Spider mites are very small creatures that can be often found swarming across plant exteriors and in soil nearby.
Are you wondering if you can still have them If you have no plants?
What if you have recently got rid of plants that have been infested with Spider Mites,
Can they still survive without plants and infest other plants you may get in future?
Can Spider Mites Live Without Plants?
Spider Mites cannot live without plants. They need fresh plants to feed on without which they may not survive for more than eleven days. You will not get Spider Mites if you have no plants and you will not get them even if you have plants, but they are constantly kept in a healthy condition.
Their eggs form a shielding layer of protein layer which can protect them for months but living mites cannot stay alive for too long without having juice from fresh plants.
There are a few plants that are known to keep spider mites away and they can be an effective way of controlling spider mite infestation in your garden. Plants that repel spider mites include coriander, dill, garlic and pyrethrum
Spider mites require a specific environment to grow on leaves and effect plants and the speediest growth occurs in dry and hot conditions. They are also known to prosper in humid environments, but egg fertility is much more in dry conditions with dusty environment.
Prevention is better than cure, therefore, I would advise you to keep your plants as healthy as you can manage to. The healthier your plants the less the chance they will get infested.
If you find your plants infected with spider mites, it is advisable to keep them well-watered. This will buy you time to later eliminate the pests. For indoor plants, you may keep the soil humid to keep them away.
If a plant is badly infected and appears to die soon, remove it and throw away to keep other plants safe. Similarly, sometimes just removing infected leaves can help. There are sprays and pesticides to kill spider mites which can be used in case the infection is too widespread.
Do Spider Mites Die If There are No Plants?
Yes. But that is practically not possible. Spider mites are tiny beings and can be easily transported by yourself or animals from one place to another. Therefore, it is almost impossible that they might be wiped out. They feed on fresh plants and fresh plants may always exist. Their eggs can survive for longer and they may, therefore, survive even in places where snow falls in winter.
How Long Can Spider Mites Live Without Food?
Generally, the male spider mites can live 3 days without food while female can live six days while the maximum survival time is 7 days for male and 11 days for female.
How Do Plants Get Spider Mites
Spider mites may be transported to your garden by other animals or they may come from an adjacent garden or form if they exist there. However, it is important to note that they thrive in dry, hot conditions. They can turn into a major problem in winter because your dry house can become the ideal breeding ground.
How to Get Rid of Spider Mites on Plants
You can involve a few strategies to dispose of spider mites. It is always useful to examine the underside of your plant leaves, inspect whole plant using magnifying glass and check the leaves for tiny dots and/or yellow marks. And before taking any further action, you must first quarantine all infested plants.
You may Use as simple of a strategy as spraying your plants with water regularly or using pesticides. What you can do is keep spraying a strong stream of water on the underside of leaves which will remove a lot of the mites. Spraying regularly can prevent any future buildup. Some plants that may be severely infested shall be removed completely.
Moreover, there are several natural predators which are known to feed on spider mites. Therefore, using chemical insecticides may result in the death of those natural beneficial predators.
There are insecticidal soaps that have been formulated specially to kill insects and at the same time not damaging the plants. They can be applied until the problem is under control.
Also there are some highly refined oils and horticultural oils which are thought to be effective in keeping spider mites under control. The oil chokes spider mites. The oils are extremely refined and under appropriate conditions, can be applied to plant foliage.
There is another safe product that can be used to control spider mites. This product is made from the seeds of a tropical tree and is called Neem. Commercially, this product is available under the name Margosan-O. Other chemical controls include bifenthrin, kelthane, malathion and cyfluthrin.
Many plant growers use a total release fogger (aka ‘bomb’) with insecticide to deal with spider mites in indoor gardens. The most active ingredient of this fogger is Pyrethrum. Pyrethrum kills adult mites, but not the eggs.
Therefore, they deploy a strategy of exploding multiple bombs with a span of 3 to 5 days. This often helps kill the adults and the juvenile mites before them having an opportunity to reproduce.
Can a Plant Recover from Spider Mites?
If the infestation is not very serious, plants may easily recover. Sometimes, removing a few badly infested leaves helps while at other times removing a whole tree (if completely infested) will help the other plants remain safe. Unless very badly affected, plants will recover from spider mite infestation with remedial measures.
Plants That Spider Mites Like
Spider mites like fresh plants. Generally, they will attack any plant if those plants present themselves in the right sort of condition for them. However, they specially like feeding on junipers, rosemary, marigolds, strawberries and houseplants. They also attack plants that are in poor health or distress.
Spider Mites on Outdoor Plants
Outdoor plants attract spider mites and they are a common pest of these plants. Spider mites draw juices from fresh plants and with passing time they will make the plants look unhealthy and dull. Spider mites cause the plants to lose their freshness and vigour – ultimately causing the plants to die.
Plants That Keep Spider Mites Away
There are a few plants that are known to keep spider mites away. They include coriander, dill, garlic and pyrethrum. Having these plants will keep the pests away from your garden.
Do Spider Mites Lay Eggs in Soil?
In temperate climate zones, two-spotted spider mites lay eggs in the soil, while most of the common spider mites on trees and shrubs lay tiny round eggs on the underneath leaves and bark. An adult spider mite can lay as many as a hundred eggs over a period of three weeks. Unfertilized, the egg of spider mite will turn out to be male. Depending on their species, spider mites have several generations every year.
Spider Mite eggs on Plants – What Do They Look Like
The eggs of spider mite are translucent, almost 0.1 mm in diameter, pale yellow or green in colour and will have unique red eye marks before hatching.
How Long Can Spider Mites Stay Dormant
Spider mites spend winters in the egg stage for months, attached to branches of plants and trees. The eggs hatch after the winter season and mites complete their development in three to four weeks. If the temperature in summers exceed 86°F for three days in a row, the female spider mites lay dormant, over-summering, eggs.
How Long Can Spider Mites Live on Clothes
Away from food, spider mites may not live for too long. They may not survive from three days to eleven days depending on the gender and environmental conditions. Unless properly shaken, they may remain on clothes.