Dust Mites in My Potted Plants

I have dust mites in the soil of my pot plants all of a sudden. Why and how do I kill them off without me harming my plants?
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November 21, 20190 found this helpful

Oh no!

Basically you'll have to repot your plants with new soil :(

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November 21, 20190 found this helpful

There are several things you can try before repotting and some of them may work.

Spray plants with Neem Oil/Insecticidal Soap. These products can be purchased at hardware stores, Walmart, Target, Lowe's, Home Depot and online. They are organic and can be used for many types of bugs/insects that love to get on plants - indoors and outside.
Apply every 3-5 days to kill pest eggs indoors and interrupt the reproductive cycle. Make sure to spray all plant parts, including the undersides of leaves.
One or weeks should do the trick and eliminate the pests.

You can also sprinkle diatomaceous earth (DE) on floors and carpeting if you find the mites in any other part of your house. DE (food grade only) can also be purchased at the same type stores. Only buy a small amount as it goes a long way so not much is needed (unless you other house bugs you would like to kill).

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Try to keep the temperature inside your house to no higher than 70°F (21°C). This is considered a normal and healthy for humans and dust mites like it warmer than 70.

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November 21, 20190 found this helpful

I would use insecticidal soap.

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November 21, 20190 found this helpful

In order to get rid of them and keep them out of your plants go out and buy some new potting soil. Uproot the plants and make sure you take all the soil off the roots of the plants. Now clean the pots with a mild solution of water and bleach. Once the pots are dry again you can add the new soil and plant the plants again.

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November 22, 20190 found this helpful

First, you need to get this plant AWAY from all of your others and check them regularly to make sure they are not infested. Mites spread fast in plants.

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Last time I had this issue (I rescued a sick plant and didn't know it had mites) I am one to start with the most basic fix first, which was to put the plant in the shower and give it quick HOT WATER bath.

Put the shower on hot, if you have a mist setting use it, otherwise just hold the plant so it is at the least forceful part of the water hits where the mites are and with a clean rag or sponge that you will toss when this is done-- gently "rub" them off. Depending on the plant size, this can be a two person job.

Then let a quick hot soak go through the soil to kill them there.

Once all the visible mites are off and the soil has been hot watered, let the plant dry in the sun (outside if you can or in a sunny window) or inside in a warm, dry location away from other plants.

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Keep the plant segregated from the others until you are sure it is mite free.

If you see them again, you can try a second time to repeat the above process. Usually if you catch it early enough, one treatment works.

Toss the rag/sponge used for cleaning and be sure to clean the shower area very well before humans or pets use it.

Hope this works as well for you as it did for me.

Post back with update!

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November 23, 20190 found this helpful

Mix a spoon or two of neem oil with a cup of water, put the mix in a spray bottle and spray the soil and the low part of the plant

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