Spider Mites are a widespread pest among indoor gardeners, with most infestations arising on tropical plants with large, broad leaves. Cacti and Succulents are less likely to succumb to an attack than thin leaf-bearing succulents, like Euphorbia and Desert Roses.
As the name suggests, Spider Mites will produce small webs along the undersides of each leaf to protect their eggs. They prefer to colonise here due to the weaker leaf-tissue and partial shade from the sun's heat, which would otherwise dehydrate them until death. You'll begin to notice small inter-twining webs develop across the foliage, soon accompanied by minute yellow spots that feel 'gritty' when touched. Each female can lay up to one hundred and fifty eggs in her lifetime of sixty days, so catching an attack early is paramount for success.
- Although these pests will focus primarily on a plant's leafy-sections, they're still known to inhabit other areas, including its stems and flowers.
- Using a damp cloth with lukewarm water (or an old toothbrush for spinier plants, like cacti), wipe the plant down.
- Rinse the plant under a tap or with an outdoor hose. Focus on the leaves' undersides and between the foliage and stems, but be cautious of damaging the foliage with jet-like water streams.
- Whilst the plant is drying off keep it in a warm, bright room away from other specimens. If the temperature is above 15℃ at night, keep it outside to recover naturally.
- You can administer a pesticide once the foliage thoroughly dries from being hosed down. We recommend SB Plant Invigorator and Bug Killer. .
- Keep the affected plant in a quarantined room until the symptoms have subsided for at least eight weeks. In some cases, dormant eggs may hatch several months after deeming the specimen pest-free, so it's always important to keep an eye out for a potential relapse. Keep other, non-affected specimens safe by distancing the pest ridden plant at least a metre away.
- Follow the first four steps every two weeks to eradicate the soon-to-hatch eggs.