Snake plants are one of the most beautiful houseplants with their sword-shaped evergreen leaves. The leaves grow upright, making snake plants a perfect addition to any room that has an empty corner. They are attractive succulents that should be kept indoors as they filter the surrounding air to remove toxins and pollutants. What’s more? Snake plants are one of those unique plants in the world that can convert carbon dioxide to oxygen even at night!
Even though snake plants are known for their low-maintenance nature, some common diseases can attack and encumber your snake plant. These include root rot, southern blight, red leaf spot, mealybugs, and spider mites.
This article will cover various aspects of spider mites infestation and how to control and eliminate them from your snake plants.
Do Snake Plants Get Spider Mites?
Many pests are attracted to snake plants, requiring extreme care to avoid pest infestation. Spider mites attack the underside of snake plant leaves. They are tiny plant-sucking pests that can wreak havoc on your spider plant.
Spider mites are pretty common in North America and cause immense destruction to indoor and outdoor plants.
Spider mites pierce the underside of your snake plant leaves and suck up the fluid and sap of the plant, leaving light dots on the leaves.
Spider mites suck up so much plant fluid that the leaves start turning yellow and eventually drop off the plant.
They thrive in a hot and dry climate, and spider mites proliferate and spread unnoticed. By the time a plant begins showing symptoms, enough damage has been done.
Spider mites infestation is widespread, as a single female can lay almost 10 to 20 eggs, which spreads the disease rapidly from one leaf to another and eventually to other snake plants nearby.
The first and foremost step to freeing your snake plant from spider mites is to check for the infestation in its early stages. To identify spider mites, one must know what they look like and how to detect if your snake plant has spider mites.
Also check: Are Dieffenbachia Toxic To Cats?
How to Find Out if Your Snake Plant Has Spider Mites?
The most prominent symptom of spider mite disease is the webbing on the underside of leaves.
Look for small, silky webs between the leaves and on their bottom surface. The white powder-like webbing may be hard to locate at first, but as soon you spot it at one location, check for the rest of the plant for further disease development.
Sometimes, the spider mites also attack the top of the leaves. If you notice that your snake plant leaves have tiny red dots on their surface, do not mistake them for dirt flecks. They are an indication that your plant is infested with spider mites.
Spider mites feed on the leaf sap and plant fluids, which can result in the yellowing of leaves. Furthermore, the webbing may also be present on the lower base of your snake plant.
Do not wait if you spot even the minor signs of this disease. Treat your plant immediately, as further disease development will cause even more damage.
The parasite lays small eggs on the leaf surface, visible as small white dots.
Spider mites feed on the water in snake plant leaves, and the lack of water makes them weak and creates holes in the surface. The holes deter proper plant growth and damage snake plants’ most prominent and beautiful feature, their leaves.
What Can You Do to Get Rid of Spider Mites on Snake Plant?
If you see a heavy infestation of spider mites on your plant, do not panic. Even though it can cause the plant to wilt and leaves to fall, there are still some things you can do to save your snake plant from dying completely.
If you successfully detect the problem in its earliest stages, the snake plant may grow strong enough to recover from the infestation. However, it needs a little bit of your help.
Here is what you can do if your snake plant gets spider mites.
- Spray a light stream of water onto the leaves. The water should be directed towards the silky webbing and knock off as many spider mites as possible.
- Make sure you concentrate the stream towards the underside of leaves, where the heaviest infestation is present. This method will eliminate most of the damage caused by spider mites and clean them from the surface of leaves so that insecticidal sprays and soap can reach every area of snake plant leaves.
- Now take a good quality insecticidal soap like Safer Insect Killing Soap Concentrate. You can also use neem oil, like Natria Neem Oil Concentrate or Bonide CAPTAIN JACK’S Neem Oil. Both of them are effective in getting rid of spider mites.
- Mix about three tablespoons of insecticidal soap or neem oil in a gallon of water, and spray this mixture on every leaf of your snake plant thoroughly. This technique will ensure that the spider mites will not return to your plant.
- Spray the soil of your spider mites so that any fallen eggs or adult parasites are killed to ensure they would not climb back and start the disease again.
- If the damage is beyond control and neem oil or insecticide soap is ineffective in removing and killing the spider mites, you can use horticultural oil as a last resort. We recommend using Bonide All Seasons Horticultural and Dormant Spray Oil. Mix one tablespoon of this oil with one gallon of water to kill the spider mites.
- It would be best if you considered using horticultural oil carefully because it can burn sensitive parts of your plant, like new and emerging leaves. Consider using this option only when every other technique falls flat in getting rid of spider mites.
Do Spider Mites Like Snake Plants: What Can I Do to Prevent It?
Spider mites thrive and grow in hot and dry climates, so keeping your snake plants indoors and ensuring that they are exposed to a humid environment effectively keeps the parasite growth in check.
Clean the leaves of your snake plant frequently, do not water the soil alone. Wash the leaves by spritzing water on them now and then. However, do not overwater your snake plant, as the succulent doesn’t prefer highly wet conditions to grow.
If you live in an area where temperatures can rise to extremely hot levels. In that case, you can place a humidifier or a water container near the plant to maintain a suitable environment.
If you notice that your snake plant is heavily infested, the best practice is to remove as many leaves infested with spider mites as possible. After that, follow the instructions already stated above.
Spider mites can rapidly transfer from one snake plant to another. If you have several snake plants throughout your house, the proper way to control infestation is to separate the diseased plant from the rest.
Spider mites are lightweight parasites, so small that they can travel with a slight breeze. You might not know when your clothes and shoes are bringing spider mites attached to them inside the house.
These parasites can come inside your house through several mediums, so the best practice is to isolate and quarantine any new plant you bring inside your home. Keep it separate from your other houseplants for several days, and check for any signs of a potential infestation. When you think your new plant is cleared of disease or parasites, you can bring it inside and introduce it to your other houseplants.
It would help if you cleaned your clothes or changed them before going near your snake plants after a visit to a local nursery or greenhouse. This method will further reduce the chances of any external spider mite coming inside your house, laying eggs on your plants, and spreading the disease that can damage your snake plants and other indoor plants.
Click here: Can You Grow Dieffenbachia From Cuttings?
What Makes a Snake Plant Susceptible to Spider Mites?
Snake plants can catch spider mites in poor conditions. If your snake plant is under water stress and has endured long periods of hot and dusty conditions, then it is an attractive opportunity for spider mites to feed on your snake plants.
Keep your snake plants in clean, controlled environments to protect them from unpredictable parasite attacks. Do not keep your snake plants on the roadside or the margins of your garden.
Ensure that your plant is adequately watered and the leaves are cleaned and sprayed with water frequently, as these conditions discourage spider mites from settling in. You might not even see a single spider mite on your snake plants in cold and wet climates.
Too much watering your snake plant can result in root rot, and too little watering can attract spider mites.
Snake plants are great indoor plants; they work for your benefit by filtering your surrounding air and providing maximum oxygen.
Your snake plants deserve immense care and love, so you should never let them be destroyed with any common disease they can catch easily—especially spider mites.
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Hi! I’m Sophia, and I love plants – especially an expert in growing house plants. I stay in Chicago, United States of America, and through my blog and social media platforms, provide tips and tricks on how to grow healthy, vibrant plants indoors. Check out more here.