Spider mites on hoyas can be quite frustrating to deal with, never mind the amount of damage that they can do in a short amount of time.
The best way to deal with spider mites is to prevent the likelihood of getting them in the first place and remove them as soon as you notice any signs of an infestation. This is easier said than done, but in this guide we’ll look at all the symptoms to watch out for as well as the best tips for dealing with them.
- What Are Spider Mites?
- Are Spider Mites Common On Hoyas?
- Signs Of Spider Mites On Hoyas
- How To Get Rid Of Spider Mites On Hoyas – 2 Methods
- What To Do If Your Hoya Dies
- How To Prevent Spider Mites On Hoyas In The Future
What Are Spider Mites?
Spider mites are not true insects, and are a type of arachnid related to spiders, ticks and scorpions.
There are more than 1,200 species worldwide, and most spider mites are around 1/50 of an inch in length with a reddish color to their bodies. Spider mites feed on the sap in plant leaves and are often found on the underside of leaves where access to the leaf’s veins is easier.
Are Spider Mites Common On Hoyas?
Sap-sucking insects like the spider mite are quite common for hoyas, alongside other sap-suckers like aphids and mealybugs.
- Aphids – Aphids are usually visible to the naked eye and are pear-shaped insects. It’s usually quite easy to spot aphids because they leave behind honeydew residue during feeding which turns into sooty mold quickly (often mistaken for black spots on aphids).
- Mealybugs – Mealybugs are soft-bodied, wingless insects that appear as white cottony masses. Mealybugs can cause yellowing and curling leaves, as well as sooty mold like aphids due to honeydew residue left behind after feeding.
How Do Spider Mites Get Onto Hoyas?
Spider plants can be found on trees or gardens and prefer dusty environments. They can come into contact with hoyas for several reasons.
Most of the time, spider mites are brought into the house on a plant already infested with them. From there they will spread quickly to other plants, particularly in dry and hot conditions.
Other times they can simply make their way into the house through windows or doors, especially during the summertime.
Signs Of Spider Mites On Hoyas
The main issue with spider mites is that they are very difficult to see with the naked eye, so by the time you have noticed them the infestation is already very large.
Here are a few things you can look out for, including signs that you can spot before it’s too late.
The first sign of spider mites is small webs around the leaves and on the surface of the potting mix.
Checking for these webs is crucial if you suspect that a spider mite infestation might be affecting your hoya, as these can usually be spotted before a lot of major damage is done to the plant.
The easiest way to do this is to use a flashlight – the one on most phones will do just fine. Simply point the flashlight at your hoya and look closely, particularly on the underside of the leaves, for small webs that can be mistaken for dust.
Yellow/Brown Patches On Leaves
Once the sap is removed the leaves will quickly start to turn yellow and then brown as they die.
This is quite similar to the symptoms of an overwatered hoya, however the change of color is more sudden and more irregular in the case of spider mites.
How To Get Rid Of Spider Mites On Hoyas – 2 Methods
It’s all great knowing what spider mites are and what signs to look out for on your hoya, but how do you actually get rid of them?
Method #1 – Water
Before you try an aggressive method to remove spider mites from your hoya, give water a try.
All you need to do is rinse your hoya with lukewarm water or wipe it down with a damp cloth. This can be repeated several times until all of the spider mites have been removed and is especially effective against small infestations.
Method #2 – Neem Oil
If spraying with water doesn’t do the trick, you can try neem oil instead. Neem oil is a natural pesticide that can be used to get rid of spider mites by killing them and is a great choice if your hoya is suffering from a large spider mite infestation.
To use neem oil you’ll need to create a mixture of 1 quart warm water, 0.25 tsp insecticidal soap and 1tsp neem oil in a spray bottle.
Start by rinsing the leaves like before with water and then generously spray the neem oil solution onto the affected areas, making sure to cover the underside of the leaves as well. This can be repeated once every week or so until the infestation has subsided.
There are a few things to know about using neem oil:
- Neem oil can be deadly to helpful insects and bugs as well, like bees, so avoid using it on hoyas that are hosts to these types of creatures.
- Neem oil will take up to 45 minutes to dry out, so you don’t need to rinse it with water after applying it.
What To Do If Your Hoya Dies
If your hoya dies due to spider mites then you need to discard it quickly.
When discarding the plant use a plastic wrap or bag to seal it up to prevent any spider mites from escaping and throw it away. Once it has been removed you should check any other plants that you may have for signs of spider mite infestations and begin treating them if you notice any.
How To Prevent Spider Mites On Hoyas In The Future
Now that you know how to deal with spider mites, let’s take a look at a few techniques you can use to keep the probability of getting them again in the future low.
Keeping humidity on the higher end is a good idea if you want to get rid of spider mites as they prefer drier conditions.
There are plenty of ways to increase humidity for hoyas ranging from using a humidifier to pebble trays, and since most hoyas prefer humidity on the higher end anyway for optimal growth it is a win-win.
Isolate New Plants
If you’re anything like me then getting new houseplants is a regular occasion.
Before you add new houseplants to the collection you need to isolate them for a week or two in a separate room. The last thing you want is to bring a pest into the house that spreads to your other plants and causes damage.