7 Essential Oils For Getting Rid Of Spider Mites

Spider mites can be very damaging for your plants, especially if you do not find them and remove them before they get the chance to lay their first eggs.

Simply put, spider mites are plants’ worst enemy, as they are a common nuisance that affects both outdoor and indoor plants and cause extensive injuries.

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These two-spotted spider mites can be found either on top of the leaves or underside them, where they slowly remove the chlorophyll, which is essential for the “digestion” of the plants. They may stay there and move on to other plants in the garden throughout their whole life cycle if not controlled. Without their daily chlorophyll, the plants will not be able to thrive and they will slowly start to dry.

If you see small white or yellow spots on the leaves or you notice webbings around your plants, then the chances are that there are some spider mites around there that require your urgent attention such as the spruce spider mite, one of the most destructive species.

However, the only way to be 100% sure that you have a spider mite-problem is by holding a white piece of paper right under the plant’s leaves and gently shaking them to see if any mites fall off.

Just like their name suggests, spider mites are small, usually red or green/yellow spiders that feed on your plants.

Fortunately, there are many different ways in which you can get rid of this eight-legged nuisance, and you can either opt for commercial repellents or you can choose the healthier, natural spider mite control alternative that is a lot safer for your plants: essential oils.

In a nutshell, essential oils smell nice, they have a strong and stingy scent and they work great as natural repellents as they immediately enter the brains of the spider mites and affecting their nervous system, therefore keeping them away.

That being said, below are several efficient (and pleasant!) essential oils, also called horticultural oils, to help you in case of a spider mite infestation.

#1 - Neem Oil

This essential oil is what is referred to as a miticide, and it is extracted from the nuts that come from the neem tree.

Neem oil is widely used for a wide variety of pests or insects that attack plants such as aphids, balsam woolly adelgid, therefore it is safe to say that this essential oil is somewhat considered to be a universal natural repellent.

Although the smell is not as pleasant or as intense as that of the lemon or eucalyptus oil, the neem oil is great for targeting infestations or pest control, and the results will show after the first few days of treatment.

Use 100% Pure Neem Oil to naturally control:
Neem oil is an excellent SAFE, NATURAL insecticide/pesticide solution for homeowners with pest problems.

  • Aphids
  • Scale
  • Mealybugs
  • Mites
  • Thrips
  • Scale insects
  • Powdery mildew

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#2 - Eucalyptus Oil

If there is one thing spider mites hate more than the smell of lemon, that is the strong smell of menthol. This is why eucalyptus oil is guaranteed to work like magic, due to its antibacterial and bactericidal properties. In addition to being highly efficient, the eucalyptus oil also has a water-like composition when you slightly dilute it before using it, and this allows an easy, even and effortless distribution across the plant leaves.

#3 - Lemon Oil

Lemon oil is by far one of the most popular choices for preventing spider mites from destroying your plants.

Lemons are known for being natural antibiotics, as they have strong antimicrobial properties and they are also non-toxic, which means that they pose no threat whatsoever, neither to your plants nor to you and your family. Besides this, the lemon oil also has a fresh and sharp smell that will delight you!

#4 - Cinnamon Oil

Widely used in the international cuisine, cinnamon is a delicious and intensely flavored ingredient that delights us with its scent and taste.

However, the cinnamon oil is a very pleasant smelling essential oil that can be used as a non-toxic and non-hazardous pesticide, and its efficacy to kill spider mites has been proven numerous times.

The cinnamon oil will target both the adult spider mites and the spider mite eggs, thus providing efficient long-term protection against pests. Used two times a week, the cinnamon oil will slowly kill the spider mites, allowing your plants to recover.

#5 - Peppermint Oil

Another very strongly scented essential oil is the peppermint oil, which contains an intense menthol smell just like the eucalyptus. In addition to this, the peppermint oil also has antiseptic properties.

#6 - Rosemary Oil

Rosemary oil can be easily sprayed onto the leaves of the infested plant and it will instantly kill the spider mites. Make a solution of water and rosemary oil, put it in a special spraying bottle and then apply it evenly – it will target both the spider mites and all the other species of mites such as red spider mites, two-spotted mites, European red mites, eriophyid mites, persea mites, dust mites and others that affect plants.

#7 - Canola Oil

The canola oil is also very efficient in controlling spider mite damage if sprayed diligently on every leaf, twice a week. Make sure to mix the canola oil with water and to dilute the oil according to the severity of the infection – if the plant is severely affected by spider mites, then you can create a 2% solution.

The concentrations vary slightly from one essential oil to another, as it is highly recommended to use stronger concentrations for oils with a gentle smell, and lower concentrations for those with a very sharp smell (such as eucalyptus, lemon oil, cinnamon oil or the rosemary oil).

That being said, make sure to adjust the proportions depending on the size of the spray bottle: if the bottle can accommodate 1 liter of solution, then half fill it with lukewarm water and then add the essential oils. You can either add only one essential oil (10-20 ml) or you can combine two or three of them: for instance, rosemary and peppermint work perfectly together.

Another way to prepare the solution is by simply mixing two drops of an essential oil of your choice with 6-8 ounces of warm water and one teaspoon of castile soap (soap made of olive oil).

Shake all the ingredients very well, put the solution in a spray bottle as instructed above and then you can start spraying it all over the plant.

Both of these “recipes” are equally efficient, but it is highly recommended never to apply pure essential oil directly onto the plants, not even on the affected areas, as they can kill the leaves and do more harm than good. Make sure to always dilute the oil prior to spraying it.

Apart from these oils, there are other biological control processes you can consider to eliminate spider mites and other pests. One of them is by introducing beneficial insects to your garden such as lady beetles and predator mites which act as natural enemies. Diatomaceous earth makes another effective alternative for essential oils.