Does peroxide kill spider mites?

Many gardeners ask the question: does peroxide kill spider mites?  Hydrogen peroxide has countless uses in homes. Apart from removing stains, whitening teeth, killing fungi and plenty more, is it worth using as a miticide?

Hydrogen peroxide can kill spider mites, in addition to aphids, mealybugs, and fungus gnat larvae. To use, combine 1 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide with 1 cup of water, and spray onto plant foliage. Note that hydrogen peroxide does not kill spider mite eggs. 

Before treating your plants with peroxide, it’s important to learn how to prepare the spray and how to apply it if you want the best results without harming the plants. Besides peroxide, there are several other effective home remedies as well that can help you get rid of spider mites for good. 

Does Peroxide Kill Spider Mites

Spider mites feed off the material that makes the plant cells, as a result of which, leaves become speckled, wilt and fall off. 

Plants continue to weaken and if no action is taken, a large spider mite infestation is strong enough to kill the plant. 

There are a range of home remedies against spider mites. 

Hydrogen peroxide kills spider mites. 

The compound is sprayed on the plant foliage in diluted concentrations to kill spider mites. 

Hydrogen peroxide is environmentally friendly and can be used in place of pesticides, fungicides and chemical fertilizers. 

Besides killing mites, it can also help you get rid of a variety of other pests and fungus. 

Here’s a post to help you understand all the different ways for killing tiny white pests in the soil. 

Does Hydrogen Peroxide Kill Spider Mite Eggs

Hydrogen peroxide is lethal to spider mites and can effectively help you get rid of them from your garden.

However, instead of solely directing treatment at the adults, you also need to kill the eggs. 

Unless the eggs are eliminated from the garden, they will hatch and continue the infestation even if the adults are gone. 

Hydrogen peroxide does not kill the eggs of spider mites.

You will have to combine hydrogen peroxide application with other treatments such as neem oil to kill the eggs. 

Repeated applications of the two treatments are necessary to make sure all the stages of the pests are eliminated and your plants are safe. 

Keep your plants well watered and fed during the treatment and beyond that to keep the pest damage to a minimum and prevent stress. 

Here’s a post to help you understand the importance of water to plants. 

How Does Hydrogen Peroxide Get Rid Of Spider Mites

You know that hydrogen peroxide makes an effective pest killer. 

But what property of the compound makes it possible? 

When you spray the plants with hydrogen peroxide, you’ll notice “fizzing.”

The fizzing is caused by reaction between hydrogen peroxide and the bodies of the spider mites. 

Hydrogen peroxide reacts with the enzyme called catalase in the spider mite’s body, and breaks down into hydrogen and oxygen. 

They damage the cellular macromolecules of insects, including lipids, proteins, and nucleic acid.

Though the reaction is effective enough to kill mites, hydrogen peroxide only works upon contact. 

You’ll need to spray enough solution to coat the leaves thoroughly, including the undersides, to get rid of all the mites on the infested plant.  

Can You Kill Spider Mites With Hydrogen Peroxide

Although there is no official research that directly links hydrogen peroxide to treating spider mite infestations, gardeners have been using it successfully for ages. 

Researches only exist to back hydrogen peroxide’s use as a plant-safe pesticide used for treating fungi and bacteria

However, through experience, many gardeners can tell you that the compound also works on spider mites. 

You can use hydrogen peroxide to kill spider mites. 

When sprayed onto the plants and soil, hydrogen peroxide kills fungus, bacteria and any small insects, like spider mites and fungal gnats, that can harm the plant. 

If you suspect a plant of infestation with spider mites, isolate it before treating it with hydrogen peroxide. 

Keep the plant away from others throughout the treatment process until you are completely sure that the mites are gone for good. 

How To Get Rid Of Spider Mites With Hydrogen Peroxide

Now that you know hydrogen peroxide can kill spider mites, what’s the best way to employ this treatment? 

Different concentrations of hydrogen peroxide are available for purchase. 

Get a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution from the store as higher concentrations can be harmful to humans as well as plants. 

Create a mixture by diluting 1 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide in 1 cup of water. 

Transfer the mixture to a sprayer bottle to spray it on the infested plants. 

Soak the plants with hydrogen peroxide spray thoroughly, including the undersides of the leaves, soil and the container.

Repeat the application weekly until all the pests are gone. 

In case of sensitive plants, it’s advised to spot test an area with the hydrogen peroxide spray before using it on the entire plant. 

Wait three days to make sure the spray does not produce any adverse effects before treating the rest of the plant with it. 

Does Dish Soap Kill Spider Mites

As already highlighted, hydrogen peroxide isn’t the only remedy against spider mites. 

You can even kill spider mites with some of the most easily available material in homes. 

Dish soap is present in almost every home. 

Can you use it to kill mites?

As it turns out, dish soap is another effective miticide that can help you get rid of pests on your plants without spending a single penny.

Dish soap kills spider mites. 

Prepare a mixture with 3 tablespoons of mild dish soap and a gallon of water. 

Add the mixture to a sprayer bottle and spray it on the infested plants weekly until the spider mites are gone. 

After leaving the dish soap solution sit on the plant foliage for 5 hours, wash it off with water to prevent it from damaging the leaves. 

Make sure you choose a mild dish soap that doesn’t include a degreaser in its composition. 

Also, automatic dish-washing detergents aren’t good for using on the plants since they’re typically too strong. 

If you have an indoor palm tree, make sure to check out the full article on getting of spider mites on palm trees.

How To Keep Spider Mites Off Indoor Plants

Spider mites are common pests that attack many indoor plants and can quickly destroy them if you don’t take action.

Houseplants from Araliaceae, Apocynaceae, and Marantaceae plant families are particularly susceptible to attack by spider mites. 

There are many preventive steps that you can take to avoid an infestation. 

Spider mites typically adore dry, hot and dusty environments. 

Deter spider mites by misting the plants regularly to create a humid environment or install a humidifier near the susceptible plants. 

Wipe the leaves clean to prevent dusty environment and keep the plants well watered to keep them cool and prevent water-stress.

Water-stressed plants are more susceptible to damage caused by spider mites and other pests. 

Shade the plants from direct sunlight since excessive heat and evaporation caused by the high temperatures attracts spider mites. 

See the complete article on how to kill spider mites on indoor plants.

How To Get Rid Of Spider Mites Naturally

There are certain natural controls you can use against spider mites in your garden. 

The treatment will need to be repeated several times for it to be effective. 

If a potted plant is infested, isolate it from the others as soon as you detect the symptoms to prevent the spread to other plants. 

Spray the infested plants with pressure water from a hose or faucet to dislodge the spider mites and their eggs. 

Repeat this technique every few days until the plant is completely rid of mites. 

Introduction of natural predators in the garden, including lacewings, ladybugs and parasitic mites is also effective in killing spider mites. 

These predators can be purchased from the garden center to introduce them to the infested plants.

The beneficial insects only work against spider mites and other pests, without posing any risk to your plants. 

Encourage the predators by avoiding use of pesticides and growing flowering plants. 

Check out the full article on getting rid of spider mites naturally.

How To Get Rid Of Spider Mites In Your Garden

Spider mites are a prevalent problem in many gardens and can multiply quickly and take over if serious measures aren’t taken. 

Insecticidal soaps and horticultural oils are effective against spider mites. 

Create a solution using 1 tsp insecticidal soap or horticultural oil, such as neem oil, mixed in 1 liter water to kill mites. 

Spray the solution on the plants to control spider mites. 

Repeat the application every couple of days until the infested plants are completely rid of mites. 

Since these oils and soaps only work on contact with the bugs, you’ll need to apply them generously on the infested plants, especially the underside of the leaves to kill all the mites. 

Conclusion

Peroxide is an effective control technique against spider mites but should only be used in diluted concentrations to prevent any harm to the plants. 

You may have to employ a combination of different techniques and repeat them as necessary before your plants are completely rid of the tiny bugs. 

About the author

Greg Volente

Greg Volente holds a Naturalist Certificate from the Morton Arboretum, worked for The Nature Conservancy leading environmental education programs and doing natural areas restoration, and worked in the soil science research & testing lab at Michigan State University. Besides gardening, he's an avid wildflower enthusiast, and loves botanizing, hiking, and backpacking.

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