There are many different pests that you may have, or probably will, eventually encounter when growing cannabis. These pests can create huge obstacles in the growth cannabis and have devastating effects, including death of your plants. Some pests are much more common than others, and once the pests are identified, you may treat your plants accordingly with the correct pesticide for best results. Here are some of the most common pests that appear when growing cannabis, along with a few different treatments:
Fungus gnats are easy to identify and can be a huge problem for your plants. The flying adult fungus gnats are annoying to have around, but their larvae can spread plant disease and inhibit growth of plants, as well as cause plant death, by eating away at its roots. Fungus gnats are commonly mistaken for fruit flies. There are a few different ways to keep these pests away. Focus on killing both the adults and their larvae. There are a number of options for getting rid of these, including:
Sticky Traps: They trap adult gnats which, ultimately, leads to their ultimate demise.
Hydrogen Peroxide: Mix 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 4 parts water and water or spray your infected plants for one to two weeks, or until you see a 100% improvement.
Neem Oil: Spray 100% pure neem oil mixed with water on infected plants and their medium.
Soil Cover: Put a cloth, or layer of perlite over the soil for prevention of fungus gnats; by doing so, the fungus gnats will not be able to access the dirt needed to lay their eggs in.
When dealing with fungus gnats, also be sure to aid in prevention by closing off any entrances they may have to the plants.
These are tiny, oval mites that eat away at the chlorophyll, leaving relatively small yellow and/or white spots on the leaves as a result. If you also see silky web strings (look like spider webs) on your plants- this could be a sign of spider mites. The eating of the chlorophyll can lead to plant death at a rapid pace, and the webs produced by these tiny mites can cause a worthless product. Some of the ways you can take care of spider mites include:
High-Pressure Spray Bottle or Water Hose: Spray the infected plants so that these pests and their webs are knocked off of your plants.
Neem Oil: Just as with fungus gnats, you can use neem oil for spider mite infestations.
Make sure that it is pure so that you can be sure your plants will remain safe during treatment.
Vacuum: As odd as it may sound, you can also vacuum off the mites and their webs from your plants. When doing so, though, be careful not to damage your precious plants.
Beneficial Insects: There are many beneficial insects, such as…Lady Bugs, Praying Mantises, and Lacewings, one can take advantage of in controlling mites.
The best treatment for spider mites, just as with most other pests, is prevention. Be sure that you remain sanitary: wash your hands, check your soil, and be positive that all of your tools and supplies are clean.
These insects are extremely small, most commonly yellow in appearance (although they can be brown, red, green, or black), and some can have wings. You can find them underneath plants’ leaves. These pests are terrible due to the fact that can contribute to plant death in a number of ways. They feed on the plants juices, as well as introduce viruses to plants that are infected. Aphids also attracts ants, which will have you with even more of an infestation issue. You can get rid of aphids by numerous ways, including:
Ladybugs and Other Beneficial Insects: Strangely enough, Ladybugs, Lacewings, and Praying Mantises are a great way for ridding your plants of these destructive pests. Beneficial Insects can eat aphids and do not destroy cannabis plants. They may occur naturally, or you can purchase them for the sole purpose of getting rid of aphids.
Neem Oil: Once again, neem oil is a great choice for treatment with these nasty, little bugs. Rub the leaves of the infected plants with pure neem oil.
Garlic: Mix garlic and mineral oil into a solution and leave alone for 1 to 2 days. After that, apply to only one small spot on one plant leaf; if the spot turns yellow, dilute the solution with water, and try again on only one, very small area. Once you can apply without any damage to your plants you can spray the pests.
To prevent aphids from getting to your cannabis plants, be sure to keep your plants and their areas clean. Remove dead leaves and make sure to ALWAYS use sanitary equipment!
Some very over looked and less-talked-about pests that can destroy plant growth from early on are mice. Mice can make their way to plants either indoor or outdoor, and eat seedlings and roots. Mice have been known to even girdle a full grown plant, which can kill it! If you have the mysterious issue of disappearing seeds and seedlings, or see signs that something has dug into the plants’ soil, you may have a mouse problem. It’s a common misconception that their favorite food is cheese, however, they prefer seeds and grains over any other food. Prevent mice by setting up mouse traps, using garlic and basil around your plants to deter them, or even having a cat around. As with many other pests, sanitation is also key.
There are many pests that can attack and destroy cannabis plants; we’ve covered just a few. The top treatments listed, though, can bring you great success in the ridding of these common pests. Almost everyone faces a pest issue when growing cannabis at some point in time, so no need to worry- take proper action in proper time after proper identification, and your plants will still have a chance at thriving throughout the entire grow process.