Even with all the right conditions, from dialed-in environmental control to obtaining the finest nutrient product, a grower can still find themselves at odds with a handful of challenges.
Spider mites can be one of those potential dangers facing a healthy garden. They make their home in a wide variety of different plant species, and like a terrible tenant, they cause damage, overcrowd the space, and can be a handful to evict.
At a glance they appear to be just little spots dotting the leaves and stems, but spider mites cause damage by feeding on plant cells, and their ability to rapidly reproduce makes them a harmful resident to any leafy habitat. Quickly reproducing populations of bugs eating a plant’s chlorophyll, a main ingredient in the photosynthesis process–sounds like a problem.
What Are Spider Mites?
Related to spiders, mites, and ticks, these tiny creatures will munch discolored specks onto the leaves of any plant they inhabit. But where do spider mites come from exactly?
Sometimes the infestation can come from other marijuana grows, transferred via clone, or from an outdoor invader.
A spider mite infestation left unattended for too long can result in web build-up on your buds, which can ruin an entire crop. The name “spider mite” is attributed to their status as arachnids, and because of their web-spinning ability, which is done to protect their hatching offspring.
So if you’ve got plants sitting at home, or know someone who does, you’ll thank yourself for learning about spider mites.
How to Prevent Spider Mites
When it comes to handling these little buggers, it’s best to compare the importance of eliminating these pests with which kind of approach you are willing to expose your plants to. Some chemical solutions may prove harmful to plants but are effective in combatting infestation.
- Using compost mulch that is organic can help by adding predatory mites that will feast on the spider mites, thereby defending your plant.
- Furthermore, avoid exposing your grow room to any outside plants. They may have the potential to contaminate your garden.
- Keep your grow room clean. And pet-free.
- Looking for a natural ways to keep spider mites away? Stock up on ladybugs. Do ladybugs eat spider mites? The answer is yes. Yes, they do.
In case measures could not be taken to prevent a spider mite problem, here’s how one could treat an existing outbreak:
- Sprays: There are both chemical and organic solutions to treating infestation. Choose whichever approach better suits your pest control needs and standards.
- Vacuums: Literally go plant-to-plant and purge the spider mite populations. This approach is easier on the plants themselves, but time consuming and more labor intensive.
- More ladybugs. Always more ladybugs.
Keep In Mind
- Spider mites can show up in soil, hydroponics, and basically any type of cannabis cultivation setup.
- The best strategy in preventing spider mites is to catch them early on. Be on the lookout.
- It’s commonly said the two-spotted mite is the most harmful and pesky to get rid of. In grower circles they are infamously known as the “borg” mites.
- Mites are adaptable. In other words, they are hard to kill and will mutate to avoid extermination.
- Where do spider mites come from? Mostly from contamination brought in by outside plants.
- Most importantly: do ladybugs eat spider mites? Yes!
By Diego Felix