3 Common Pests In Cultivation And How To Get Rid Of Them
Your freeloading buddy isn’t the only pest you’ll encounter in the world of marijuana. Once you start learning how to grow the plant yourself, you’ll encounter many more of them. Thankfully, the insect variety is much easier to get rid of.
Insects and pests LOVE hanging out on marijuana plants (we can’t blame them) – but because they only do harm, we need to do something about it. This is why being successful at cultivation requires so much of your attention (aside from not getting high on your own supply).
These are the three most common pests you’ll encounter in growing:
Aphids are small bugs with yellow wings that love hanging out right under pot leaves. They reproduce at a fast rate; females give birth sometimes as much as TWELVE times a day, and this is why they’re one of the most annoying pests to get rid of! Aphid infestations happen fast, but catching them early on can help you save more of your plants. Aphids suck up the nutrients in the plants, which is why what they leave behind is often wilted and yellow.
Aphids won’t just eat your plants: their excrement attracts ants, which creates an even larger problem. Aside from that, aphids can also introduce viruses from other plants, which can slow down the growth of flowers.
The presence of parasitic wasps and ladybugs are nature’s own natural defense against aphids. Unfortunately if you’re operating a farm or a grow site, you simply can’t afford to waste any plant or wait around for these helpful bugs to show up. To get rid of aphids, all you need is tomato leaf or garlic water. Just soak up the tomato leaves or the garlic, add some mineral oil, and let it mix with water for up to 24 hours. Once done, strain the mixture then spray on a small area of your plants as a test. If you notice that the leaves turn a shade of yellow after applying, dilute the solution with water and try again. If it doesn’t turn yellow, you can spray it on other affected areas of the plant.
Spider mites are pretty easy to identify – they look like small spiders with oval bodies, and have 6 to 8 legs. They get their sustenance by eating the chlorophyll of the plants, so you’ll know that you have an infestation if you see yellow or white spots. Spider mites will also spin webs among the plants, so keep your eye out for strings that tend to hang around buds and leaves.
Spider mites are a huge problem simply because they eat up all the chlorophyll and without this, the plants can’t grow. If you have a serious infestation of spider mites, they can cause serious damage or even kill your entire plant. Spider mites also have super sticky webs which are tricky to remove; if it isn’t removed properly, you might have a harvest that isn’t safe enough to consume.
You can avoid spider mites altogether if you are growing indoors. Make sure that your grow room complies with all the sanitary requirements and uses only sanitary supplies. The air should be clean, as well as you, each time that you enter. Always wash your hands before entering the grow area and don’t let any pets in. But if you do spot a spider mite, use a strong hose to clean them off, but don’t do this if your plant is already flowering. Neem oil also works as a great natural pesticide, and it’s safe enough to use on flowering plants. The cleaning process should be repeated for days after until you’re sure that you’ve killed all the eggs and mites.
Fungus gnats are small black bugs that hover around the soil and lower part of the plant. Their larva has a transparent body and a dark head. Females fungus gnats lay their eggs in the first few layers of moist soil, but larva is usually spotted in water run off.
Fungus gnats don’t eat anything, but they can cause damage to the cannabis roots while reducing soil drainage. They can cause the plants to become extremely weak, thus more vulnerable to infestation and damage.
Fungus gnats rely on the presence of moist soil to procreate so the best way to prevent an infestation is to keep the top layers of your soil as dry as you can. Some growers find it useful to put a cloth over the soil, which prevents the females from laying any eggs. Screens on doors and windows will also prevent them from getting to your plant.
With all the effort and money that you put into your marijuana grow, it would be a pain to see your beautiful plant wilt or even die from the presence of these pests. Follow these simple tips to get rid of them once and for all!