How to remove dust mites from indoor plants has become a common concern lately after the popularization of indoor plants. Indoor plants have become a real decor necessity in today’s age and time.
But they are accompanied by their own set of challenges that need to be tackled at the earliest to allow your indoor plants to live and thrive. And today, I will talk about how to tackle a grave concern of indoor plants called dust mites.
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How do dust mites come on indoor plants?
If you’re reading this, your indoor plants are probably infested with dust mites. It should be reassuring to know that you are not alone in this since we have all been a part of the problem at one time or another.
Dust mites are frequent on indoor plants because they are attracted to high humidity, moisture, or a lack of air movement in indoor growing environments.
Maintaining good growing conditions, watering properly, and monitoring your plants on a regular basis will help keep infestations at bay and allow you to remove them swiftly, reducing plant damage, all of which we will discuss in length here as we proceed further.
How to save indoor plants from dust mites?
Preventing dust mites from taking up residence in your house is one of the most effective strategies to deal with them in your plants. The following guidelines will assist you in preventing and minimizing dust mite damage, as well as eliminating them.
- Before bringing new plants into your home, inspect them thoroughly. Dust mites thrive in nurseries, where many plants are crowded together in humid settings. Checking the new plant before adding it to your collection can save you a lot of time and aggravation later.
- Maintain adequate circulation and distance between your houseplants. Allow there to be enough room between containers or the plants’ foliage when organizing them in an arrangement.
- As soon as you see dead or diseased tissue/leaves on plants, remove them. This includes anything that falls from the plant and lands on the potting soil’s surface. For dust mites, soil detritus provides a welcoming environment.
- If you move your plants outside and then bring them back inside, inspect them for dust mites and other pests. There are more insects outside than you can imagine, and if they can, they will try to freeload their way inside.
- Check your plants for dust mites on a regular basis. Early diagnosis usually means less harm and an easier time treating the infestation. Every time you water your indoor plants, make it a practice to visually inspect them.
- When repotting container plants, avoid using outdated potting soil, especially if the packet was previously opened and left in a garage or shed. It could include insect eggs.
How to remove dust mites from indoor plants?
There are certain prominent guidelines that you can follow to get rid of dust mites from your indoor plants. These are –
If the infestation has just begun.
- If your houseplants have dust mites, move them to a cooler room away from healthy plants.
- Maintain a moist but not excessively saturated soil. When the topsoil is dry, it’s a good rule of thumb to water your houseplants.
- If you wash plant foliage with a soft cloth or a strong spray of lukewarm water on a regular basis, you can assist in minimizing the dust mite population.
- Another alternative is to use an insecticide containing permethrin or pyrethrin on the plants. Also effective are insecticidal soap and horticultural oil. If you’re going to use a pesticide, read the label carefully before buying it and again before using it.
In The case of a severe infestation
- If the infestation is severe, with spider mites covering the majority of the plant, the best control approach is to discard the plant.
- Cover the plant with a plastic or a cloth before removing it to prevent spider mites from spreading to other houseplants.
- Keep newly purchased houseplants in a separate area, away from other houseplants, for a few weeks to avoid repeat infestations.
- Use this time to check for pest concerns on the plants before replanting them with the rest of your healthy plants.
Can Dust Mites Bite You?
Dust mites do not bite your skin in the same way that other insects do. These bugs are allergens, and thus allergic reactions to these annoying insects, on the other hand, might cause skin rashes. These are frequently red and irritating in appearance.
Dust mite allergies are prevalent, and they are usually induced by breathing the mites’ skin and droppings contents.
You may suffer symptoms all year if you have a dust mite allergy. During the hot, humid summer months, you may also discover that your symptoms are at their worst. Look out for these symptoms.
- Runny or stuffy nose
- postnasal drip
- watery eyes red,
- itchy skin
- throat irritation
This condition may potentially provoke asthma, depending on the degree of your dust mite allergies. When you’re lying down at night, your symptoms may be severe. In such a case, it is best to consult a doctor.
How to Prevent Dust Mites on Indoor plants?
You can prevent dust mites on indoor plants by following certain basic rules of gardening, which are –
Plants should be grown in the finest feasible conditions.
Choose plants that have the same growing requirements as the interior environment (humidity, light, temperature). Plants cannot combat pests when they are unable to grow due to a lack of light, excessively wet or dry soil, excessively hot or cold air temperatures, and so on.
Plants should be adequately watered.
Determine how much water your plant requires. Water the soil at the plant’s base rather than the leaves. Make sure the plant’s pot is well-drained. Letting indoor houseplants sit in water is not the best idea. Dust mites, including other pest problems, can be caused by overwatering and poor drainage.
Recognize your plant’s nutritional requirements.
Only half the prescribed strength of fertilizer should be used. And fertilize it preferable when the plant is actively developing.
Maintain the cleanliness of your plants.
Remove any dead leaves, stems, or blooms from the soil surface. Dust and grime can harm plants as they attract dust mites and other pests, so wipe them off with a moist cloth. Never use milk or leaf shine products. Also, remove any dead branches or stems.
When potting plants, use new, sterile potting soil.
Garden soil should never be used to pot indoor plants. When indoor potting plants, avoid using soil from open bags of potting soil that have sat outside. Keep it for your garden pots. Wash the soil off the plant roots and then place them in clean pots.
How to keep indoor plants safe?
While the criteria for keeping all plants safe are mostly the same, they will vary slightly depending on the environment in which your plant will live. This is the area for you if you’re mostly interested in learning about how to keep your indoor plants safe. My favorite tips for keeping houseplants alive are:
Select the Proper Pot
Drainage is critical for your plant’s survival. A tiny hole in the bottom of the pot is ideal so that excess water can drain out of the soil and gather in a tray beneath the pot.
If no such hole exists, all excess water is contained in the earth. This is because often, there is more water than the plant can absorb, resulting in the “drowning” of the plant. If your plant appears wilted and droopy but the soil remains damp, you most likely have a drainage problem, and the plant is excessively wet.
Use High-Quality Potting Soil
If you’re repotting your houseplant from its original container into a larger pot, you’ll need to consider the type of potting soil you’re using. Simply scooping dirt from your backyard isn’t enough.
Purchase a bag of potting soil instead. These mixes frequently include additional nutrients or fertilizers to keep your indoor plants strong and healthy.
Allow them to have a lot of light.
While each plant has its own preferences in terms of shade versus sun, no plant can grow in complete darkness. If you put it in the closet, high on a dark shelf, or backed into a darkish corner, it will not thrive.
To thrive, your plant requires at least some sunlight. As a result, windowsills are ideal locations for plants. There are alternative possibilities if you don’t have a large enough windowsill. Place them on a table or cart in front of a window or somewhere that gets plenty of light.
Keep Your Pets at a Distance
This is a thumb rule that should go without saying, but if you’re new to indoor plants, you might not have considered it. Animals may adore your plants, but this often results in them being adored to death. Your pet may eat or tear up your plant as a result of their enthusiasm.
To solve this problem:
- Try putting your houseplants in places where your pet won’t be able to get them.
- Place them on top of a high cupboard or high up on the counter.
- Just remember to strike a balance between the necessity to keep the plant out of harm’s way and the need to keep it in the sun.
Get to Know Your Plant
This is a basic guideline for plant care, whether you’re dealing with indoor houseplants, hanging outdoor baskets, garden plants, or any other kind of plant.
Take the time to educate yourself about the plant you’re caring for. Find out how much sun it prefers or how much shade it prefers. Find out if it has to be watered every day or if it can go up to two weeks without being watered.
Every plant has its own set of specifications. While many general rules apply to most plants, taking the time to learn about each kind of plant individually will yield the best outcomes and the highest rate of success.
Not Too Much and Not Too Little Watering
Watering plants can be tricky, especially if you’re new to the activity. If you give your plant too much water, it will drown. If you give the plant very little water, it will dry out and die.
You’ll need to strike a fine balance between these two extremes if you want your plants to be happy and healthy. While some plants thrive in moist soil, the great majority thrive when the soil is allowed to dry out between waterings.
Dust mites can be a real nuisance for your indoor plants, and they spread from one indoor plant to another like a wildfire. And thus, it becomes essential to be able to control these pests.
Using the remedies that I have talked about here, you can be able to remove dust mites from your indoor plants and further keep them at bay.