Spider mites generally live on the undersides of leaves of plants where they can cause damage by puncturing the leaf to feed. They feed on several hundred species of plants.

Spider mites are a very common pest for home and greenhouse plants. Plants under stress or without a thick waxy cuticle are favourites. They can be seen with the naked eye and resemble grains of salt. Control is possible with 5 ml dish soap mixed in one litre water. Like many methods of controlling pests success is accomplished by repeating the treatment to get the next generation when they hatch. Three treatments at intervals of five to six days is usually sufficient.

Other control methods include:

  • hosing down with water daily for several weeks
  • moving outside under shade and washing down with water
  • chemical pesticides and systemics