Finding a predator may be a long-term solution if you want to control a spider mite infestation.
Ladybugs are known for killing spider mites in a garden. With the right amount of patience, they can be a long-term solution to the problem. Other predators eat spider mites such as lady beetles, spined soldier bugs, and lacewing larvae.
How To Get Ladybugs To Eat Spider Mites?
If you are interested in getting ladybugs for your garden, you can either lure them to your garden or buy some.
To lure ladybugs, ensure your garden has food for them. Of course, the spider mites are already food for them, but you can also add any pollinating flowers or flower nectar.
You should plant your favorite plants to eat. This would be either dill, cosmos, tansy, or cilantro. Growing the plants they enjoy will lure them to your garden and give them home forever to keep pests away.
There are dedicated plant shops and online stores like Amazon that sell ladybugs by the bunch. So you can buy them and put them in your garden.
It is important that when you release these ladybugs, you have food and water for them. Just like luring ladybugs, you will need flowers and plants like cilantro or dill.
These plants will keep the ladybugs in your garden for long, so your purchase does not go to waste.
Ladybugs that are purchased, however, may have been improperly bred. This may lead to some other issues, like having ladybugs that are sick or have diseases. This may harm the native bugs and ladybugs in your garden and may become another problem.
It is important to research where you are buying the ladybugs from. Finding a reputable store with many reviews will help with your ladybug purchase.
When To Not Use Ladybugs To Get Rid of Spider Mites?
Ladybugs work best with patience. They may take a few weeks to control the spider mites since it is not their primary food source.
There are a few other reasons that ladybugs may not be the fastest or most efficient way to get rid of spider mites.
- Their life cycle is longer than spider mites, so spider mites reproduce faster than ladybugs. So you will need to get many more ladybugs than spider mites.
- Ladybugs can hibernate in the winter. It is best to only use ladybugs for a spider mite issue in the warmer months.
If you need a quick solution to spider mites, getting an insecticide or another type of pest control is best. However, with the right patience, ladybugs will do the job and last throughout the year’s warm seasons.
Other Predators That Eat Spider Mites
Ladybugs are not the only bugs that eat spider mites. There are a handful of other bugs you can release or lure to your garden to control your spider mite problems.
These bugs are the following:
Spider Mite Destroyer Lady Beetle
Lady beetle larvae and adults both feed on spider mites. They are fed solely by the spider mites. Their dedicated job is to eat spider mites and can continue feeding off them daily.
They are in the same family as the ladybug, so you can lure them with other plants or buy them.
Spined Soldier Bugs
Spined soldier bugs are part of the stink bug family. They prey on spider mites and other pests that may be an issue in your garden.
You can attract them by making refuge spots with sticks and leaves. You can also purchase them online and release them.
The lacewing larvae have a short life span, but each one can eat up to 11,000 spider mites alone.
They need to eat spider mites and other aphids to survive. You can buy the larvae online or at a plant store and release them in your garden.
More On Spider Mite Control
- Does Neem Oil Kill Spider Mites? – Neem oil is one natural solution to kill spider mites, but the incorrect application can reduce or negate any effectiveness.
- Does Diatomaceous Earth Kill Spider Mites? – Diatomaceous Earth is a good ground treatment against spider mites. But, using DE on foliage has drawbacks.