Soil Mites Identification: What To Look For And How To Get Help!

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Mites come in all shapes and sizes. Some are beneficial, while others can be quite predatory. So it is important to know about soil mites identification: what to look for and how to get help. Soil mites are a part of the microscopic soil activity that helps to break down organic matter.

However, if the population of mites is too high, you will want to take steps to eliminate them. There are different soil mites, each requiring a different approach to get rid of them. 

Continue reading to find out more about soil mites. 

Soil Mites Identification: What to look for and how to get help!

soil mites identification

Soil mites are tiny creatures that are found in the soil. They typically feed on decomposing plant material and other creatures that are detrimental to our plants. Mycorrhizal fungi spores help increase soil fertility and disperse gardens.

Soil mites, more commonly known as oribatids, are tiny creatures found in soil worldwide. Though they are not harmful to people or animals, they can carry bacteria and transmit diseases to humans. Soil mites have three life stages: males, females, and nymphs. 

These tiny creatures can carry parasites and feast on decaying organic matter. Not all good, but not all bad. Knowing what to check for if you think you have a soil mite infestation is crucial. 

What do soil mites look like?

Soil mites are tiny creatures that look like spiders and ticks. They are closely related to these two creatures and live in the soil. Soil mites can be difficult to see with the naked eye, but their unique characteristics can identify them.

Types of soil mites in house plants that effects stem and root rot

Tetranychus Urticae Koch

Tetranychus Urticae Koch

The Two-Spotted Spider Mite or Tetranychus Urticae Koch is the most common type of soil mite.

They are primarily chlorophyll-thirsty, plant-eating pests that cause the biggest damage in hot and dry conditions. Without a magnifying lens, they can be mistaken for Thrips or Aphids.

Spider mites, specifically the Tetranychus Urticae Koch species, are a common pest that can cause a lot of damage to plants. They are very small and often go undetected until the infestation has become quite bad.

There are three ways to identify if you have spider mites: webs in stem junctions, light infestation look like pinpoint dots on foliage, and leaves turn from brown to yellow before falling off completely. 

Prostigmata 

Prostigmata 

Prostigmata mites are the only type of arachnid that travels on other arachnids and are actively looking for live prey. The most invasive species is the prostigmata sub-order, which can cause damage to crops and other plants.

If you think you have discovered a soil mite, it is important to get help from an expert to identify it properly.

Mesostigmata 

Mesostigmata 

Mesostigmata mites are a type of soil-dwelling mite that gardeners and homeowners frequently encounter. They are known as hitchhiking travelers, as they can easily attach themselves to clothing or fur and then travel to new locations.

Mites get their name from the two small holes on either side of their body that they use for breathing. Mesostigmata mites will eat other creatures as food and plant material. Mesostigmata mites have a brown or beige exterior with two dark stigmata on their back. 

Gamasid 

Gamasid 

Gamasid mites are a type of predatory mite that is found in most soil types. They are ravenous, surface-dwelling predators of beneficial mites and mycorrhizal fungi that plants need to survive. They also eat nematodes which can decimate tomato plants.

Interestingly, early humans may have formed an aversion to bugs as they are the first animals they would have seen crawling on the ground. Bugs, such as Gamasids, typically have eight legs and six joints. They also have claws and suckers, which help them cling to surfaces.

Gamasid is a type of soil mite that can cause significant damage to plants. They are very small and can be difficult to see with the naked eye. 

How to get rid of garden soil mites?

Red spider-mite with long legs. It wakes up in the spring when the sun warms the soil

Shake Off And Remove Soil 

There are a few ways to remove a nuisance population of soil mites. 

  • One is to shake them off and remove them physically. 
  • Another is to use houseplants that are taken outdoors into containers. Finally, you can soak the plant in lukewarm water to avoid shock and remove excess soil from the root ball while it’s still in the bowl. 
  • Ensure there are no remaining old leaves or stems before returning the plant to its original location.

Use Pesticides

Soil mites are tiny creatures that can cause a lot of damage to plants. They can kill with pesticides in both natural and chemical varieties. When applying pesticides, it is important to use a fine mist so that the pesticide reaches all of the soil mites.

Insecticides With Pyrethrins​ 

Soil Mites Identification: What to look for and how to get help! Types of soil mites

Pyrethrin affects the central nervous system of insects and mites, causing them to die. Pyrethrin is a common ingredient in many insecticides but is not organic. It lasts for several weeks.

Insecticides with pyrethrins are a common way to get rid of soil mites, but it’s important to know what to look for before spraying:

  1. Ensure that the insecticide you’re using contains pyrethrins.
  2. Be aware of the signs that the mites are gone so that you don’t overuse the insecticide and end up harming the plants.

Use Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a natural and effective way to kill bugs. It is safe to use and breaks down into water and oxygen. You can use a 3% solution for the best results.

Cinnamon Solution 

Mites and flies can be a nuisance in the garden but are controlled with a simple cinnamon solution. The solution will not kill the mites or flies, but when they smell it, they will bolt. We recommend applying the solution outside so that pests don’t move from plant to plant.

Mix 1 tsp of cinnamon to 4 cups of water for water plants before adding it to your garden. Mix 1 tsp of cinnamon with 2 cups of water for a foliar spray. It will help to kill the soil mites and stop them from reproducing.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth can be sprinkled on the surface of the soil or mixed in to prevent creatures from living in it. The DE effectively kills pests like mites, ants, and fleas.

Diatomaceous earth is a great way to kill soil mites. It is important to use food-grade DE and gloves when handling the powder, as it can be harmful if inhaled.

Dish Soap & Starch 

Insects can be pesky little creatures; when it comes to getting rid of them, people are always looking for new and innovative ways. One such way is using a dish soap and starch mixture.

The combination is thought to disrupt the cell membranes of insects, leading to dehydration and death. To use this mixture, dilute it in 1 liter of water. For every 400 ml of a diluted mixture, you will need four drops of dish soap and five tablespoons of starch.

To get rid of soil mites around the base of plants, spray with the only solution; if any solution gets on stems or leaves, wipe it off.

Are soil mites bad for plants?

Soil mites are a common problem for gardeners and can also become a nuisance in the home. While they don’t generally harm indoor plants or soil, they can be unsightly and increase moisture levels, leading to fungal problems. 

Does neem oil kill soil mites?

Neem oil is a pesticide that comes from the neem tree. It is a natural and organic ingredient, making it a popular choice for those looking for an environmentally friendly option. Neem oil is effective in killing soil mites.

Do soil mites jump from one container care to other?

Do soil mites jump from one container care to other?

Soil mites cannot fly. They can jump from one pot to another. So it is important to take steps to prevent them from spreading. To do this, remove the plant and the top two inches of soil from its pot. It will stop them from being able to jump to other pots.

Can soil mites live on humans?

No, soil mites cannot live on humans. However, there are a few species of soil mites that can cause harm to humans if they come into contact with them. 

Are soil mites harmful to humans?

Soil mites are tiny creatures that live in the soil. While they are generally harmless to humans, they can carry some harmful pathogens and parasites.

The chances of contracting an illness from them are rare but still possible. Always wash your hands after touching soil to avoid any potential illnesses.

Ways for using gardening tools to avoid soil changes and control mites

Ways for using gardening tools to avoid soil changes and control mites

Soil mites can be difficult to identify and control, but you can do a few things to minimize the infestation risk. One way is to use gardening tools that help avoid soil changes and help control the mites: 

Gardening Gloves

These gloves are good for both men and women and are made from bamboo, which helps absorb sweat from the gloves. The gloves are also comfortable and fit well.

Container gardening 

It is becoming more and more popular. It is because you can use various containers, including plastic or metal containers, and you don’t have to worry about the soil changing or the mites affecting your plants. 

Watering Can

In addition, it’s important to use the proper watering can when watering your plants. The watering can help water the potting soil without splashing on the foliage, which could potentially damage your plants.

What is the difference between soil mites vs. spider mites in houseplant soil?

Two types of mites can infest your houseplants: soil mites and spider mites. Soil mites are usually harmless but can be red. They are very small, about the size of a period at the end of this sentence.

Spider mites are tiny pests related to spiders that can cause significant damage to plants. They are very small but easy to see because they spin webs on the leaves of plants.

Do aphids live in the soil?

Aphids are small, sap-sucking insects found on the leaves of plants. While most aphids live on or under the leaves of plants, a type of aphid lives in the soil and causes plants to wilt and die. These aphids are called grey-white root aphids.

How to get rid of root aphids infestation?

How to get rid of root aphids infestation?

To treat root aphids in a few ways: 

  • The first is to use neem oil or a pyrethrum-based spray. It will kill the root aphids on contact. 
  • Another option is to use spinosad-based insecticide, which will water into the soil and kill the root aphids over time. 
  • Finally, you can use Beauveria, a fungus with spores that will attack root aphids.

Are white mites on pot plants harmful?

White mites are a type of mite that can be found on pot plants. They are small and difficult to see with the naked eye. Signs include leaf damage and webbing. White mites feed on plant sap, killing the plant if left untreated. 

Conclusion

Soil Mites are safe and beneficial insects that play an important role in the environment. They feed on decaying plant parts and leave on their own after they have completed their life cycle. Soil mites can sound scary, but they are harmless bugs that keep plants healthy.

In conclusion, knowing about different pests can benefit you and your plants. Soil mites are tiny bugs that can harm your plants if they’re not removed, so it’s important to take action if you think you have an infestation. 

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.