If you have ever encountered a dusty ass cannabis plant, you know the feels of spider mite infection. Help! Why does my plant look haunted?!?! Let’s explore these little bugs to see what they are about and how to get them out. Spider mites are closer related to spiders than insects and have oval body regions with eight legs and no antennae, usually. At full growth, they are still smaller than 1/50th an inch! Eggs are laid on your plant rapidly by the spider mites that will turn into second stage nymphs then feed a few more days into adulthood. Males stay the size of the second nymph while females are larger and more round round.
Their mouths are specialized to pierce individual plant cells resulting in yellow and white speckles on the leaves.The foliage will eventually take on a bronzed yellow cast and eventually drop. Another way to spot them is by their spider like webbing that looks like dust. Watch a video of them close up here.
The two spotted spider mite is the most common and feeds on over 100 types of plants. Most spider mite types are attracted to extreme temperatures, depending on species how hot or cold. Honeylocust European red spiders love hot dry summer weather while Spruce and Southern Red spider mites prefer cool spring and fall weather.
You will only be able to detect the bugs with a full leaf inspection that could require magnifying, but is crucial to catch them early on before damage is noticed. Spider mites are very quick to take over your plant and will build a resistance to any threaten you use over time so it is necessary to change your tactic every two to three days.
If you are not able to see them, check on the undersides of the leaves as well, then shake the plant over a white piece of paper and observe what fell onto it. The spider mites will be relatively slow in movement, so don’t worry about them running off from you. When discarding infected plant material, it is best to secure it in a bag or something and put it outside. Treat spider mites like the black plague and never bring anything from outside inside, such as your mail box or whatever. Anything outside has a high possibility of being infected with little critters that love ganja.
Since spider mites adjust to your methods of killing, I have included several that you can switch off from. Remember that less stressful methods are always the most favorable for your cananbis plant. If you are using beneficial bugs, you also have to careful your pest control avoids them. Do not let any of the solutions puddle on your plant! Use a fine mister so that no puddles form, which can cause your leaves to burn due to the concentration of chemicals in one spot.
- Azamax should be sprayed on the plant daily, 15 minutes before lights out. Mighty Wash is also similar to this. You can add small amounts of Azamax to your plants water source continuously and it will not be harmed. That way, you are constantly fighting the spider mites as they appear.
- Doktor Doom Spider Mite knockout Spray‘s main ingredient is Pyrethrum which can be harmful to plants, especially those not receiving proper ventilation and should only be a last resort. The ingredients are very toxic to humans!
- Nopest strips emit a powerful vapor that should only be used if you are not breathing the air they are in, such as in a well ventilated room.
- Floramite is also very strong with harsh chemicals and should only be used as a last resort. It is expensive but effective.
- Bleach solution diluted one tablespoon per one gallon of 95 F pH balanced water in mister should be used on plant and surrounding grow area. You can also use alcohol , but with 30% water diluted or more. This is another way you can continuously fight against spider mites.
- Buy hot pepper wax spray or make it at home by combining 9 parts water with 1 part additive free dishwashing soap and one tablespoon cayenne pepper. This is not effective against all spider mites .however is a cheap solution for those spider mites that are affected by it and it is worth a shot. The cayenne pepper will keep tons of different pests away from your plant because it tastes terrible and smells terrible.
- Nicotine tea is like pepper spray in the way that it is not effective against all types of mites, but is cheap. You steep tobacco overnight and can even add safer soap if you’d like for extra efficiency, then use as a spray across the plant.
- A beneficial predatory mite you can use for benefit is phytoseiulus persimilis ,which will die in many spider mite killing methods listed above and can be distinguished with quicker movement. Other beneficial bugs include six spotted thrips and minute pirate bug species, which you can read on to find out how to attract them to your garden. Use rosemary oil to only get rid of spider mites, leaving your good bugs behind.