Cannabis growers must know how to treat spider mites during flowering using five options. Spider mites are probably one of the most annoying and dreaded pests of growers because they don’t only appear when drying, but they can also happen during flowering. Knowing how to get rid of them during drying and flowering is a skill you should always have with this venture.
The flowering stage where the buds are starting to form is crucial because you want to have a quality harvest and good yield. However, this stage can also get you to face to face with spider mites. It’s almost impressive how these tiny insects can have such a significant impact on the yield.
Comprehensive Guide On How To Treat Spider Mites During Flowering
The first option you can do to quickly get rid of this problem is pruning the leaves, especially when half of the surface is no longer functional. Once you see the signs such as specks and webbing, it’s best to clip the leaves and vacuum the mites out. During this time, the infestation may not be too severe, yet removing the infected plants and mites can eradicate them.
You want to repeat pruning and manual removal for several days to ensure that you have removed all the insects. As you are removing and pruning, growers in the greenhouse have the advantage of dropping the temperature to slow the mites’ reproduction rate. This way, you won’t get overwhelmed by their numbers, and eradication will have a higher success rate.
Option #2. Washing
Besides pruning and manual removal of mites, you can hose your plants as well. This is a standard method for eradicating spider mites with other plants, but note that washing does not kill them. If killing the mites is your priority, you can use a mixture of isopropyl alcohol and water.
Use this solution with a garden sprayer, but be careful not to hit the buds. The mites that will come in contact with this mix will die, and you’ll also be flushing them and the webs off. Target the underside of the leaves as well to get the eggs.
Option #3. Beneficial insects
Did you know that you can introduce predators or beneficial insects to deal with the spider mites? Growers can introduce ladybugs because they can take care of the mites but will not affect your plants. You can also check other insects that will feed on spider mites, including predatory mites and thrips.
Those growing cannabis indoors can find this method useful because the insects will continue to feed on the spider mites as long as they exist. However, you can expect that the insects will leave if they are outdoors once the spider mite population is gone. More so, this method and the previous ones will only be effective if the infestation is still not heavy, preferably during the initial period.
Option #4. Horticultural oils
The remaining two options for treating spider mites during flowering is the use of essential oils and pesticides. Experienced cannabis growers recommend an array of essential oils for a more natural approach to combating massive spider mite infestation. The horticultural oils that you can use are extracts from plants, including rosemary, eucalyptus, peppermint, and cinnamon, to name a few.
Think of the oil as to how you’d apply the alcohol and water solution earlier. It’s best to dilute it first with water and apply with a sprayer on the leaves. Much like the solution, mites that will come in contact with the essential oil will die.
However, do note that you don’t want to spray the buds with these oils. One example is the neem oil with a distinct smell, so be careful not to coat your buds when you’re about to harvest. Otherwise, it’s less likely to save your crops after getting exposed directly to these oils.
Option #5. Pesticides
According to Colorado State University, using pesticides for eradicating spider mites is something that you must practice with great caution. This is because not all pesticides classify themselves as miticides or acaricides that are meant to control spider mites. More so, you risk developing spider mites that are resistant to the chemicals; thus, the control becomes more problematic.
Be sure to check if the product you use is advisable for your plants, and it’s best to treat insecticides as a last resort. Remember that you are growing something that will be lit and inhaled, so some chemicals are best to avoid. Besides, if you’re at the stage where you’re close to harvest, it will be hard to protect the buds and flush them of these chemicals.
Every cannabis grower can tell you one of the most dreaded pests to have, the spider mites. You can encounter them in various stages, so prepare yourself on how to treat spider mites during flowering. At this stage, you are close to harvesting, so you want to have a good yield amidst the presence of these tiny problems.
You have five options where pruning, washing, and introducing beneficial insects can address low mite populations. On the other hand, you can resort to essential oils and pesticides as your last options if the infestation is too heavy. Just be mindful of the application and choosing a product not to affect the buds.