How to get rid of tree mites


How to Get Rid of Spider Mites: Removal Tips for Trees and Plants

Date May 16, 2022

Author David Gaona

Spider mites can be a huge problem for homeowners, especially those who have trees and plants in their yard. These tiny pests can cause a lot of damage to your plants, so it is important to get rid of them as soon as possible. Spider mites are some of the most common pests in Texas and across the USA! In this blog post, we will discuss how to get rid of spider mites and the best methods for removing them from your trees and plants. (Spider mites are not insects, but they are arachnids, more closely related to spiders and ticks than insects)

Why are My Tree’s Leaves Dusty?

One of the first signs of a spider leaf infestation is that your tree’s leaves may look dusty. While the leaves aren’t actually dusty, it’s the sign of spider mites feasting on the fluid inside the leaves. The damage caused by spider mites can cause the leaves to turn brown and eventually drop off. If you notice this happening to your tree, it’s important to take action as soon as possible.

How Do I Know if My Tree Has Spider Mites?

Spider mites are microscopic and can be hard to see without a magnifying glass. Spider mites live on the backside of a leaf and spin tiny webs to move between leaves. If you suspect you have spider mites, take one of the infected leaves and shake it over a white sheet of paper. If you see tiny dots moving around, you have spider mites living rent-free on your tree.

How Do I Get Rid of Spider Mites?

There are a few different methods you can use to get rid of spider mites from your trees and plants. There are natural solutions and more intense miticides you can use on your trees and plants to remove spider mites.

Natural Spider Mite Treatments

Removing Spider Mites with Water

One of the easiest and most effective ways to remove spider mites is by using water. Simply spray your plants and trees with a hose, making sure to get the undersides of the leaves where the spider mites are living. You can also use a pressure washer on larger trees. This method will get most of the spider mites off of your plants and remove the eggs as well. This is not the most effective method of removing an infestation. But it’s a good idea to spray your trees with water to keep pests off.

Using Neem Oil to Treat Spider Mites

Neem oil is a natural insecticide that can be used to kill spider mites. Neem oil works by suffocating the pests and causing them to dehydrate. You can purchase neem oil at most garden stores or online. To use neem oil, mix it with water according to the directions on the bottle and spray it on your tree. Continue this every couple of days to make sure the spider mites have not returned.

Chemical Spider Mite Treatments

Many insecticides are not useful against spider mites. Since chemical pesticides can be harmful to the environment if misused, it’s always best to trust a professional. But if you have a bad infestation, you may need to use a pesticide.

Insecticidal Soap

insecticidal soap is a “soft” pesticide, meaning it’s more gentle to the environment than other pesticides. Insecticidal soap works by suffocating the spider mites. You can make your own insecticidal soap at home by mixing water and dish soap or purchase it online or at a garden store. To use, follow the directions on your bottle and spray along all the leaves of your plant. Make sure to hit the front and back of your leaves and continue every day until the infestation is gone.

Other Treatments

While there are many other chemical treatments for spider mites, they are best used by professionals. If you have a bad infestation, it’s best to call an ISA-certified arborist, like TreeNewal. We can help you treat your spider mites and set your tree up on a care plan that will keep it in good health.

Prevention

The best way to deal with spider mites is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Start by regularly spraying your trees and plants with water. This will help keep most pests away and keep your leaves clean!

A happy and healthy tree is less susceptible to pests, so make sure you’re giving your tree the care it needs. If you think your tree is sick or dying, call TreeNewal for a free consultation. We can help save your tree!

Top Take-Aways

  • Spider mites are tiny and hard to see. They live on the back of leaves and spin webs to move from leaf to leaf.
  • If you think you have spider mites, shake an infected leaf over a white piece of paper. If you see moving dots, you have spider mites.
  • In some situations, you can remove spider mites with natural solutions or with pesticides.
  • If you’re worried you have spider mites, contact an ISA-Certified Arborist for the best care possible.
  • Prevention is key! Regularly spraying your trees and plants with water will help keep spider mites away.

Do you have questions about how to get rid of spider mites? Visit our Facebook page or give us a call! We can treat your tree for spider mites, as well as provide you with tips on how to prevent them in the future.

TreeNewal of Dallas is a full-service tree care company. We are ISA-certified arborists that provide tree health services as well as pruning! Contact us today for a free consultation.

To learn more about How to Get Rid of Spider Mites: Removal Tips for Trees and Plants, call our Argyle and Southlake-based teams

at (817) 592-6846 or send us a message.

We’re a little different than the average tree services company.

Learn more about TreeNewal’s ISA Certified Arborists!

Our Dallas/Fort Worth-based tree doctors can explain how sustainable tree care services add more value to your bottom line.

Healthy trees, healthy lives.

How to Get Rid of Spider Mites

Although they're often lumped in with insects, there are a large group of plant pests that are not insects at all but are rather eight-legged arachnids closely related to spiders and ticks, called spider mites.

These spider mites are extremely small, 1/60 to 1/25 inch in size, and are usually recognized by the fine silky webbing they spin on plants, and by the general damage they cause to plant foliage.

There are hundreds of different species categorized as spider mites that attack different types of indoor and outdoor plants. They come in a wide variety of colors, including red, yellow, green, and brown. Some even change colors throughout the year, while others are translucent. Spider mites most often cluster on the undersides of leaves, causing damage by sucking on the tissues.

Recognizing Spider Mite Damage

Spider mites feed by sucking out plant juice from the leaves, which often leaves them looking stippled, yellow and dry, or covered with pale yellow spots or blotches. On conifers, spider mites often cause older, inner needles to turn yellow, then fall off. Spider mites may also suck chlorophyll, causing small white dots to appear on the leaves.

Some spider mites inject toxins into the leaves, discoloring and distorting them. If you see any of these symptoms, especially in addition to some fine white webbing on the leaves, it's very likely you are dealing with spider mites.

These pests are so small that you won't usually be able to see them with the naked eye, but if you hold a white sheet of paper below the affected plant leaf and tap on the leaf with a pencil or your finger, you may then see mites crawling on the paper if you use a magnifying glass.

Outdoor plants most often affected are cucurbits (squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, etc.), beans, tomatoes, and a wide range of landscape trees and shrubs. Many indoor houseplants can be affected by spider mites, especially those with thin, tender leaves. You are most likely to see spider mite damage in warm, dry conditions.

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7 Ways to Get Rid of Spider Mites

Spider mite infestations are often signaled by leaves that grow yellow and dry-looking and by a plant that looks to be in general poor health. Fortunately, there are several methods for getting rid of spider mites.

Use Rubbing Alcohol

Kill spider mites by combining a mixture of 1 cup of rubbing alcohol and 4 cups of water, then spray the solution on your plants. Cover the stems, flowers, and foliage thoroughly. Rubbing alcohol kills spider mites by dehydrating them. Try spraying the mixture on a single leaf a few days before treating the rest of your plant, as some plants are more sensitive to rubbing alcohol than others.

Spray With Water

Most species of mites thrive in dry, warm weather, and a very effective control is to regularly spray plants with hard blasts of water, aiming especially at the undersides of leaves or needles. This treatment needs to be repeated regularly to keep the mites from regaining a foothold on the plants. Indoor houseplants can be placed in a kitchen sink or bathtub to get treated with the faucet sprayer.

Use Insecticidal Soaps or Oils

Insecticidal soaps that are formulated to kill insects and other pests are often quite effective against spider mites. Treatment will need to be repeated frequently until the mite problem is under control.

Horticultural oil products made from highly refined plant oils, such as citrus, are also highly effective against mites since they smother the pests. Horticultural oils are less likely than chemical pesticides to kill beneficial insects.

Encourage Predators

A variety of predatory insects and mites are known to feed on spider mites. Several can be purchased at larger garden centers or from online retailers to apply to plants you want to protect or cure, including several predatory mites: Phytoseiulus persimilis, Amblyseius californicus, and Amblyseius andersoni. Helpful insects include big-eyed bugs (Geocoris spp.), ladybugs, lacewings (Chrysopa spp.), predatory thrips (Scolothrips spp.), and spined soldier bugs.

Because spider mites have such a large number of natural predators, a hands-off approach may be effective enough in outdoor settings, where diverse insect populations often keep mites under control.

Use Neem Oil

Neem oil is a natural product derived from the neem tree. Neem oil is safe for humans and most animals, but it kills a variety of insects, pests, and mites.  Neem oil contains azadirachtin, an active compound that interferes with the feeding, molting, mating, and egg-laying cycle of insects and mites.

Warning

While neem oil is regarded as a safe organic pesticide when it comes to humans and warm-blooded animals, it is decidedly toxic to fish and other aquatic life. Use it cautiously to prevent run-off from reaching streams and lakes where it can poison aquatic life.

Use Pyrethroid Pesticide

Pyrethroid pesticides are made from natural pyrethrins blended with other chemicals to improve the performance of the pyrethrin. Pyrethrin itself is a natural derivative of certain types of chrysanthemum flowers, and in pure form, it is considered a safer pesticide.

However, pyrethroid pesticides are not considered organic since they contain added chemicals, though they are still a safer alternative than some of the other purely synthetic chemical pesticides. Pyrethroid pesticides are most often recommended against spruce spider mites.

Spray With Chemical Pesticide

A variety of commercial chemical pesticides will kill spider mite infestations, including malathion, bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, and kelthane. These should be reserved for very serious infestations of important plants, and only where other methods have failed. Chemical pesticides are toxic to pets and humans, so they should be used with caution, especially on vegetables and fruits. Always read and follow label directions carefully.

Spider mites are known to quickly develop a tolerance for chemical pesticides, so it's best to rotate from chemical to chemical if you find it necessary to apply repeated treatments.

Call an Arborist or Tree Disease Specialist

Spruce or other evergreen trees under attack by the spruce spider mite can be very difficult to treat by DIYers, and a licensed professional may have access to stronger pesticides that are unavailable to homeowners. Such strong chemicals are a last resort and should be used only when less toxic methods prove futile and only where the loss of an important tree is likely.

What Causes Spider Mites?

Spider mites are notorious for thriving in dry, hot weather—about 80 degrees is considered optimal—and most varieties of mites are most prevalent from July to September, when conditions are favorable. One notable exception is the spruce spider mite (Oligonychus ununguis), which is most active during cooler weather in spring and fall. The spruce spider mite is a serious pest of various pine trees, causing yellowing of needles and gradual defoliation that can kill the tree.

Indoor plants are most likely to get mites during the winter months, so check them regularly as the indoor air turns dry.

How to Prevent Spider Mites

Potted plants that spend summer months outdoors should be checked carefully before they are brought indoors for the winter. The dry winter months are especially favorable to spider mites, so it's best to try to inspect for mites before the plants move indoors. Similarly, purchased plants should be carefully checked before you bring them home from the garden center.

Keeping indoor air humidified may help prevent serious infestations, especially if you also spray your houseplants regularly to dislodge and wash away mites before they can gain a foothold.

All plants—both indoors and outdoors—will be less likely to experience spider mite infestations if they are blasted with water occasionally. Spider mites are very tiny pests that are easily washed away.

FAQ

  • Although spider mites have piercing mouthparts, they are such tiny creatures that biting through human skin is virtually impossible. Nor do they have any incentive to do so. These are not blood-feeding pests, but creatures that feed entirely on plant juices.

  • Spider mites typically live two to four weeks, but females can lay as many as 20 eggs in that time, each of which hatches and develops into a breeding adult after only about five days. Once infested with spider mites, a plant will stay under attack until treated.

  • There are no plants that are utterly immune to all types of spider mites, but in general, those plants with thick, tough leaf structures are less likely to sustain serious damage. Some indoor plants that resist spider mites include the jade plant, rubber tree, snake plant, and ZZ plant. Some outdoor plants that are very commonly attacked by spider mites include broadleaf evergreens, elms, evergreens, fruit trees, honeylocust, maple, mountain ash, oaks, and roses.

Identifying and Controlling Aphids

Good to know about HOUSE TICKS (midd)

What is a house tick?

Household pliers are 0.2 to 0.3 mm in size. They have 8 limbs and are closely related to spiders and forest mites. Not taking into account the fact that they cause allergies, house mites do not pose a danger to humans. They do not bite and do not spread contagious diseases. House mites feed on scales of the desquamated stratum corneum of the skin of humans and animals, and some species also feed on flour dust. The lifespan of a tick is only one month, but the female lays 20-30 eggs at a time, which can lead to rapid reproduction of the tick if conditions are favorable. In Norway, the number of house mites is highest between November and February, which is the time of year when we spend most of our time indoors. Ticks, along with pets, are the main cause of allergy attacks outside the pollen period.

Who is allergic to house mites?

Individuals (especially children) with atopic syndrome or relatives with the disease (atopic eczema, allergic rhinitis and asthma) who are exposed to house mites in the home are at greatest risk of developing house mite allergy.

Where can I find house mites?

They live in places with suitable food, temperature and slightly high humidity (50-80%). Humans leave behind enough microscopic skin particles in bed to feed many thousands of mites for generations. Therefore, most mites can be found in the bedroom, especially on bedding, mattresses and on the bottom of the bed. The breeding grounds for ticks are mattresses, the bottom of beds, where they lay their eggs. A favorable habitat for them is also the carpeted floor of the bedroom.

What are the symptoms of house mite allergy?

These allergies often lead to asthma and/or significant problems such as stuffy nose and runny nose. Allergy to house mites can in some cases lead to allergic reactions in the eyes or exacerbation of atopic eczema. Children are especially susceptible to this. With an exacerbation of allergies, acute irritation of the mucous membrane of the eyes, nose, respiratory tract and bronchi is observed. In this case, numerous types of dust and odors (irritants) are the cause and intensification of the disease state.

How to make a diagnosis?

Not in all cases, the medical history is sufficient to make a diagnosis. The fact that many people experience symptoms at night can have various explanations. Routine allergy testing should be done to ensure that you are allergic to house mites. Typically, tests are carried out using preparations based on the two most common allergens (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and D.farinae). Allergy tests for house mites, performed in special laboratories using skin or blood samples, are the most reliable. Such tests cannot be used to predict the possibility of developing allergies in the future. They only give an answer about the presence of allergies.

Prevalence

House tick allergy is a global medical problem. Studies conducted in many countries suggest that the house tick is a significant factor in the development of allergies. At the moment, there are only a few scientific studies on the situation of house mites in Norwegian homes.

Interventions for house tick allergy

When allergy to house ticks is established, the main intervention will be to reduce exposure to them. As a rule, it is impossible to eliminate ticks in the entire dwelling. Effective methods to reduce their number are improved ventilation, dust reduction by eliminating carpeted floors, quilts and sofas, as well as the use of built-in central vacuum cleaners or modern vacuum cleaners with a HEPA filter or microfilter.

Very high or very low temperatures kill mites. On frosty days (from -15 to -20 ºC), you can take the mattresses outside for a day, and carefully knock them out before bringing them back. Ticks also die when washing bedding at 60 ºC.

The use of special covers against ticks is a very practical method of protection. Their material blocks the way for mites, but allows moisture from the body to pass through. Allergen-resistant covers can be used on the mattress, pillow and blanket, and on top of them - ordinary bed linen.

Down or synthetic?

Allergy sufferers can try thick sheets, duvet covers, and pillowcases specifically designed to protect against house mites to see if this improves the situation. The fabric of the bedclothes is a dense material and therefore protects against ticks. It is more important to use linens that can be washed at 60 ºC or dry-cleaned than to think about choosing down or synthetics.

Reimbursement for house tick covers

Children and teenagers under 16 years of age with a documented allergy to house mites may receive a one-time allowance to cover the cost of mattress and pillow covers. Expenses can be fully covered by granting a benefit of up to 1250 kroons incl. VAT, for the mattress cover and 250 CZK for the pillow cover. Covers must be certified by the Norwegian Asthma and Allergy Association. At the moment, only Sleep Scandinavia products have such a certificate, tel. 67 11 03 17 recommended by the NAAF and NorMed As, tel. 67 98 01 00. Cases can be ordered directly from distributors. Aids must be prescribed by a medical specialist and prepaid. Compensation is paid upon presentation of a certificate of allergy to house mites and a receipt for payment to the social insurance service at the place of residence. The results of measures to combat house mites will not be immediately visible and cannot be 100% effective. However, one should not think that it is possible to replace such activities with medication. These two methods should complement each other.

Treatment of allergy to house mites

It is important to take measures to prevent the reproduction of house mites. In addition, medications are often required to improve health conditions. The choice of drugs and the method of their use should depend on the individual characteristics of the patient and be carried out by a doctor. As a rule, medicines help well with allergies to house mites. However, the lack of necessary measures against the spread of ticks can lead to an increase in allergies and a gradual decrease in the effectiveness of drugs.

Helpful Hints for House Mite Allergies:

  • Avoid chemicals to control house mites.
  • Change bedding weekly.
  • Ventilate the room. The air temperature in the bedroom should not exceed +18 ºC.
  • Remove items that collect dust, such as soft toys, open shelves, carpeted floors, etc.
  • Let the bed stand unmade for several hours to remove moisture from the mattress and linens.
  • House mites are usually killed if indoor air humidity is maintained below 40% for three months in winter.
  • Do not use heaters with built-in fans or other equipment that can raise dust.

How to get rid of dust mites in your apartment

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Dust mites are a parasitic insect that lives on tiny dust particles. The tick is so small (about 0.3 mm in size) that it is simply impossible to see it with the naked eye. In general, they settle wherever dust accumulates, mixed with particles of leather and lint. It serves as a source of food for them. Cleanipedia experts will tell you how to get rid of dust mites in the apartment and prevent them from reappearing.

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Inside the house

Why do dust mites appear and why are they dangerous?

Dust mites live all over the planet. Their life span is only about 75 days. But in such a short period, the female lays up to 350 eggs in total. Ticks feel comfortable in our apartments with a year-round temperature of 18-25°C and humidity above 55%. Favorite places to live:

  • Bed;

  • Cushions;

  • Furniture;

  • Plush toys.

Dust mites are able to attach themselves to clothes, so they can be easily brought home from transport or public places. You will never know that the apartment is filled with a colony of parasites until the first symptoms appear.

The mites themselves are absolutely not dangerous: they do not bite or dig into the skin. But the products of their vital activity are a strong allergen. Excrement contains special protein enzymes. Getting on the skin, they contribute to the destruction of epithelial cells, which in turn provides additional food for insects.

One of the main signs of allergy is nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing at night. If you notice difficulty in breathing in the morning, and in the afternoon the problem recedes, then this is an indicator of a reaction to a dust mite. Another symptom is itching and redness of the skin. There is also tearfulness of the eyes. Notably, pets can show a similar reaction to dust.

Simply relieving disturbing symptoms will not solve health problems. Until the cause is eliminated, the patient will only feel a temporary improvement.

How to get rid of dust mites at home?

In addition to taking antihistamines, which are prescribed based on the results of a doctor's appointment, it is necessary to start a fight against hated parasites. Unfortunately, it is not possible to completely get rid of dust mites at home. But reducing the population to a safe amount is quite realistic.

Less dust means fewer mites. Therefore, start the destruction of pests with general cleaning. It is important to eliminate the main places of accumulation of dust, lint and debris, otherwise we create ideal conditions for the life of parasites with our own hands. Throw out fluffy carpets, old soft toys. Be sure to look through the things stored in the cabinets. They may need to be washed and aired. Buy new pillows and duvets and make it a habit to change your sheets regularly.

To prevent house dust mites from repopulating the cleaned area, prepare a special mixture. A quarter cup of liquid soap is dissolved in 1 liter of water. After mixing, add 0.5 cups of ammonia. This solution is used to wipe the floor and furniture. It can also be added to the wash.

Preventing the appearance of dust mites in the apartment

After a thorough fight against mites, it is important to prevent their repeated reproduction to a large colony so that the amount of allergens in the air is not critical. Here are some working methods.

  • Pay attention to air humidity. Experts recommend keeping it at 50% so as not to stimulate the reproduction of ticks. You can dry the air with special devices;

  • Change bedding regularly. Washing is best done at 55°C. This will get rid of both the parasites themselves and their waste products. If this wash cycle is not suitable for the fabric, place the laundry in the dryer for at least 15 minutes. Or you can expose still dirty things to the effects of cold in the freezer;

  • Use anti-allergic pillow and mattress covers. They are made of a special fabric with a thick weave. In addition, it is better to replace down and feather products with a synthetic hypoallergenic filler;

  • Wash soft toys. Do this monthly;

  • Get rid of items that collect dust: high pile carpets, blinds, unwanted magazines;

  • Install an air conditioner with an anti-allergic filter. The main thing is not to forget to change the filter element regularly;

  • Ventilate the room daily.

Vacuuming alone is not enough to control dust. It is important to carry out daily wet cleaning. When washing the floor, add the antibacterial agent Glorix Freshness of the Atlantic.


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