Growing Gardens Getting Rid of Pests

Getting Rid of Pests

Getting Rid of Marijuana Pests

One of the worst things imaginable to a marijuana cultivator is an infestation of spider mites or other pests known to be lethal to cannabis plants. Once a plant has an infestation, the grower will likely be combating these pesky critters for the rest of the plantís lifetime. The best thing to do is take the necessary precautions to ensure your precious garden never falls victim to spider mites, white flies, caterpillars, thrips or other unwanted guests. However, sometimes it is inevitable that a garden becomes ridden with some sort of critter. Although a cannabis plant or garden is not doomed to extinction if it does become ridden with pests. There are several known cures, as well as precautions that can be taken to wipe out this spiders, insects and bugs:

  • Spider Mites:
  • The most common pest seen by marijuana growers are spider mites. These unwanted arachnids are, in fact, tiny spiders that are barely visible to the untrained eye. They feed on the resin of marijuana plants and can be spotted in a number of ways. They generally will appear as tiny black or dark-brown dots on the underside of the leaves. The top of the leaf will have small white, tan, or light-brown spots where the spider mite has been feeding off the plant. They also lay eggs and leave tiny nearly undetectable webs. If left untreated spider mites have been known to kill an entire vegetating plant in less than a week.

    One organic way to combat spider mites is to deploy a type of predator mite formerly known as Phytoseiulus persimilis. These mites feed on other mites such as the spider mite without causing harm to your precious garden. If you cannot come across these mites, lady bugs will also suffice. This may not, however, solve your problem 100%. In which case you may also try using a type of organic soap spray. Use a ľ tsp of organic soap (such as hemp soap, peppermint soap, eucalyptus, etc) per 12 ounce bottle of water. Mix it around and attach a clean spray nozzle to the water bottle. Lightly coat the infested part of the plant in a gentle spray of this mixture. This will organically kill the spider mites. However, it will not kill the eggs they lay and you may have to repeat this process no later than 3 or 4 days after the initial spray to ensure you kill the hatched offspring before they are old enough to lay eggs of their own.

  • White Flies:
  • White flies are also an arch-nemesis of cannabis plants and growers alike. You will be able to tell if your garden is ridden with white flies if there are small, circular white spots on the top sides of the leaves. White flies land on the underside of the marijuana leaves and feed from it. They can quickly kill even the healthiest of gardens if left untreated.

    The easiest way to combat white flies is to use insecticide. This will kill them nearly instantly, however it is not an organic way to grow bud and is typically used as a last resort. Organic growers tend to prefer the ichneumon fly, commonly referred to as the assassinator wasp. This is in fact a fly, not a wasp, and is know to be a natural enemy of the white fly. While the assassinator wasp is smaller than the white fly, a group of these wasps can help revive your plant in 2 weeks to a month, depending on the size of the infestation. Additionally, new ichneumon flies must be deployed every 10 to 14 days to ensure optimum success.

  • Thrips:
  • Thrips, an incredibly small, flying insect known to be disastrous to cannabis, are not commonly found in most gardens, but are just as lethal as any other pest. They brutally rip the leaves open and feed off the sap and chlorophyll. Growers can detect these harmful insects by the shiny, almost metallic spots that will be left on the leaves.

    While thrips may be effectively combated using insecticide, there are organic alternatives to this pest, just like most others. The Ambylseius cucumeris, a predator of the thrip, can successfully wipe out an infestation in less than a month. Favored by cultivators, these saviors are predacious right from the nymph stage of life and live between 18 and 21 days.

  • Caterpillars:
  • Caterpillars are generally found on marijuana plants during flowering. These pesky critters are particularly harmful to any garden, as they feed directly on the flowers of cannabis. Caterpillars also have insatiable appetites, allowing them to completely wipe out an entire plant or garden.

    One way to remove caterpillars is by hand, however if the infestation is particularly bad or if it is suspected that more eggs have been laid, growers often use praying mantises to get rid of caterpillars. This is an extremely effective way to combat caterpillars. The mantises will not leave the plant until all their food is gone and at the same time are not harmful to the garden.

    The best way to make sure your garden is healthy is to take the proper precautions ensuring you never get any of the above pests in the first place. One way to do this is to make sure that your garden is isolated from the rest of the plants at your house. Pests are often carried on these plants and can be easily transferred to your precious garden. Also, if you have pets, make sure that they are not allowed to go near your marijuana garden, as dander and pests on their fur can easily transfer to your plant and create an infestation.

    Marijuana Booster - Double Your Yield
    boopster | Oct 21, 2014
    i need help my plant is turning yellow can somebody help me
    Guest | Sep 11, 2013
    If your Plants Are In Flowering Mode Is It Safe to Spray them with Neem Oil,and If It Is How Much Neem Oil Do You Use
    Guest | Sep 4, 2013
    This didnt have much to say about caterpillars and would like to know what other have done that has actually worked. From my experience these guys are the worst....far worse than spider mites. They are hardy, multiply like freakin maggets, eat your nugs from inside out and never stop eating. They get inside the flowers so many sprays are in affective because they won't even get direct spray. So basically you just have to try and drive them out by making the plant taste like shit to them by using different kinds of homemade sprays. Does anyone know anything that has ACTUALLY worked?
    Guest | Jan 26, 2013
    I am growing plants in hydro, and have a pest problem on some plants. I also see that the pests or something is eating little holes on the leaves, not just shadow leaves either. I have checked and I dont have mites, I dont have ants, and I dont have caterpillers as I dont have any soil. My plants are very hugh and the buds are so heavy that they break the granches in half vertidcally. While braceing the branches I found the leaves that have pinlike holes on them and I cant seem to find any bugs, I am using a 10x hand held glass to check my plants and dont see anything. The only thingm I havent done is spray the plants with pesticides daily, I do it everyother day. I dont want to burn my plants, I dont use neem oil as it has never worked for me. Is there anywhere where I can find videos that might help?
    Guest | Oct 21, 2012
    Neem oil is a good organic preventative. Nature is nature and the way i see it is, sometimes even in the most sophisticated growing conditions it can be hard to avoid pests. Good advice here though and i agree with going fully organic when dealing with bugs...Good luck protecting your plants people.
    Guest | Aug 6, 2012
    My problem are these things on the stem that look like 1/2 of a seed. When I pull them off they have a pink powder. When I squeeze them they are moist. Took several to the local grow shop and he had no idea what they are. Can not find a picture of the any where.
    Guest | Jun 28, 2012
    I hate these caterpillars !! Ladybugs just arent tough enough I guess going to see what the green shop has to offer and hang some Mantis eggs outside too. Good luck everyone, nothing worse than ordering your favorite seeds, germinating, raising, feeding and caring for your girls, and then some BUGS show up and waste your beautiful plants.
    Guest | Jun 19, 2012
    Same goes for me. I'm just starting my 7th week of flowering (in a very small foot locker type unit) and I faintly see some WEBs on a few plants. As best as I can determine ... this must be spider mites. I have purchased some ladybugs and plan on releasing them tonight after my HPS light goes off at 7:00 p.m. Like the previous poster, I'm just as concerned that I don't trash my "almost finished" grow by putting too much "genius" into it. i.e. ladybugs. Still, I guess I'll set them free in the locker tonight. Anybody care to comment on my condition and plan to introduce ladybugs? Hope it isn't a problem getting the "lady's" out when it's done. Thanks. -Michael-
    Guest | Jun 19, 2012
    My goodness! There hasn't been a response here since Sept. 13, 2011. Oh well. Guess we're putting up a collective prayer for advice here. We'll see. I'll check back. -M-
    Guest | Sep 27, 2011
    My buds are ready for harvest and i just noticed the freakin mites on the leaves and in the buds. Am I doomed or can I save them with the above info?
    lindzzz | Sep 13, 2011
    Also I wanted to add that the proper care can save you a lot of money and time in the long run. When setting up your grow it is important to make sure that the area and all equipment are properly cleaned and sterilized.
    lindzzz | May 2, 2011
    I never knew about thrips or the metallic looking residue they leave behind but that is definitely something to keep my eye out for. I knew from before that caterpillars love love LOVE eating cannabis plants. My friend grew outdoor but he didn't want to use pesticides, and the caterpillars pretty much destroyed both of his girls.
    Guest | Apr 27, 2011
    I was horrified a week ago when I realized I had spider mites that had infested my room BAD. I had never experienced this before and thought the tiny tan spots were due to the lights being too close or something, yes I'm an idiot. I was frantic and found a product online called No Spider Mites. I found the closest grow shop that carried it and ran over there. The bottles were still in a box, new to the store. I was the first to try.. Let me tell you, I went from feeling like I was gonna have to chop everything down to feeling like I have it all under control. One treatment and 12 hrs later it was like I walked into a new room. Did a second spray 3 days later and still looking good. I'm 5 weeks into flower and looks like it's gonna make it. I don't think this guy will even have to put it up on the shelves, it's selling right out of the box.. Awesome stuff!!! I'll keep you all posted.
    SkillitHits247 | Mar 20, 2011
    My vegetative garden was recently infested with soil gnats, first I thought they were spider mites because they were real small and white, it was pain to get rid of them because it was indoor. I drained them with Hydrogen peroxide and water, and sprayed with Neem oil which works great; and thankfully most of them died before they were able to grow wings and lay a lot eggs. I also read that rosemary oil ingredient helps rid of the gnats too.
    | Mar 19, 2011
    I am so glad i read this. I amm going to go out right now and purchase a spray and those bugs that eat the mites.
    CannabisGril | Mar 14, 2011
    Personally, the organic sprays are all I have ever used and they do run any where from $35 - $65 a bottle. It is worth it though to at least have a bottle on hand, for that just in case kinda emergency. Organic sprays are wonderful and have saved more than one or two of my gardens. You do not have to ask for bugs there are times they just move in no matter how much you have done to prevent them.
    CannaConnoisseur | Mar 10, 2011
    Another one is fungus gnats, that are common on indoor gardens. For these, I like to use diatomaceous earth and 70% Neem oil and Safer's insect killing soap.
    Chief | Mar 4, 2011
    Had a particular nasty spider mite infestation that nearly wiped out my garden. Luckily I was able to purchase some organic chemical spray at the hydroponic store and it took care of them. Bear in mind that it is somewhere near $40 for one bottle, but one bottle is all you need. Sometimes the better thing to do is to buy the stuff that was made by companies meant for exactly those things, but this is only if you can afford it. In the end it was well worth it and I was able to save the plants.
    Nate420 | Feb 6, 2011
    You can also use 70% Neem Oil solutions to organically combat mites and other pests. Always quarantine new clones before adding them to your garden and spray the leaves with neem oil. Make sure to pull your lamps back so as not to burn the neem oil covered leaves. Repeat in a couple of days to be sure. Remember the health of your patients when considering nuking pests with chemical pesticides, please don't.
    Jewryan | Jan 31, 2011
    pests are the worst thing that can happen to your plant. but dont worry its not the end of th world because there are a varriety of ways to gt rid of them. the most natural way is lady bugs. but then there are different sprays for different types of pests. from expierence with pests i truthfully love lady bugs they do the job just right and for like 10 buck at your local hydro store you get some ware near 1500 and they lay eggs to replenish themselves for you. but if you get pests dont instanlly kill your plant find out what kind of pests they are go to your hydro store and they will give you just what you need to take care of it.