Table of Contents
- 1 What is a Spider Mite?
- 2 How Do You Get Rid of Spider Mites Completely?
- 3 How Do You Get Rid of Spider Mites Naturally?
- 4 What Kills Spider Mites on Contact?
- 5 How to Prevent Spider Mites During Flowering?
- 6 How to Get Rid of Spider Mites Using Beneficial Insects?
- 7 FAQ
- 8 References
Spider mites are annoying pests that can significantly affect your cannabis yield.
Pest infestation at any stage of plant growth is severely damaging to plant health, let alone at the flowering stage.
If you want to know how to get rid of spider mites during flowering and prevent mites from future infestations of your cannabis harvest, we have some solutions to your problem.
To protect your marijuana plants from spider mite infestation, you can use horticultural oils, insecticidal soap, neem oil, carbon dioxide (CO2) gas, or try manual picking.
What is a Spider Mite?
Spider mites are a distant relative of actual spiders. They are, in reality, microscopic arachnids that spin webs to protect their eggs and babies.
A female spider mite lays around 1400 eggs each year. The eggs hatch in three days and start reproducing within five days.
Spider mites thrive when temperatures go above 80 degrees and in areas with high humidity.
They can multiply exponentially in a few days, and it can be challenging to control spider mites if they start to lay eggs.
They mostly live on the underside of leaves and puncture them to suck the chlorophyll off the destroyed plants, leaving them damaged.
The minute you see white or brown specks or silk webs on the leaves, it’s a sign of a pest attack that needs immediate action.
When adult females start laying eggs, they can multiply exponentially and quickly destroy leaves and make bug colonies.
If you are suffering from a spider mite attack, you can still salvage your yield.
Remember preventing spider mites is easier whether you are growing indoors or outdoors. If you are a cannabis grower, try to control pests as soon as you spot them.
How Do You Get Rid of Spider Mites Completely?
Spider mites attack can prove to be dreadful for overall cannabis yield. Fortunately, there are many ways to kill spider mites without damaging your buds.
Pruning and Hand Picking
If the predatory mites are caught early, the best way to get rid of them is to cut off infected leaves.
Since the predatory bugs are too microscopic to be seen by the naked eye, you need to remove all leaves with signs of webbing.
You can also remove the creepy crawlers by hand but be careful to squish them dead or flush them in water.
Similarly, you may use a vacuum tube if you don’t wish to use harsh chemicals. Remove the bag of the vacuum tube carefully so that the mites don’t spread.
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Since mites thrive in high temperatures, hence increasing the airflow will stop them from reproducing. This will stop spider mites, fungus gnats, and other harmful bugs from multiplying.
If you have indoor plants, tweaking the temperature and humidity is a safe way for spider mite control.
A great way to lower the temperature is to use an air conditioner in your grow room.
How Do You Get Rid of Spider Mites Naturally?
When you are towards the end of the flowering stage, using chemical pesticides or neem oil on the infected plants will do more harm than good.
Even though both have proven beneficial in eradicating spider mites, they can leave a bad taste by depositing on your buds.
Moreover, if you are growing cannabis indoors in a grow tent or grow room, it is vital to steer clear of harmful chemicals.
Hence, if you are dealing with spider mites on flowering plants, you can use carbon dioxide gas to safely kill them.
Carbon dioxide is a harmless, inexpensive, non-toxic, and organic gas that helps with unwanted pest attacks.
So, how does it work? You know how plants love carbon dioxide; they’ll consider it a treat. On the other hand, increased CO2 will suffocate the spider mite population to death.
- Please be vigilant while using CO2 to kill mites. Since exposure to excess CO2 can prove to be fatal for human beings too. Similarly, ensure your grow room is properly sealed to avoid leakages and wastage.
- Now set your gas meter to 12000 ppm for a sealed chamber and 15000 ppm for an unsealed room.
- Turn off the exhaust fans and turn on the CO2 generator.
- Turn it off after one hour and let the exhaust run for at least half an hour before entering the grow room.
- Follow up with a vacuum cleaner to carefully remove the bugs.
- Repeat for five days to get rid of the tiny bugs permanently.
What Kills Spider Mites on Contact?
An effective method to kill spider mites on contact is to spray a combination of Pyrethrum and insecticidal soap mixture.
Insecticidal soaps can control the spider mite problem by killing the mites and their eggs too.
You can also use a mixture of essential oils extracted from rosemary and cinnamon to kill the annoying mites.
Use a garden sprayer or a spray bottle and spray generously, especially on the underside of the leaf surface where the eight-legged creatures live.
These chemicals should be sprayed directly on the bugs, which will cause them to lose moisture and die.
Alternatively, Neem oil has been the gold standard in killing spider mites naturally.
We use this particular Neem oil spray on our own plants. It’s nothing fancy, but it works great. We also do a light mist once in a while to prevent spider mites from returning.
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How to Prevent Spider Mites During Flowering?
Preventing spider mites is more effortless than controlling them. Spider mites reach your plants through a live plant or a human being.
Therefore, it is advisable to avoid visitors near your plants. Similarly, you should take a bath if you come in contact with an infected plant.
Moreover, if you bring home any new plant, check it carefully for signs of pest infestation. Additionally, you can sprinkle diatomaceous earth around your growing area.
Diatomaceous earth acts as a protective barrier that repels most spider mites and other insects too.
We think this diatomaceous earth is the best to use. It’s food grade and super effective in pest and insect prevention. It also comes with a duster to spread it around your plants.
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How to Get Rid of Spider Mites Using Beneficial Insects?
You can quickly get rid of spider mites by introducing predatory insects to your plants. It’s the safest and most eco-friendly method approved for spider mite control.
Predatory mites feed on harmful insects without harming your crops.
The most common mites that attack cannabis plants are two-spotted spider mites. The best natural predators that eat spider mites are Persimilis and Californicus.
These predator bugs will quickly feast on the 8-legged creepy crawlers, leaving your marijuana plants alone.
Apparently, there are many pests that can affect cannabis plants.
Cannabis has a reputation for being pest-free. Actually, it is pest-tolerant. Many pests have been found around Cannabis, but they rarely cause economic damage. The most common pests are arthropods.https://druglibrary.org/
How To Deal With Mites In The Late Flowering Stage?
The eight-legged creatures are most challenging to deal with when the buds are already formed since you cant risk affecting them. You can safely use carbon dioxide or predator insects to deal with them.
Can You Use Neem Oil To Kill Mites?
Neem oil has been proven to kill all kinds of pests, including spider mites. It is widely by gardeners because it is not a pesticide, rather it is a natural method of getting rid of insects. However, Neem oil has a very high potency and has been known to leave a bad taste on buds. So, use Neem oil with caution and do not spray the buds.
Lindsey Hyland grew up in Arizona where she studied at the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center. She continued her gardening education by working on organic farms in both rural and urban settings. She started UrbanOrganicYield.com to share gardening tips and tactics. She’s happy to talk about succulents and houseplants or vegetables and herbs – or just about anything in a backyard garden or hydroponics garden.