3 Essential Oils to Keep Spider Mites at Bay

For those looking for a chemical free way to keep spider mites of your prized plants you’ve come to the right place. Essential oils are an excellent alternative to traditional chemical pesticides to kill or deter pests. Essential oils each work differently to repel or kill spider mites so we have compiled below a list of how each individual oil works.

Neem Oil

How does it work?

Neem oil is made from the cold pressed seeds of the neem tree and is known for its strong garlicky odour and pesticidal qualities. The active ingredient in neem oil is azadirachtin is an excellent insect repellent, growth regulator as well as sterilant. This makes it great for not only removing spider mites but preventing them from future breeding.

Applying Neem Oil

Applying Neem oil to indoor plants is easy, simply spray the spider mite effected plants foliage until its dripping wet. There are two options for Neem oils, either premixed sprays from the store or concentrates. Premixed sprays are ready to go and are the easiest option or alternatively you can mix the concentrate with water and a little soap to help emulsification.

How long does it take Neem oil take to work?

It will take some time for the oil to kill spider mites as it requires them to ingest it in order to begin changing their hormones to regulate growth and make them sterile. Your Neem oil application will last for up to a month as a repellent for bugs. If the pests return you can apply another application of the oil to remove them again.

Where to get Neem oil

You can get your hands on Neem oil concentrates or premixed from any good home/ garden store.

Eucalyptus Oil

How does it work?

Eucalyptus oil is another great non chemical alternative to traditional pesticides. Working directly as a natural insect repellent and toxic to some bacteria and fungi eucalyptus oil is great, not only for spider mites but protecting plants from diseases such as wood rot fungi.

How long does it take for eucalyptus oil to kill spider mites?

When used in the correct concentration eucalyptus oil is known to kill spider mites on contact. If spider mites persist you can apply eucalyptus oil every 3 days until there are no signs of spider mites indicating you have successfully eradicated them from your precious plants.

Applying eucalyptus oil to indoor plants

Similar to Neem oil you will need to mix your eucalyptus oil with soap and water for it to be the most effective. We recommend using 2 teaspoons of eucalyptus oil for every litre of water with 1 teaspoon of dish detergent, mix well by shaking in a bottle then apply to spider mite affected foliage.

Where to get eucalyptus oil

You can get concentrated eucalyptus oil at any good chemist or health food store.

Rosemary Oil

How does it work?

Rosemary oil is an extremely effective method to rid those pesky spider mites that are wreaking havoc with your much loved indoor plants. A study conducted by the University of British Columbia found that the use of pure rosemary oil and rosemary oil based pesticides had “caused complete mortality of spider mites at concentrations that are not phytotoxic to the host plantsource. They found that rosemary oil, not only repelled spider mites but could effect oviposition (egg laying) behavior.

How long does it take for rosemary oil to kill spider mites?

Rosemary oil is a fairly quick acting as a spider mite killer/ repellent. You can expect to rid your affected plants of spider mites in as little as 2 to 3 applications of a rosemary oil based solution to the foliage. Rosemary oil based pesticides are one of the quickest and most effective methods for the eradication of spidermites. The previously mentioned study by the University of British Columbia found in a greenhouse trial “a single application of Rosemary oil based pesticides at its recommended label rate could reduce a twospotted spider mite population by 52%”.

How to apply rosemary oil to indoor plants?

Applying rosemary oil to remove spider mites can be done in a variety of ways the most common and effective ways are home and premixed rosemary oil products. To make your own spidermite pesticide with rosemary oil mix the following in a spray capable bottle;

  • 3 Teaspoons of Rosemary oil
  • 1 litre of water
  • 1 Teaspoon of liquid dish soap

Shake this mixture well in the bottle to ensure a complete emulsification of the solution then apply to plants daily in the cool of the morning or afternoon for 2 to 3 days then once a week as a preventative.

Where to get rosemary oil?

Rosemary oil is readily available in most health stores or online.

Benefits of using essential Oils for Spider Mites

Essential oils should be your preferred first step in spider mite treatment as they are not harmful to your plants, health or environment, compared to chemical counterparts. It is recommended that you use organic essential oils to begin with to remove the potential health hazards that are associated with chemical pesticides as well as potential phytotoxicity to the host plant.