Jun 17, 2016 9:25 AM

Marijuana Grow Guide: Fighting Spider Mites, Fungus Gnats and Root Aphids

Cannabis growing requires a lot of work and requires constant attention to many significant details. One of these details is fighting pests. Even the most experienced growers may face a pest outbreak; you should always be ready to stop the pests before they get to your plants. Our marijuana grow guide will easily help you to get rid of such nasty cannabis admirers as spider mites, fungus gnats and root aphids.

Fighting Spider Mites, Fungus Gnats and Root Aphids

Prevent, Detect and Control

There are some general tips for cannabis growers, who want their plants to be healthy and free of pests. If you are a beginner, you should stick to these easy rules to protect marijuana plants against their enemies and keep your cannabis away from harm.

The first basic rule is to check if your grow room is completely and tightly sealed. In case you notice that there are some gaps or cracks, do not hesitate and caulk them or use a spray foam to fill them. Do not forget to seal all the windows and doors with the joint sealing. It is also important to provide all the air inlets with filters.

Secondly, take care of your clothing. Do not wear the same clothes outside the grow room and inside. The thing is, the pests we are talking about today can easily stay on your clothes, get into the growing room, and infect your plants. Moreover, for this very reason, do not ever let your pets enter the grow room.

The third important rule here is to practice proper hygiene and good sanitation. Make sure all the equipment you use is sterile. Always wash your hands, your tools, and the containers you use. Do not forget to remove all the plant debris from the grow room as soon as possible. Overall, provide your future plants with the tender care they deserve.

However, if you happened to notice that your marijuana plant is plagued with spider mites, fungus gnats, and root aphids, do not panic. Our cannabis grow guide here outlines the most efficient ways to detect and destroy them all.

Spider Mites

First, lets us talk about spider mites—a common type of annoying pests that often occur in marijuana gardens. Spider mites can pose a significant threat to you cannabis. You can easily identify spider mites by using a magnifying glass and comparing what you see with the images on the Internet. Spider mites are the miniscule arachnids that are less than 1 millimeter in size. They usually inhabit the underside of the marijuana leaves, make small holes in them, and suck out the plant juice. You will hardly notice them with the naked eye, because individual spider mites are very small and may vary in color. Nevertheless, the infected leaves will reveal these tiny buggers. In case you see some little white dots on the top surface of the leaves or even little webs on your plant, it is time to beat an alarm.

What Am I to Do?

  1. Spider mites like warm and dry environments, that is why the first thing you should do is to make the temperature in the grow room lower and humidity level higher.
  2. Never use any miticides, because they are very toxic and would poison your plants. The only things you can use are insecticidal soap, Azamax, Azatrol, and pyrethrum. Pyrethrum is a naturally derived spray, which is highly effective for the purpose and will kill all the spider mites after three applications at 5-10 days intervals. However, it is not recommended for flowering plants. Azamax and Azatrol are safe to use throughout the whole growing cycle but are quite expensive.

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats look like small mosquitoes. They are usually black or gray and have long legs. It is rather hard to notice their larvae because they are white or transparent. These tiny pests live in the growing medium of the plant and feed on roots, organic substances, and fungus. Actually, the adult fungus gnats are not as harmful as their larvae. Fungus gnat infestation may result in pale foliage and loss of vigor.

What Am I to Do?

  1. These pests like when it is wet in the grow room. Control the level of humidity in the room and do not overwater the plants.
  2. Place some fencing on the top of the grow medium of your plants. You can use sand, Gnat Nix or perlite for this purpose. The fencing will not let adult gnats to lay eggs and reproduce.
  3. Place yellow sticky traps all over the grow room to catch the adult gnats.
  4. You can use such products as Summit Mosquito Bits, Microbe-Lift BMC or Gnatrol. All these products contain Bacillus thuringiensis, a soil-living bacteria, which destroys larvae.

Root Aphids

Root aphids are the most dangerous pests on our list because they are very difficult to eliminate. These small insects feed on plant roots. They may vary in color and are approximately 1 millimeter in size. It is quite interesting that some growers confuse them with fungus gnats because some adult root aphids are able to grow wings. These tiny pests are very harmful to the cannabis plants. The presence of root aphids can lead to roots yellowing and swelling and result in poor yield.

What Am I to Do?

  1. First of all, we have to warn you that it is very hard to get rid of root aphids and even if you follow our rules, you may not succeed.
  2. Use BotaniGard. You can pair it with pyrethrum, neem, and various citrus oils. However, you should be careful not to harm the plant. Use it as a soil drench every other day for at least six treatments.
  3. It is also rather effective to apply predatory nematodes.
Comments
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