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Red Spider Mites are minute sap-sucking insects which infest the underside of leaves of almost all houseplants growing in hot and dry conditions.
Though called Red Spider Mites, they may be red, green or yellow.
Red Spider Mites cause yellow blotches on the upper surface of the leaves and the leaves fall prematurely.
A severe infestation by Spider Mites may cause the plant to die. Look out for white webbing between the leaves and stems.
1. Daily misting and maintaining the houseplant well watered will minimize the occurrence of Red Spider Mites attacks as the pest prefers dry conditions.
2. Remove any dead plant foliage from the houseplant and around the houseplant to get rid of their hiding places therefore minimizing the occurrence of Red Spider Mites.
3. A light Red Spider Mites infestation can be dealt with by wiping them off with cotton buds or a soft cloth dabbed in rubbing alcohol followed by spraying with a solution of water (4 parts) and rubbing alcohol (1 part). Repeat the spraying after 7 days.
It can also be treated with an insecticidal soap or neem oil both of which are safe to use indoors.
4. For a heavy Red Spider Mites infestation, spray the houseplant with a systemic insecticide as per the manufacturer's recommendations.