If thinking about hundreds of tiny insects creeping through your favorite house plants makes your skin crawl, we don’t blame you. Looking down at your potted plants only to see dozens of tiny white dots moving around is enough to give anyone the creeps.
These little white dots are soil mites.
Soil mite infestations are more common than you might think. Fortunately, they’re easy to get rid of.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about removing soil mites from your house plants.
What Are Soil Mites?
Soil mites are tiny arthropods. They are scavengers that eat rotting organic matter such as moss, wood, leaves, and so on. Soil mites are most commonly found in potting soil or compost heaps.
Soil mites are a friend to your outdoor plants. They play a key role in the decomposition of organic matter in topsoil. This makes it easier for your plants to absorb all the beneficial nutrients they need.
They also manually aerate the soil, which makes it easier for water to penetrate it. Seeing soil mites outside is actually a good sign that your garden is healthy.
Soil mites inside, however, are another story. They can travel from outdoor to indoor spaces and make their home in your potted plants.
While they won’t harm your plants, soil mites are known to carry diseases and parasites like tapeworm eggs. This can make them a health hazard to humans, so if you’ve spotted any in your potted plants, it’s time for some pest management.
How to Get Rid of Soil Mites
The first step to getting rid of soil mites is to remove old dirt from your plant containers. Check the soil and take out any dead leaves or decaying material. This eliminates the soil mites’ food source.
If the infestation is mild, remove the top portion of your dirt and replace it with fresh, high-quality soil. Ensure that there is no decaying matter left in the pot. This assists further with long-term insect control.
If the infestation is severe, re-pot your plants in new, healthy soil. Make sure you clean the pot before you do this to remove any lingering mites. Check your plants frequently and remove any dead or yellowing leaves as they can provide a new home for the soil mites.
Finally, stop the soil mites from coming back by spraying the soil and your plants with an insecticide like Venerate Marrone Bio. To use these indoor plant care products, put the solution in plant hand sprayers and treat both the soil and the plants.
This ensures that the soil is not conducive for soil mites to flourish. It also ensures that your plants are safe from fungus, gnat larvae, and other pests. When it comes to preventing the mites from returning, proper soil treatment is key.
Kick Soil Mites to the Curb
Soil mites in your outdoor garden are a good thing. They play a major role in the breakdown of organic matter, which helps your plants absorb more nutrients.
But in house plants, they can be a major nuisance and potential health hazard. Now that you know how to get rid of soil mites, you can kiss these tiny bugs goodbye.
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