Not only do the pesticides in cannabis taste horrible, they may also damage your health, and that is definitely not what we want.
Additionally, state regulations of growing cannabis in Colorado and Washington allow using only the pesticides suitable for organic farming. Not that these remedies are always effective, but they are definitely healthier than the chemical ones. And those that are effective sometimes require a lot of fuss or may change the taste or aroma of the weed.
However, there is another effective weapon that can beat most of the nasty insects. We are talking about predatory insects, which perfectly fit into the organic way of growing. Those little creatures will eat the annoying pests in your garden, and if you keep their population alive, pests will never have a single chance to come back.
Among all the possible insect predators, green lacewing is one of the most effective. You can use them against spider mites, thrips, aphids, mealybugs, and whiteflies. Usually, if one of these pests ever appears in your cannabis garden, it turns into a real headache. The insects reproduce very fast, and in just a few days, the problem may turn into a real disaster.
That is why it is so important to react to the appearance of pests on time. Luckily, ordering green lacewings is not more difficult that ordering any other remedies against pests. And like any other remedy, the package usually comes with detailed instructions, so even if you do not know a thing about insect predators, it is not a problem.
To use green lacewings properly, you need to understand how they “work.” An adult lacewing does not eat any pests, it is just a peaceful bug with beautiful wings that feeds on nectar and pollen from the flowers. However, adult lacewings lay eggs that hatch into larvae. These larvae are real killers: they will eat all the mites or aphids they meet and will try their best to reach every one of them.
One larva can eat up to 100 pests per week, so do not expect a single lacewing to clean your garden. The good thing is, one adult female lacewing can produce about 100–200 eggs, and that is already a whole army of larvae. This army can eat all the mites they meet effectively and relatively quickly, and if the garden runs out of mites before it is time for larvae to turn into adult insects, they will likely start eating each other. Moreover, if you take a hungry larva in your hand, it can bite you, too. So, be careful!
Depending on your situation, you can buy green lacewing eggs that will turn into larvae maximum in a week. You can also order larvae that will start eating pests immediately after you apply them to the garden. And, of course, you can also buy adult lacewings that are usually already ready to lay eggs.
A larva requires 2-3 weeks to spin its cocoon. Then, in two weeks, you will get a new adult lacewing with beautiful green wings. If you want to keep lacewings in your garden (and we would recommend you to do so; even if all the spider mites were eaten, some eggs could be left, and that can initiate the contamination all over again), then you should think of providing food for the adult insects. This means you need to have flowers in your garden.
If you grow your cannabis outside, use the companion planting technique. Some flowers are not only attractive to green lacewings; they can also provide additional nutrients for the soil and scare away the unwanted insects. You can plant chrysanthemum, marigold, clover, or even chamomile. The trick is to mix your cannabis plants and flowers so that the adult lacewings do not move to your neighbor garden where the flowers are brighter and the nectar is sweeter.
If you grow inside, try to choose a plant that is not picky about climate and can bloom for several weeks. Because of the light regime in your growing room, not every plant will make flowers. So, before buying a new flower, carefully look at the properties of this plant. Flowers that bloom is spring are good for your vegetative room, those that give flowers in autumn are good for the flowering room. But the best option would be some easy-to-grow flowers like petunia or daisies that you can place in both rooms. This kind of flowers usually do not require any special treatment, so you can water and feed them together with your cannabis plants.
With the help of little green predators, you can not only get rid of annoying pests but also add a bit of sweet flower aroma to your weed and make your room a little bit brighter. Not bad, eh?