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  • Writer's pictureJohn-Michael Kibrick

Mites & Plants: How to Protect Yourself and Your Plants from the Threat of Mites

Updated: May 13

House plants, mites

Mites are at their worst in the rare cases when they pose a threat to humans, whether by spreading disease or causing allergies, but humans aren’t the only living thing impacted by mites. Your houseplants might be in greater danger, and could even introduce harmful mites into your home.

In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • The most common species of mites that affect houseplants

  • Which plants are known for attracting mites

  • Plants to own if you know you’re allergic to mites

  • How to get rid of mites in your houseplants

Mites are common pests for indoor plants. These small, spider-like creatures can proliferate around plants and eventually kill them. While mites on houseplants don’t necessarily pose a significant risk to human health, they can cause allergic reactions in some individuals, especially those with asthma or other respiratory conditions.

Learn more about the dangers of mites in our complete guide to mites.

Whether you’re an avid indoor gardener or just like to have some plants around, there are a few main species of mites that you should be aware of. You may also want to familiarize yourself with the signs of a mite infestation so you can quickly deal with it and avoid a larger mite problem.

These are the 6 most common species of mites that affect houseplants:

  • Spider mites: These are one of the most common types of mites found on houseplants. They feed on plant sap, causing damage to leaves and flowers. They are usually red or brown in color and are so small they can be difficult to spot with the naked eye.

  • Broad mites: Despite their name, these mites are even smaller than spider mites and can be difficult to detect. They feed on the buds and young leaves of plants, causing distorted growth and yellowing of leaves. They are usually found on herbaceous plants and succulents.

  • Cyclamen mites: These mites are specific to certain types of plants such as African violets, Cyclamen, and other plants of the Primulaceae family. They feed on plant sap and can cause wilting, distorted growth and flower malformation.

  • Rust mites: These tiny, reddish-brown mites feed on the underside of plant leaves. They can cause yellow stippling on the upper surface of leaves, and in severe cases can cause leaves to drop.

  • Two-spotted spider mites: These are similar to regular spider mites but have two distinct dark spots on their bodies. They feed on plant sap and can cause yellowing and stippling of leaves.

  • False spider mites: These mites are smaller than spider mites and can be found on a variety of plants. They feed on plant sap and can cause discoloration, wilting, and distorted growth of leaves.

Best Houseplants to Buy if You’re Allergic to Mites

While any house plant can be infected by mites, some are naturally more resistant than others, such as snake plants, peace lilies and ferns, making them ideal if you already know you are allergic to mites.

Houseplants that Attract Mites

Certain types of plants are more susceptible to mite infestations than others. For example, succulents and cacti are particularly vulnerable to spider mites, while cyclamen mites are commonly found on African violets and cyclamen plants. If you wish to explore other options, it is still best to avoid houseplants that are especially known for attracting mites, including:

  • Succulents and cacti: These plants are particularly vulnerable to spider mites, which can spread quickly from plant to plant.

  • African violets and cyclamen plants: These plants are commonly infested by cyclamen mites, which can cause wilting, distorted growth, and flower malformation.

  • Herbs and leafy greens: Mites such as spider mites and broad mites can cause damage to the leaves of herbs and leafy greens, causing yellowing and wilting.

  • Flowers: Mites such as spider mites and false spider mites can cause damage to the flowers of plants, causing discoloration, wilting and distorted growth.

How to Get Rid of Mites, Step by Step

Mites can multiply quickly and infest a large number of plants in a short period of time, making it necessary to tackle the problem as soon as you notice it. If you suspect that your houseplants have been infested with mites, there are a few steps you can take to get rid of them:

  1. Isolate infested plants from other houseplants to prevent the mites from spreading.

  2. Use a handheld vacuum to remove any visible mites from the plants.

  3. Repeat the process until you no longer see any mites on the plants.

  4. Search the rest of your home for mites that could infect your plants and apply Sterifab as necessary.

  5. Keep an eye on your plants for a few weeks to ensure that the mites do not return.

Not sure if your plants have mites or not? It can’t hurt to follow the steps above to make sure. Adding Sterifab to your arsenal will help you keep all mites out of your home and protect your plants from infestation. Once you have it, Sterifab will also be by your side to handle a wide variety of other pests that might crop up, from ticks and bed bugs to COVID-19.

Order Sterifab today and watch your mite problem fade away.

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