Upgrading the office garden

How To Eradicate Spider Mites From Your Hydroponics System

by Amber Larson

If you grow fruit and veggies hydroponically, you may find that your plants are attacked by pests from time-to-time.  Spider mites can be a particular nuisance if they get into your grow room, ruining your plants and being very difficult to get rid of.  Here's how to identify and deal with spider mites.

Identifying spider mites

Spider mites are tiny insects that are notoriously difficult to spot.  The pests are usually cream or red in colour and measure about 1mm in length.  They're so tiny that it is easy to overlook them until you notice damage to your plants.

Look out for the following signs that could indicate a spider mite infestation.

  • discoloured leaves
  • tiny white dots on the upper surface of the leaves
  • dead or dying leaves
  • webs covering the plants and constructed between them

Dealing with spider mites

Unfortunately, destroying all your plants following a bad attack won't get rid of the mites from your hydroponics system.  This is because the female mites remain dormant, hiding within your grow room.  They can last for a year or more without food, awakening when the conditions are favourable again and they can begin laying eggs once more.

Under these circumstances, a smoke bomb is a very effective way of eradicating all spider mites from your grow room.  You can buy these from good hydroponics suppliers.  For day to day control, you can use pest control sprays to keep numbers down.

Preventing spider mite invasion

  1. Disinfect your grow room after each crop cycle.  
  2. Use your own plant cuttings, rather than other people's that could bring bugs with them.  
  3. Make sure that you don't import pests to your grow room on your clothes or hair following visits to parks and gardens.  Save a set of 'clean' clothes solely for use in your grow room.  
  4. Fit intake fans with a bug blocker to stop spider mites and other pests from getting in.  
  5. Use a magnifying glass to inspect your plants regularly for spider mites and take action immediately to get rid of them.

In conclusion

Keep your hydroponics system safe from attack by spider mites by following the above tips to identify and control these pests.  Your local hydroponics store will be able to offer you more advice on pest control, and will be happy to supply you with the appropriate control products too.  Why not call in to the store for helpful advice and information?