Pests and bugs are any gardener’s worst nightmare. Many growers think that if they grow plants indoors, they won’t face problems with pests and bugs. Sadly, they are mistaken - they are even more problematic if they are found within your indoor grow tent. Bugs in a grow tent destroy all your hard work if not handled fast and effectively.
Pests and bugs can and will find their way to your plants if you’re not careful. But don’t worry. We’re here to help! In this post, we’re breaking down the most common pests for cannabis and how to prevent them.
And if you’re already facing an issue with bugs, don’t worry. We have that covered too. Let’s dive in!
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Like other crops, cannabis has a few pests attracted to it. If the bug attacking your crop isn’t on this list, that’s okay. The steps are generally applied to other pest problems and will help improve your infestation.
Some of the most common pests for cannabis plants include:
Spider Mites: The creatures are considered one of the most common pests for cannabis plants. Spider mites are red and black bugs that live underneath the leaves of plants. If you see webs on your plants, you have spider mites.
Fungus Gnats: Fungus gnats are small black bugs similar to mosquitoes. They crawl in the soil, although they are usually too small to see.
Aphids: Aphids are an enemy to many plants, not just cannabis. Aphids wreak havoc by hanging out on the stem and leaves of cannabis plants and feeding on the plants.
Whiteflies: Whiteflies are like spider mites. They hide underneath the plant’s leaves and feed on the plant. If you see white specs floating around your tent, you’ll know you have a whitefly infestation.
If you think any of these pests are attacking your cannabis crop, keep reading to find out how to prevent and treat the infestation.
Fungus gnats are small black bugs that crawl around in the soil.
Avoiding an infestation always starts with prevention.
Prevention starts with how you set up your grow operation. Even a small operation out of a closet will find issues with pests and bugs.
Ideally, you want to grow cannabis from a tent to provide an additional barrier from the outside world. But don’t be dismayed if you don’t have a tent. A clean, well-ventilated closet will do the trick. Just seal the closet tightly to prevent any insects from entering.
The same idea goes for your tent. Make sure no holes are present and that the zippers seal. Look at the surrounding location of your tent. Is it clean? Is it sanitized?
Also, consider the clothing you’re wearing. A highly-encouraged habit is to change your clothes before checking on your crop to prevent cross-contamination. Wash your hands, and make sure to wear clean gloves.
Finally, make sure to sterilize your equipment and tools before use.
The best way to remove spider mites from your plants is by using organic methods.
Firstly, spider mites like warm and dry environments. They will reproduce quickly in this type of climate. Lower temperatures and raise the humidity in your grow area to slow a spider mite infestation.
Second, prune any dead or damaged parts of the plant. Spider mites will likely have left webs on the plant- remove those.
Next, spray your plants with an insecticide. Most commercial insecticides and miticides are toxic. Never use them on cannabis plants. We recommend you use a natural insecticide like Green Cleaner or Neem Oil
Pyrethrin Spray is a natural, organic insecticide from chrysanthemum flowers. Three applications every five to ten days should be plenty.
You can also use a 9:1 ratio of water and alcohol. Spray once every two to three days.
Fungus gnats love moist soil. One of the best ways to remove fungus gnats is by keeping the top layer of your soil dry. Don’t overwater.
Adult fungus gnats need moisture to lay eggs. Cover your soil with a cloth to prevent them from multiplying. You can also use sand, perlite, or a similar product like Big Time Exterminator.
Bacillus thuringiensis, a naturally occurring soil bacteria, is found in products like Gnatrol to kill fungus gnats. Other natural methods exist, like pyrethrin or neem oil, but several doses are needed and could cause root rot if the soil is too wet for too long.
To get rid of pesky root aphids, start by pruning the plant of any damaged parts. You need to inspect your plant for other root aphids by looking under the leaves. If you find some, remove the leaves immediately. Keep them away from healthy plants.
Aphids hate garlic oil mixtures of water and vinegar mixtures. You can use these on your cannabis plants.
Just like with aphids and spider mites, start with pruning your plants. Spray your crops with water (but not if they’re flowering). You can also spray your crops with garlic oil. Some people have used a vegetable oil and water mixture as well.
You can also consider planting marigolds and zinnia. Planting marigolds and zinnia with your cannabis crop is a method of companion planting. Whiteflies usually hate these plants and are more likely to stay away.
RELATED: What Is CBN?
Avoiding an infestation always starts with prevention.
Pests always try to wreak havoc on our crops- and they won’t stop any time soon. That’s why prevention is the best remedy.
Prevention will keep your crops healthy and pest-free. At least, as much as possible. Cannabis requires a lot of preparation and maintenance. Don’t beat yourself up if you find a pest or two in your crop. It happens to the best growers.
If you are one of the people struggling with keeping pests out of your crops, consider the tips we discussed in this post and apply them to your crop.
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