Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Spider Mites?

Spider mites aren’t true insects though they are common known household pests. They love hanging out on your plants and making your garden their breeding space.

However, the problem starts when you have indoor plants and spider mites make their home in them.

Spider mites are so tiny that they already have built their home even before you notice. Though these pests pose no harm to humans, they can kill it quickly for a plant.

That is why it is essential to get rid of Spider mites as soon as you notice them. And for that, one of the best solutions is Rubbing Alcohol.

Rubbing Alcohol and Spider Mites

The Rubbing Alcohol solvent efficiently kills off spider mites and other common plant pests. Reaching inside the mite’s body begins with the dehydration process. This further leads to killing the pest.

Rubbing Alcohol, both Isopropyl and Ethyl, have properties that slip right through the insect exoskeleton, making the pest or bug drown from inside.

Which percentage of Rubbing Alcohol is best for killing Spider mites and other common pests?

While 70% Isopropyl Alcohol is the best for killing mites and pests, 50% is fine.

However, 91% or 99% Rubbing Alcohol concentrations might not do the job that well.

Wondering why?

The presence of water in Rubbing Alcohol is a crucial factor in destroying the growth of pests.

While Alcohol reacts as a penetrating chemical, water reacts as a catalyst.

The presence of water in Alcohol plays an important job in denaturing the proteins of vegetative cell membranes.

It further helps Alcohol to penetrate well into the cell walls, coagulate all proteins, and ultimately kill the pests (microorganisms).

Water content in Rubbing Alcohol also slows down the evaporation process.

It further increases the surface contact time and enhances Alcohol’s effectiveness.

That is why a lighter concentration of Rubbing Alcohol (70% Isopropyl) is better for disinfecting and killing germs.

Similarly, if the concentration is in a higher power (91% or 99% Isopropyl), it will create a protective layer on pests’ outer bodies. This will protect other proteins from further coagulation.

A higher concentration of Isopropyl Alcohol will kill pests, but the result won’t come out really impressive.

How to use Rubbing Alcohol for killing spider mites?

When used in the right proportion and with the right method, Rubbing Alcohol can work as a miticide.

For killing spider mites or other common pests using Rubbing Alcohol, follow the method:

  1. Take 70% Isopropyl Alcohol and dip a tissue or cotton ball onto it.
  2. Now take the damp tissue/ cotton ball and further dab it over the mite-infested leaf.
  3. Later, after a couple of hours, the spider mites will eventually die. You can now use a garden hose and clear off dead mites from the leaves. However, if there are still some alive on the plants, repeat the Alcohol dabbing process.

Or,

  • For instance, consider spraying Rubbing Alcohol when the entire plant is infested with spider mites.
  • Keep the focus on leaves only and avoid spraying the solvent near the stem, roots, or soil.
  • As Isopropyl is a strong solvent for plants, its mis-usage can actually leave them with irreversible damage.  

Can hydrogen peroxide kill spider mites?

Yes, Hydrogen Peroxide behaves as effective spider mites and pest killer. It can effectively work in removing aphids, mealybugs, and fungus gnat larvae as well. For using the same,

  • Take a spray bottle and fill 1 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide and 1 cup of water in it.
  • Give the solution a good shake and spray it over spider mites on your plant.

For best results, avoid spraying the peroxide and water solution on soil and non-infested parts of the plant. Also, avoid going overboard with Hydrogen Peroxide usage.

Do not use it more than once a week, especially if you don’t want to kill the beneficiary components from the soil.

NOTE: Rubbing Alcohol and Hydrogen Peroxide will kill spider mites and pests, but not their eggs.

How long does it take to get rid of spider mites?

It will take a few weeks for low to milder infections to completely get rid of the mites.

However, if the spider mite infection is severe, the process of getting rid of them can take longer.

How much Rubbing Alcohol does it take to treat spider mites?

The ideal proportion of Rubbing Alcohol and water for killing spider mites is,

1 Cup of 70% Alcohol: 30 oz of water.

If you are going for a higher concentration of Isopropyl, dilute it a little more.

Tips for preventing Spider mite infection in your plants

  • Always maintain a regular check-up routine on your plants.
  • Wipe your plants every once a week or 12 days, especially indoor plants.
  • Remember misting leaves with water helps in keeping spider mites away.
  • Spray neem oil with water solution every 2 weeks on your plants as a precautionary measure against pests.
  • Always maintain a clean, dry, and humid environment for your plants.
  • Every time you bring inside a plant, do check for the health of its leaves and stem.
  • Consider utilizing more natural and organic options when it comes to treating plants.
  • Make sure it is debugged for every plant you bring to your outdoor garden.
  • If one plant in your garden is infested with spider mites, isolate it from other plants to stop the spread of infection.

Wrapping up…

The moment you notice spider mites on your plants, do start the treatment.

Because for the time you will allow them to breed, remember they can destroy the entire plant.

Also, remember Spider Mites can build up a tolerance to chemicals and other treatments.

That is why alternate the treatments so that spider mites or other pests cannot guess what you are using. 

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