Spider mites. The bane of my existence!

I made the incredibly, remarkably STUPID mistake of excepting a plant from a “friend” and bringing it into my grow room. I’ve tried everything. And I mean everything. Even 2,000 ladybugs!!! Can’t get rid of them. I brought them outside in hopes that outdoor predators might help. I’ve given up hope.
My question is how long do spider mites live with no food source. I want to start a new grow. I’ve bombed the room and cleaned it from to bottom with bleach. There’s been no plants in there for a month. Given all I’ve done, when can I start another grow? Thank you.

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From what I’ve read, a month is sufficient.

Make sure not only the room has been cleaned but all the equipment.


I had them last grow and went 6 weeks between. Included a disinfect and repaint and new floor. No signs on this grow. Good air flow is a great help to keep them from reoccurring. I hate the lil b tards as well. Best of luck. @Adsydspence.
Peace. :v::+1:


I’ve successfully eradicated them without closing down, I’m vigilant about inspections now using a jewelers lope, I studied their life cycle and planed a repeated attack using “liquid ladybug” and making my own “sponge rings” for the stem of the plant to stop them from reinfecting.

If cold temperatures are present they can go dormant so you’ll need the heat on to keep that from happening, you can’t freeze them out like other insects. You’ll need to spray the plant soaking every sq. inch of it top to bottom especially the undersides of the leaves and remove or spray any and all support twine or avenues from plant to plant. They tend colonize from plant to plant so constant close-up inspections are a necessity throughout the grow, budded plants are harder to disinfect than grow cycle. Don’t use Neem oil on buds if that’s part of your arsenal. I use Neem oil on all the equipment and Liquid Ladybug on the plants, I also use bleach as you did.

I honestly though they were here to stay after shutting down, disinfecting, cleaning, painting, and starting over just to find them again on that one plant I sprayed and sprayed again every 4 days and the surrounding plants also cutting off any conduits from plant to plant and using the sponge rings on every plant to stop their avenue up the stem, I saw it like a battlefield, I had to stop troop movements while carpet bombing the hell out of them and not allowing any eggs to file in on the adult ranks and become egg layers themselves, the timing is critical to break their cycle of life by killing them before they mature into adults. I had the heat on the whole time to stop any of them from hibernating outside the grow, thereby starving them to death and even if they did find the food source they were being sprayed to death anyway! That was last fall when I stupidly brought in some outdoor plants to keep them dry from all the rain! I should have used the shed and sprayed them with Liquid ladybug anyway!


Thank you all. I appreciate your input.


I deal with them here and IMO once you’ve experienced them you will ALWAYS have to deal with them. No matter how well you clean, you are going to bring them in on your clothing and shoes as well. Unless you have an airlock and do a clothing change, you will always have to treat for them.

I use a combination of straight 3% peroxide followed by either Captain Jack’s or Safer. I do that every week during veg to break the life cycle of them. We also have russet mites which are even harder to kill than spider mites.


I’ve been growing vegetables for 3 decades and dealt with these damnable mites. They love tomatoes and eggplants. I’ve successfully treated them organically with a few cloves of garlic and hottest chili pepper. I always have the small Thai pepper on hand but habenaro would be great. I pulverize them in mortar and pestle. By crushing all the cells with pounding rather using blender, you release all of the volatile gas making it more potent. Add a quart of water and strain it into spray bottle. Add a few drips of dishwashing detergent like Dawn. Then go nuke them. This will kill them on contact, and aphids will dieon contact too. The detergent helps it to stick to the plants and protect it for a few more days. In the peak of the season in the summer.
, you may have to hit it twice a week.

Last year, I planted the eggplant sand discovered that it was their favorite food they like even more than tomatoes. So I am not growing eggplants any more. However, the notes don’t start until it warms up in the 80’s, so start spraying the plant before it’s even noticeable. It will save a lot more work later than spraying after you see it. Because by that time, they established colonies with eggsthat will survive all season.


Ok. I mentioned that I’ve tried everything but this is a new one. Thank you very much.
I read an article written by a professor from Yale University. He stated that when you get the mites from another plant, for some reason they’re almost impossible to get rid of. He used a lot of big words about genetics and I didn’t understand a lot of his explanation but I did understand “nearly impossible to get rid of”.
I’m leaving for the weekend so I’m off to the store for the 2 ingredients. I’ll treat them before I go and let you know how I make out. Thanks again

Glad to offer some new Arsenal’s. Let me know how it goes. If not all, it will keeps other bugs away too. Don’t know why but all bugs hate garlic though I love them so I always have fresh bulbs around.

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How did it go? Any success? I’d like to know if it works with other plants such as cannabis. I’d been successful with other veggies with this methods for a while but don’t know if cannabis pest would react differently since they feed on potent stuff.

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Hi Ning,
It worked great thank you. I was out of town after my first application so I couldn’t follow up with another application. The plants growth was affected by the mites but after I used your solution they grew about 6” in a week. In fact they’re going into the ground today. Thanks again for your help.

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@Ning - your method works for indoor also? I’m assuming you grow outdoors?

First grow, first time with spider mites.

Liquid lady bug spray and a sponge ring at the base of the plant seem to work but I’m curious about your method it seems you’ve always had good results.

Awesome! So glad it works for you. Thanks for the report. Cheers for a great harvest!

I’m pretty confident it will kill the bugs anywhere. It doesn’t hurt to try and it won’t harm your plants. I made RSO for my cancer and was concerned when my cancer is cured, I might get liver or kidney problems from bought herbs I don’t know what they sprayed them with. I’m not comfortable with it so I decided to grow them myself. My soil has been planted organically, not even miracle gro, since 1990 because of the garlic+pepper juice. The capsaicin from pepper is highly toxic to bugs. They never touch the hot chili pepper plants I’ve grown ever. What’s in the ‘liquid’ ladybug? I presume it’s some chemical pesticide because I can’t imagine how you’d milk ladybugs?!?


It was the most suggested I saw online for my spider mites but knowledge is power and your idea I feel would save me money making my own organic pest spray


Thanks for the info. That’s interesting that it’s mostly essential oils (that I have) and citric acid. I think it could be made at home as well. For example adding crushed mint leaves to the brew. I grow some mints and will add lemongrass to. In Thailand they use it to repel bugs. It’s less effective that DEET but works. Here’s what I found about geraniol, had to look up.

I’m tearing through my house for my mortar and pestle, I really want to try this at home.

  • Would you just slowly add these one by one in the bowl once smooshed and add water?
  • Do you dry out the pepper/garlic/other or is it done fresh?


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I use fresh ingredients. There’s potent volatile juice in these that will evaporate if you dry them.

I smash garlic a little to crack the skin, then take the skin off and put the garlic back into the mortar and pestle to pound the garlic until it’s well pounded. Because there’s lots of liquid in the garlic and when you first hit it with the pestle, there might be some splatter. I’d rather get splashed (usually on my face or eyes) by just garlic juice than garlic & chili pepper juice. Once the garlic is well broken up, it won’t propel the splash that much.
Then add a couple of fresh chili pepper, pond together until pretty well pulverized. You can use just these two or you can further add coarsest chopped mint leaves (my newest addition after seeing your ‘liquid lady bug’ ingredients.
I just add tap water into the mortar (from the hot side and let it mix to be warm water to be more pungent), so it’ll rinse it off too. I poured it into one quart Pyrex measuring cup (because it has pouring spout) trough strainer. You can use any pitcher but the plastic might absorb garlic scent and gets into your punch later. Then pour it into spray bottle. You can add more water to the strained off herbs if you want to. When I got all my veggies going, I need 3 spray bottles to cover them all so I’d use at least half a head of garlic plus half a fistful of hot chili pepper. I got lots of essential oils so this time I added a few drops of it into the mix as well as crushed a handful of mint leaves in it. I also got citronella and palmarosa oil. Will add those next time.

Ask away if you are still not clear. If your infestation is heavy, repeat it 2-3 times/week. These are volatile gas coming out of the herbs so they don’t last forever. That’s the disadvantage compare to store bough stuff but it’s cost you almost nothing to make.

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@Ning I was thinking about making it for my 32 oz spray bottle, what’s your average shelf life on this recipe?

I always made fresh batch before spraying. Volatile means it turns into gas at room temperature and pretty much all escape. I don’t see any point of making more than you can use. If you don’t miss that much, make less. IMHO, it’s a waste because it won’t keep