works on a variety of garden insects, including spider mites. Its effectiveness comes from the combination of ingredients in a neem insecticide spray, which is generally water, soap, and the oil itself.
The water dilutes the neem oil making the mixture safer for direct use on the plant, while the soap breaks the surface tension and lets the formula do its job.
Together, they cover the spider mites and trap them beneath a coating of neem oil. This strategy, in turn, smothers the creatures already on the plant and kills them.
Later on, simply munching on the leaves and stem transmits the neem oil into the insect’s system.
Not only does it eventually kill the bug, but it also disrupts part of their biology, hindering their ability to make eggs.
All of these things combined are what make neem oil such an incredible strategy.
How often to apply neem oil spider mites?
When treating your plant for pest control, apply the neem oil once every seven days to eliminate spider mites. Doing this gives the ingredients plenty of time to work on the pests without overwhelming your plant with excess doses.
After the treatment plan finishes, and you no longer see any evidence of spider mites, you have the option of applying the same formula once every 14 days as a preventative measure.
How long does neem oil take to kill mites?
There are varying degrees of results after spraying your plants, though most gardeners see changes within a couple of days.
You may even notice a difference immediately since the blast of liquid is enough to knock some of the mites right off the plant.
Because neem oil suffocates insects, it may take a day or so before you see any significant drops in the pest population.
Neem oil also works by limiting the insects’ ability to reproduce, which means you’ll notice another dip approximately 4-5 days later.
Since the bugs cannot make new eggs, and any eggs left on the plant won’t hatch, this limits the numbers in any new infestations.
You may want to check 27 Types Of Houseplants Spider Mites Like.
How do you use neem oil on plants for spider mites?
There are two different ways to apply neem oil on your plant, either with a cloth or a spray bottle. Both require creating the mixture first, then add it directly to the plant leaves.
A microfiber cloth works best on lighter infestations and when you don’t want to do an all-over coating of plants in the area.
Dampen the towel, and then gently wipe it across the affected areas. For greater convenience and tackling larger garden areas at once, a spray bottle is definitely more efficient.
Reapply the formula every seven days, usually for about four weeks, until you see results.
What are other benefits of neem oil on plants?
In addition to being a fabulous pesticide, neem oil is safe to use around pets and children. This benefit is one reason many gardeners choose the ingredient from the start, especially in high-traffic areas of your garden.
It has a low impact on the environment and is non-toxic to humans, pets, and most animals.
It doesn’t stop with just spider mites, either. It gets rid of most insects, including pests that affect humans more than they do the plants, such as mosquitoes.
The pesticide is also safe to spray around beneficial insects like ladybugs, butterflies, and bees since they don’t eat the leaves or plant and actually promotes the activity of other helpful creatures, like earthworms.
Another incredible advantage of this ingredient is that it makes a fantastic fungicide, as well as a foliar spray during dormant periods.
Can you leave neem oil on overnight?
Yes. It’s perfectly safe to leave neem oil on your plants overnight. There’s no need to rinse the plant off after treating it unless you are particularly concerned it will harm the plant. All plants are different, and some may be more susceptible to problems than others.
If you are worried about how your plant handles neem oil, test it out first.
The best way to do this is by spraying a small part of the plant. Check it after a day or two and notate any changes in the color or texture of the plant.
To be extra sure, you may even want to give it a week before spraying the entire plant. If there are no effects on the specimen itself, then go ahead and treat the entire plant and begin your pest control regimen.
3 of the Best Neem Oil Products for Spider Mites
Neem oil comes in many different concentrations and forms. The crucial factor to look for when selecting your product is what else is mixed with the neem oil.
If the solution isn’t 100% neem oil, take a look at the remaining ingredients. Some add other pesticides to increase the formula’s effectiveness, which is fine if you don’t mind adding small amounts of chemicals.
Others may simply add water to dilute the mixture for easier, ready-to-use products.
Garden Safe is a brand that consists of highly concentrated amounts of neem oil. It is perfect for those who simply want to add water and spray down their plants.
It’s especially beneficial for those who have large areas to treat, whether used as a pesticide, preventative measure, or foliar spray.
The site also has a comprehensive list of all the bugs the spray will and will not work on for gardeners to reference.
If you are looking for a purely natural product containing 100% neem oil, this bottle is the one for you.
The oils in this selection are so pure that they even handle the medicinal purposes often associated with neem oil. In raw forms, neem oil makes an incredible antiseptic and often heals moderate skin irritations.
These issues include rashes, burns, and even acne. Only administer the product in small doses, just as with pesticide sprays.
Since it can be a little thick, especially when kept at a cooler temperature, you may need to warm it up a bit before using it.
Sometimes, convenience is everything. So if you’re looking for something you don’t have to mix and is ready to go straight from the store, this Safer brand pesticide is everything you’ve been searching for in a neem oil solution.
There’s no need to mix it with water or any other product. All you have to do is point it at the affected areas and spray. It’s as simple as that.
What other home remedy kills spider mites?
There are plenty of natural remedies you can make at home without disrupting the balance in your garden.
If spraying them with a quick jolt of water doesn’t work, try a homemade mix with vinegar and baking soda or introducing natural predators to the environment.
DIY Spider Mite Spray with Vinegar
It’s particularly critical to use this spray on established plants only and to use sparingly, since vinegar often acts as a weed killer, as well.
Typically, for the vinegar to kill your shrubs or flowers, it needs to be in higher concentrations, so diluting it helps prevent damage while still eliminating pests.
Vinegar Repellent Recipe
- 1/8 cup of apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup of water
- ½ tsp of baking soda
- 3 drops of dish soap
- Spray bottle
Substituting the apple cider vinegar for the white variety also works. No matter which you use, make sure to blend the ingredients thoroughly before spraying.
Add Natural Predators
Another great way to incorporate organic aids in the garden is by adding natural predators.
Ladybugs may just be the single greatest pest fighters out there, killing spider mites, whiteflies, aphids, and more.
Ladybugs eat about nine spider mites per hour, so you don’t have to get too many to get the job done. Find these helpful insects at your local home and garden store.
No matter which method you choose, it’s crucial to use responsible amounts of pesticides when treating your plants.
Implementing a natural strategy is always ideal since chemicals that don’t damage the plants still may create problems in the soil structure and affect the surrounding ecosystem. Still, there is always such a thing as too much of a good thing.
So be sure to check that you are using the right amount of product for the size of the area being treated.