How to Kill Mites on Plants

Hi Judy,

I have houseplants in my apartment and well, I HAD plants on my balcony. They were destroyed by broad mites and I had to throw them all out, except for the herbs (basil, mint, oregano, lavender) which repel the mites and remain unaffected. I thought the issue had been isolated to the balcony, but given how these broad mites travel, my indoor plants are now showing signs of infestation. I LOVE my plants and this whole experience has been really heartwrenching. I’ve had one of my indoor plants for 8 years – he’s tall beautiful and healthy…but some new leaves growing look abnormal. I have a total of 10 plants inside and I’d like to salvage them, if possible. I’ve read all about these mites and how they lay eggs in the plant, which makes them hard to kill. Is there any type of solution? I appreciate any guidance here.
Thank you!

Hi Melanie,

I am not a big fan of toxic chemicals, but if you want to bring in the heavy guns, buying a miticide at your garden center is the answer.

I prefer non- toxic products. here’s what I use on mites. Click the link to  read about all of these things in the Glossary of the website.

1. Neem OilLearn about Neem Oil, a natural, organic, non-toxic product for treating houseplant insects and diseases.: The beneficial ingredient in Neem OilLearn about Neem Oil, a natural, organic, non-toxic product for treating houseplant insects and diseases. is azadireachtin. Azadireachtin, which is an organic product, eliminates Plant PestLearn how to identify and treat the plant pest called Whitefly at https://www.houseplant411.com/glossary/whitefly-plant-pestss by causing them to stop feeding and reproducing.

https://www.houseplant411.com/glossary/neem-oil-non-toxic-plant-insecticide

2. The green solutionIf you don't want to use a commercial chemical product to treat plant pest problems try the “Green Solution.” This is a mixture of water, alcohol, biodegradable liquid soap, and mineral oil. Always test any spray on one or two leaves to be sure it won’t damage the plant. Depending upon how severe the infestation is, you can use these ingredients in varying proportions. If there are only a few pests, dip a Q-tip in alcohol and gently swab them off. For a more widespread problem, start by using a spray of warm water mixed with a few tablespoons of biodegradable soap. If that doesn’t cure the problem, make a solution using 8oz. water & 8oz. alcohol, add two tablespoons of biodegradable soap and two tablespoons of mineral oil. Spray all areas of the plant. Use this solution on leathery leafed plants (except palms), never on fuzzy leafed plants like African Violets or Begonias. For palms, omit the alcohol from the Green Solution. Never spray a plant that’s sitting in the sun or one with very dry soil.    : This is a mixture of water, alcohol, biodegradable liquid soap, and mineral oil.

https://www.houseplant411.com/glossary/green-solution-for-plant-care

3. insecticidal soapInsecticidal Soap is defined as any of the potassium fatty acid soaps used to control many plant pests and diseases. This product is typically sprayed on plants in the same manner as other insecticides. It works only on direct contact with the pests. The fatty acids disrupt the structure and permeability of the insect cell membranes and the insect quickly dies. Soaps of this kind also work well on fungus infections such as botritis and leaf spot as well as on common houseplant pests such as spider mite and mealy bug.: insecticidal soapInsecticidal Soap is defined as any of the potassium fatty acid soaps used to control many plant pests and diseases. This product is typically sprayed on plants in the same manner as other insecticides. It works only on direct contact with the pests. The fatty acids disrupt the structure and permeability of the insect cell membranes and the insect quickly dies. Soaps of this kind also work well on fungus infections such as botritis and leaf spot as well as on common houseplant pests such as spider mite and mealy bug. is defined as any of the potassium fatty acid soaps used to control many Plant PestLearn how to identify and treat the plant pest called Whitefly at https://www.houseplant411.com/glossary/whitefly-plant-pestss and diseases.

https://www.houseplant411.com/glossary/insecticidal-plant-soap

I would spray all of your plants, not just the ones showing they are infected.