White Dirt Soil Mites 101 – Identification & How to Kill
If you are somebody who enjoys gardening, there is a very good chance that you have a compost bin, as this is going to be one of the best ways that you are able to create your very own natural fertilizer. And if you have not used a compost bin before, you will be surprised to discover that the fertilizer that the compost bin provides you with is going to be some of the best that you will ever use. However, there is going to be a setback that may be of a great nuisance to both you and your garden.
That nuisance is going to be that you may just find some small white spots walking around your composting bin and in the soil that the compost bin provides you with. When you do see these little white spots walking around your garden and composting bin, there is a very high chance that you are experiencing an infestation of soil mites in your soil. Here is everything that you need to know about soil mates and how to get rid of them.
What Exactly is a Soil Mite?
Soil mites have the ability to travel from what seems like a very secure indoor plant, all the way to the beautiful outside garden that you have been working on for the past several months. They are going to mainly make their home in any type of compost heap or even potting soil, as they are considered to be scavengers that thrive on eating fungi, smaller sized dead insects, dead plants, algae, and tiny little worms. Oddly enough, soil mites are going to prefer organic matter, meaning that they are going to be drawn to any type of potting soil or composting heap that you may have around the yard, the bulk of their diet coming in the form of mold, leaves, or moss.
While your garden is not going to be in any kind of trouble if you do have an infestation of soil mites, they can be a huge eyesore and very unattractive for you to look at if you are trying to enjoy the beauty of your garden or potted plants.
If you have any indoor plants, there is a very good chance that soil mites will make the journey into your home so that they can seek shelter in the potted containers, meaning that they are going to be crawling around your house or patio. This is not going to be good as soil mites are going to pose a possible hazard to your health, as soil mites have been found to carry different tapeworms and other parasites. With that being said, there is no study that has been done finding that soil mites are going to bite or attack humans in any way, shape or form, but it is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to having a potential parasite infection.
Since soil mites are going to be drawn towards any type of decaying organic matter, you can decide whether or not you would like to simply leave them alone as they are going to eventually run out of whatever it is that has brought them into your home, or if you would like to get rid of them altogether as they do have the potential to be a very minimal health threat. No matter what you decide to choose, here is exactly how you should go about doing it.
Getting Rid of Soil Mites
Since soil mites just love to much on any type of decaying moss, leaves or mold, it is not going to be as difficult as you may think to get rid of them. However, it is important for you to know that even the leaves that are stuck in your gutters are able to attract soil mites. So, if you are serious about keeping soil mites out of your home, be sure that you are keeping your gutters and even your roof clean. If you already have them, here is how you can get rid of them.
Remove Any Old Dirt
If you have a soil mite infestation, be sure that you check any soil by sifting out the decaying materials that may have accumulated on top of it. Like most bugs, soil mites are going to love having access to the food that they eat, so when you remove it from the top parts of your soil and replace it with new soil that is fresh and without any decaying matter, you are essentially going to be taking away their food source. When you are replacing any old dirt, be sure that you are only using a very high-quality soil. This will help make sure that the new soil will last longer and not be as prone to a soil mite infestation. If this is something that you are going to be doing to help eliminate any potential soil mite infestations from occurring, be sure that you are very gentle with the plants when you take them out of the old soil in order to replace it. The last thing that you want to do is to accidently damage one of your plants when you are doing a soil switch.
Once you have all of the old soil out of the pot, take a second to sift through it all and check for any potential food that the mites could eat. Get rid of this and it should be more than ok to reuse the leftover soil. This is also going to be something that you may want to do outdoors, as many soil mites are actually able to travel a very far distance very quickly, easily finding hiding spots in the crevasses and cracks that can be found in your home.
Put Your Plants in Fresh Soil
Once you have inspected your plants soil, it is now going to be time for you to re-pot them. While it is going to be perfectly fine to reuse the old soil, the best thing that you can do is to replace it all with new fresh soil. Once you have replanted your plant in its pot, be sure that you remove any leaves that look like they may be dying, as these leaves are going to be the ones that will fall off the soonest and give soil mites something to eat. On top of that, it is also going to be a way for you to make sure that there are not soil mites on these leaves, as well as none of their larvae either.
Making Sure Soil Mites are Gone for Good
Once you have gotten rid of any soil mites that you may have in your garden, the next thing you are going to want to do is to make sure that they stay away. You can do this by making sure that you clear any decaying leaves, mold, and moss. Just keep in mind that you will not need to do this on a daily basis, but regular checks are something that you are going to want to make sure you start doing in order to keep your garden soil mite free. If you do find that the soil mites have returned, all you need to do is to repeat the same procedure to get rid of them. While it may seem like a big hassle, it really isn’t and you should have no problem at all to get rid of them.