It doesn’t really matter if you choose to grow indoors, outdoors, in potting soil, or hydroponically, there are always going to be risks. Sure, some ventures are riskier than others, but there will never be one situation where growing weed isn’t risk. That being said, by the time you have made it to the flowering stages, you likely have a lot of time and money invested in your crop. Not only that, but this is when you can see the light at the end of the tunnel because the buds will be shaping, forming, and starting to fatten. If something went horribly awry now it would just be a true heart breaker. In addition to this, during the flowering and harvesting stages, you want the entirety of your plant’s energy dedicated to feeding those bulging colas and trichomes. This is how you get the biggest and most potent yields possible.
As you probably already know, there really are a number of things that can do wrong with any grow. Whether it be outdoors or inside, you are always at risk. That being said, one of the biggest risks is spider mites.
What Are Spider Mites
If you have been fortunate enough to never have to deal with spider mites then hats off to you. However, you found your way here so it is likely that you are encountering some kind of issue right now. That aside, it is crucial to have an innate understanding of spider mites and how they can affect your crop. Spider mites are nothing more than microscopic 8-legged arachnid that enjoys life in gardens. Whether it be a vegetable garden or a weed garden, these little critters just love the garden life. As their implies, they are from the spider family. This means that they have the ability to weave webs. This is usually done to protect their egg and new offspring.
A female mite can lay over 1,400 eggs in a single year. And, what’s even more frightening is that these eggs hatch in three days. On top of this, it only takes five days from the original hatch day for the offspring to fully mature. Truly frightening for any farmer! The rapid reproduction cycle of these critters poses a major threat.
What Spider Mites Do
So, right now, you know that spider mites produce at an alarming rate and weave webs, but do they pose any real threat? That they do. These critters will puncture the surface of your cannabis plant leaves so that they can feed on the chlorophyll. In fact, if you don’t see visible signs of webs, this is likely how you will know that you are dealing with an infestation. You will probably see visible signs of repeated feeding on the fan leaves.
It should also be noted that spider mites are somewhat innovative and smart. These bugs are not only incredibly small, but they will work their way into the underside of the leaves. The real threat comes if the infestation is left unchecked. If left unchecked, you’ll likely notice the entire fan leaves curling up and dropping from the plant. When it gets this far, you will likely start to notice webs, as well as the critter, have likely begun to migrate from one leave to another. The only good thing about these critters is that they try to avoid the trichomes because they are so sticky.
However, these critters are not something that you or your customers want to end up smoking. This would not only be unpleasant, but it could be potentially harmful. This is why it is time to learn what you can do to eradicate the menace.
Fighting Fire With Fire
As a cannabis grower, you have no doubt heard the phrase – fight fire with fire. And, that is exactly what you can do in this very situation. This simply means fight bugs with bugs. There are a number of predatory insects that can be introduced to your garden to scare these critters away. Not only will they scare these critters away, but the bugs that you introduce won’t even pay any attention to your cannabis. They won’t even think twice about it. Instead, they will want to go right after these 8-legged delectables. Ladybugs are without a doubt one of your best options, as they are an all-natural killing machine that will eviscerate this threat.
If you don’t want to introduce more bugs into your garden, even though they pose no harm, this is understandable. And, you don’t have to because you have other options available to you. You are going to have to prune your buds before you harvest anyway, so why not go ahead and take the time to do it. That being said, just pruning alone won’t rid your crop of these critters. No, you will have to take some kind of miniature vacuum and suck them up. Pruning will just help you locate the infestations, give that they like to hide. Make sure that you suck them up into some kind of sealable bag and discard of them far, far away. If your fan leaves are half-way chewed through or more it would be best to just go ahead and clip it the rest of the way off, so that you plant can allocate much-needed resources to other areas.
Give Your Plants A Wash
If you have been unsuccessful with the above methods or are just not comfortable trying them, you still have other options available to you. And, one of those options is washing. That’s right, you can give your plants a good shower to get right of this troublesome insect. Just keep in mind that this will not kill the bugs. It will only cause them to scatter. In fact, it probably won’t even knock the eggs off the underside of the leaves, as they are usually attached on there pretty good. For a stronger solution, you might have to mix in a ratio of 1 to 9 isopropyl alcohol to water. This can be applied to a garden sprayer and it will kill both the adult bugs and eggs.