When you notice white dust particles underside the leaves of your plants, you can safely assume spider mite’s infestation.
Like you, many people keep wondering where do spider mites come from on plants in the first place. It helps to take a better preventive measure.
So, in this article, you will learn what causes spider mites along with where they come from. Stay with me for a while.
Sources of Spider Mites
In short, spider mites may come from the following sources:
- Spider mites infected plants.
- Plants Buying Centers
- Poor Hygiene
- Vegetative plants
- Excess Nitrogen
- And so on!
Let’s talk about these sources in detail so that you can understand how do you get spider mites on indoor plants.
- From Infected Plants
The rapid multiplication of spider mites is overwhelming. And your plants get them from newly infected plants. It takes only one infected plant to spread the spider mites to the rest of the plants.
Even if your plants have a decent distance from one another, the probability of infestation is still high for all of the plants. It’s even worse for grouped plants.
This is why it is very important to monitor any new plants for a few days before you place them in their designated spots. Even better if you sanitize any new plants using any recommended pesticides just to stay safe.
As the newly hatched eggs thrive most in compact spaced plants, you should ensure ample distance among the plants to slow down the rapid infestation.
- From Plant Store
Apart from your other infected plants, spider mites may come from your local garden stores too.
Not just spider mites, all the garden store or plant buying stores are full of other pests too. Since those stores are very compact and congested, any kind of mites simply thrives there.
When you visit those stores, there are plenty of ways for spider mites or other insects to make it to your garden plants.
Those spider mites from the stores can use you as a medium for your plants or you may simply buy some spider mites infested plants from those stores.
As a precaution, never buy plants with sunken (defoliated) or yellow leaves. Such conditions of the plants simply indicate infection.
Also, ask the salesperson of the stores to thoroughly check the plants before giving them to you. Make sure to quarantine the newly bought plants before you plant them in your garden.
- From The Poor Hygiene of Plants
Plants-based mites like spider mites thrive on un-cleaned plants. Over time, dust settles on the plants and spider mites love dust!
So, you need to give your plants a gentle washing using any pesticides or insecticides. That will remove those dust and make it less attractive to spider mites.
Also, that gentle cleaning will remove the existing spider mites from the plants (if any).
The benefits of washing your plants are huge. It will deter their reproduction and thriving significantly. Also, it suppresses their migration from one plant to another effectively.
- From Clothes and Shoes
Sometimes, you won’t have any clue regarding where these mites may come from even you were careful about bringing infected plants.
This is how you may be responsible to damage your own beloved plants…
Whenever your shoes or clothes get exposed to the infected plants, the spider mites can stick to them easily. Now, it becomes too easy for them to invade both indoor and outdoor plants.
You can’t do anything to protect your clothes and shoes against such dust and insects.
So, the best thing you can do is to run your clothes and shoes through the washer and dryer to limit the spread of the spider mites.
Let’s say you go hiking or you decide to walk your dog, that’s how your shoes and clothes get spider mites and other pesky pests.
Don’t go straight to your room or garden. That’s how the spider mites infect the indoor plants. Clean those clothes and shoes before you do everything else.
- From Your Furry Friends
Your beloved pet is another source of spider mites spread. And sadly, your pet can infect both the indoor and outdoor plants if it moves freely outside.
It’s so easy for the spider mites to burrow themselves in the furs of your pets and dogs and spread them to your plants. The same is true even for the chickens!
Yes, everyone washes their pets regularly but it should be a must to wash your pets if they go outside frequently. Use any convenient inoculant to destroy the adults and eggs of the spider mites.
If not possible to give your pets baths always, at least brush their furs. It will save your pets from itching and your plants from infection.
- From Vegetative Plants
As spider mites love to consume plant sap, they prefer the overgrown and vegetative plants to thrive. They become their breeding grounds.
So, the vegetative growth stage of the plants is the time when the spider mites multiply significantly. You should regularly prune your overgrown plants to curb the spread.
- From Nitrogen Accumulation
Your plants need nitrogen to grow but the excessive amount of nitrogen can be hazardous for them. Let me explain how…
Excess nitrogen will force the plants to produce excess protein. Plants with excess proteins release sweet-tasting sap.
In fact, the excess proteins make the plants’ sap sweet. Insects and pests like spider mites love those sap.
Guess what happens next!
Those sweet-tasting saps attract nectar-sucking pests like spider mites and they won’t leave as long as they get their never-ending food supply.
Again…yes, your plants do need nitrogen to grow and flourish. But you need to make sure that your plants get a balanced amount of nitrogen.
The only way to ensure that is by applying well-balanced nutrients to your plants. You can ask your local agriculturist how to ensure the optimal amount of nitrogen too.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Spider mites live on plants as they are plant eating pests. However they can live in your house by way of your indoor plants.
They can use your shoes and clothes to get into your house. Also, your pets can bring them inside.
They rest in soil during the winter. But during the warmer season, they live on plants eating their saps.
Yes they can but they won’t bite humans. In rare cases, people may have allergic reaction from them.
Now that you have a clear understanding of where do spider mites come from, it should be easier for you to take preventive measures.
Once infected, it becomes so hard and expensive to get rid of them. So, the best defense against them is to be careful and not infect your plants unwittingly.