Spider mites are one of the most common indoor and outdoor pests who also happen to like cannabis plants. Spider mites belong to a mite family and are related to spiders, scorpions, and ticks. Although they are not insects they can still do incredible damage. It’s best to know your gardening enemies to effectively deal with them. Thus, in this article, I’ll explain how to find out if your precious marijuana plants have these pests. Also, I’ll share some practical tips how to get rid of them forever.
Know Your Enemy – Spider Mites Zoomed
These spider-like pests are oval-shaped, reddish-brown or pale, and are very tiny (males are 5mm long, but females – 4 mm). The worst thing about these little pests is that they live in colonies and most commonly attack plants grown in soil. Indoor grow room climate is particularly friendly to spider mites because it’s dry and warm.
You can spot spider mites and their eggs under the leaves. They eat the leaf tissue and suck on the plant’s fluid. The feeding marks look like light yellow, orange or white tiny dots that sometimes can be mixed with nutrient deficiency. As they continue feeding on the plant, leaves become yellow, dry and, finally, fall off.
These pests are quite sneaky since they are so small. They can make quite a large infestation even before plants show any visible damage, and before you even see them. However, if you notice a suspicious webbing around the stalks, leaves, and buds that means you have a large population of spider mites.
Once you get these creatures, you might have a tough time because they reproduce quickly. One mature female spider mite pops out about a million of babies in less than a month. Thus, even when killed, they can make a comeback in a few weeks because their life-cycle includes two stages out of three in which the pests rest.
Their webbing ruins buds even though you get rid of mites. And they’re infamous for becoming resistant to different chemical pesticides growers use to kill them. Especially the two-spotted spider mite is known for becoming immune to insecticides. It has even earned a nickname “borg” among marijuana growers. Thus, you have to be pretty pedantic about checking and treating every single spot on your plants and in the grow room.
Regain Control over Your Marijuana Plants
It might be quite tricky to get rid of the spider mites since they can become resistant to chemical pesticides. However, there are plenty of methods, both natural and unnatural.
Step 1 – Reduce Spider Mite Population
But, first, make sure to reduce their numbers. Spider mites only like heat and dry climate. They hate wind and humidity. So, lower the temperature a bit, wind your cannabis plants and growing medium with a fan, spray some water on the plants and put plastic bags around them. The plastics bags will turn into small greenhouses and as the plants will generate more humidity themselves, spider mites will die. Additionally, you can also spray off the mites with water. Before you do this step, if possible, take your cannabis plants out of the grow room.
Step 2 – Marijuana Plant Treatment
During the first treatment, you can use either an insecticide or a natural remedy – whichever you trust more.
Popular insecticides include Azamax, Spinosad, Essentria IC3, and Mighty Wash. All of these products have to be diluted with water and applied on the leaves using a spray bottle. The first three can also be applied to the soil and roots as they are harmless to the plants.
Another effective treatment is neem oil. Just like the previous substances, it has to be diluted in the water and applied using the spray bottle. However, atomizer might be even better for an even spray. After the application, it’s better to dry the plant to avoid possible spoiling of the harvest.
You can also make your own home remedies like bleach solution (add 1 tablespoon of bleach to 1 gallon of 95°F, pH balanced water) or alcohol (40%) and water mix (add 9 parts water to 1 part alcohol) and spray it directly on the leaves. Another great remedy is tobacco leaves and garlic cloves mixed with water. However, you have to wait out 3 days before applying the liquid with the spray bottle.
Another method is introducing insect predators (ladybugs and predatory mites) into your grow room. However, these friendly bugs will only help with a small number of spider mites. So, you would still have to use a substance to spray the plants.
After the treatment clean the grow room thoroughly. Only by being pedantic you can be 100% sure that these pests aren’t going to return.
To kill the mites completely (including eggs and surviving adults) you should repeat the treatment at least twice every 2-3 days using the same method in combination with another. Only combining several methods guarantee pest-free results.
Step 3 – Spider Mite Prevention
The best way to avoid new spider mite infestation is being on the top of what happens in your grow room and plant pots.
• Inspect your plants every week – check them from the bottom to the top.
• Keep the grow room clean.
• Before bringing any other plants in your home, check them carefully, as they might have the spider mites.
• Maintain a comfortable temperature for your plants with some humidity, as spider mites hate humid places.
• For prophylactic purposes occasionally use one of the treatment methods mentioned above.
• Take good care of your plants!
- Posted by Zion420.com
- On April 27, 2017
- 0 Comments