Any person who owns houseplants knows the worries of a spider mite infestation. A fiddle infested with these little critters would be a disaster.
In the case of spider mites, early detection is key to preventing widespread damage to your plant. Spider mites are the source of many gardening issues.
Reduced plant health and yield can be caused by as little as a few mites. Leaves that are afflicted will have white splotches on them.
Infected cells that a mite has punctured, feasted upon, and died appear as little white dots. To conceal and safeguard the mites and their eggs, the margins and tips of the leaves may often curl downward and inward.
Spider Mites Infestation on the Fiddle Leaf Fig
Spider mites are arachnids that are closely related to ticks but are not spiders themselves. Leaves can turn brown and shrivel up due to sucking the life force out of them.
They prefer to feast on the youngest, most succulent leaves. Fiddle leaf fig owners often misdiagnose edema as a spider mite infestation, so keep a close eye on your plants. If you see the white dots moving, we’ve got bad news.
Like spiders, spider mites are small. At first glance, you might mistake them for edema or a mild over-watering, but a closer look reveals that the dots are moving, most commonly in shades of brown, black, or red.
A high population of these pests is not necessarily indicative of damage to your plant, but it does make it more challenging to eradicate the problem.
Spider mites can spread from plant to plant through the air through their webs, and you should keep sick plants at least a few feet away from healthy ones.
Spider mites can quickly move from plant to plant in space thanks to the slightest wind from an open door or fan.
Identifying Spider Mite Damage
Spider mites consume chlorophyll, the green pigment found in leaves, as their primary source of nutrition.
The damage caused by spider mites typically appears as a whitish tinge or occasionally as a slightly brown tinge on the leaves. It’s possible that you won’t discover it until after an infestation has already taken hold!
Spider Mite Eggs
Tiny white spots represent the eggs. They may form in clusters on the leaves, most frequently in the troughs created by the leaf veins. Additionally, you might observe that they are contained in tiny webs.
After all, spider mites are spiders, and like real spiders, they construct webs on the leaves, stems, and trunks of the fiddle leaf fig tree. They do not, however, typically leave any webbing behind in the soil.
Conduct a careful inspection of your tree to search for cottony webs. Spider mites favor the undersides of leaves; thus, inspecting the leaves from both the top and the bottom is crucial.
Small, Clustered Dots on the Leaves
The presence of tiny dark red or brown spots on the leaves is one of the most reliable indicators that spider mites are present.
Since spider mites are insects, you’ll need a magnifying lens to sift through them and determine whether the dots are moving. This could also indicate where the spider mites have begun to feed on the fiddle leaf fig leaves!
Getting Rid of Spider Mite Infestation on the Fiddle Leaf Fig
Don’t freak out if you discover spider mites on the Fiddle Leaf Fig. If you act quickly and thoroughly, you should be able to save your plant collection from the infestation.
And even if you feel like things are under control, you should still get at least one more treatment. Due to their minute size, mites are often overlooked, leading to rapid population growth and the reemergence of the problem.
Spider mites are among the easiest pests to eradicate. They don’t cling to the leaves like scale and other insects, so all you have to do is remove them.
Scavenger insects like spider mites can be flushed away with a strong stream of water. If you have many insects, you can use a hose on spray mode, but a kitchen syringe or something similar that can spray a concentrated stream of water can do just fine if you’ve caught the infestation early.
Get a water spray and go outside or spray it in the sink or tub to get rid of those little black dots.
Wipe Water on the Leaves of the Fiddle Leaf Fig
The removal of spider mites from a fiddle leaf fig may be accomplished with a wet towel, which hydrates the plant.
It is vital to preserve the leaves in shape when they are as large as the figs. Use a gentle substance when you want the water to be distributed uniformly throughout the leaves so that it seems like a mist.
Additionally, wiping eliminates the tiny dust particles that offer a home for the mites. This helps prevent the spread of mites. Perform this task once or twice to control the number of mites.
Wipe the Fiddle Leaf Fig with Soaps and Oils
To clean the fiddle leaf fig, you may use soaps and oils instead of a moist cloth. The only way to eliminate mites and their offspring are via physical contact.
You can expect to put in a lot of effort if you choose this strategy (perhaps once every two weeks). Petroleum is used to create several helpful products, including soaps and oils that kill insects.
Plant-based oils like neem and cottonseed are also widely accessible. Plant oils may be a source of miticides, often known as mite insecticides. Some stores sell garlic extract with spices like cinnamon and even oils like mint.
Certain plants are indeed more oil-sensitive than others. It is best to test a small area of the plant with the new soap or oil and wait a few days before applying it more broadly.
It would help if you also refrained from applying oils to plants during water stress. For example, having a reliable watering routine and adequate humidity are prerequisites to effectively combating mites using oils.
Cut off Any Infested Leaves of Fiddle Leaf Fig
Remove any infected leaves from the plant by pinching or tearing them off. If you choose this approach, you may start the other treatments for controlling the mites right where you left off with the first one.
Assume that there are more figs in the room after you have removed the infected parts of the plant, bag the leaves, and set them aside because of the wind and the dust in which they move; spider mites can traverse tremendous distances.
It is best to separate a sick plant from the rest of the garden if there is a significant possibility that it might transmit mites to the other plants.
Investing in the Spider Mites’ Enemies to Protect the Fiddle Leaf Fig
Treating an indoor fiddle leaf fig successfully with either biological or chemical methods may be challenging.
On the other hand, you may place your plant outside if you reside in a growth zone 10–12. These are some more methods for dealing with the spider mite problem.
Ordering spider mite-eating insects is one option. Bugs like lady beetles, pirate bugs, and predatory thrips would be ideal for this task.
Predatory mites are available for purchase and may help decrease spider mite populations even on indoor plants.
Preventing a Spider Mites Infestation in the Fiddle Leaf Fig
You can do a few things to protect your plant collection against mites before adding a new one.
Isolate the Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant
While it may sound extreme, you should eliminate the possibility that a single mite-infested plant can spread to the rest of your garden.
If you want to ensure your new houseplants are pest-free, you may want to keep them separate from the rest of your collection for a few weeks.
Clean the Leaves of the Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant
Cleaning the leaves removes dust, letting your plant get more sunlight and removing any mites lurking.
Smooth-leafed plants can be cleaned with a moist towel, but those with fuzzy leaves require a bristled brush.
Reduce Plant Stress on the Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant
It is crucial to foster a healthy and habitable atmosphere since plants under stress are more likely to be infested by spider mites. Reduce plant stress by providing adequate water and light.
Increase Humidity for the Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant
Since spider mites prefer dry environments, increasing the humidity around your plants can help discourage them from settling in. Plants can be grouped to achieve this.
Use Insect Traps to Prevent Spider Mites
Sticky insect traps can help you identify pests early on and prevent them from harming your plants. Set the traps near any openings, such as vents, and in the center of the room, high above your houseplants.
To monitor and capture fungus gnats, removing the protective layer of one side only and installing the sticky traps at the base of your plants is a good idea.
Our Final Thoughts
When caring for finicky plants like fiddle leaf figs, dealing with pests like spider mites might seem like an unsolvable puzzle.
Finding spider mites on fiddle leaf figs and attempting to get rid of them may be challenging since most gardeners keep fiddle leaf figs indoors.
Using water as a treatment method is preferable to other practices, such as applying pesticides or relying on natural predators.
To alleviate the strain your plant is experiencing, and it is crucial to get a better watering balance, and wash, wipe, and humidity.
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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.