DIY-Eliminating Spider Mites On Buds At Time Of Harvest and Before

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    How To Get Rid Of Spider Mites On Cannabis

    Seeing spider mites on your buds during harvest is what every cannabis grower dreads, and it is especially demoralizing when you notice your buds are invaded when you are ready to start drying your babies for consumption.

    They are one of the most common pests that you will encounter for both inside and outside gardening. As result, you will need to know how to deal with these pests. Spider mites are hard to eliminate. But, preventing an infestation is not that hard.

    It should go without saying, spider mite infestation needs to be dead lt with ASAP as these little bastards are deadly. Better yet, prevention is the best way to stop an infestation from happening. So, if you are infested, you need to, pun intended, nip it in the bud and stop it before any more damage can occur, and better yet stop it from even happening in the first place.

    This article will primarily deal with prevention and fixing a spider mite infestation. However, I will also go over methods for you to salvage your crops if you do see them when you are drying your cannabis buds to get them ready for smoking.

    What Are Spider Mites?

    Two Spotted Spider Mite
    Two Spotted Spider Mite

    Spider mites live in colonies and are related to ticks and scorpions. As their name implies, with eight legs and the ability to spin webs they are members of the arachnid or spider family. Physically, they are smaller than a pin’s head. So, they can be challenging to discover, and often when they are discovered, it is too late.

    There are numerous types of spider mites and they are identified mainly by their colors. Some of the many types of mites that you may encounter are red, yellow, green, and brown. The two-spotted spider mite, red spider mite are the ones you will most likely encounter. Other types of spider mites are tumid, Pacific, and the Spruce Spider Mite. (Spruce primarily affects tree

    Rust and The Russet Mite-The russet and rust Mites look similar to spider mites. The difference between them though is that russet and rust mites do not weave webs.

    When Are They Most Likely To Show Up

    Spider mites tend to start showing up when the weather starts warming up in the spring and then they start their feast. One of the biggest dangers of spider mites is their reproduction ability and their tremendous appetite.

    Spider Mites Reproduction

    They breed for only five days. But, they rapidly reproduce during those five days, which means that untreated spider mites can be disastrous for both outdoor and indoor plants.

    A female spider mite lives on average for only 30-days. During those 30 days, they lay around 100 eggs. That spider mite egg hatches in only three days.

    So, doing the math, even if a small percentage of those mites survive, a few spider mites can result in millions of these bastards sucking the life juices out of your prize crops. As a result of this voracious reproduction, if left unchecked, a spider mite infestation is devastating and impossible to control if it goes unchecked.

    PREVENTION, PREVENTION, PREVENTION

    Prevention is the best way for you to stop an infestation or limit spider mite damage. Therefore, You need to deal with spider mites well before harvesting takes place.

    Luckily, preventing spider mites isn’t that hard. Many of these preventive steps or suggestions are essentially common sense. Additionally, depending upon the size of your crops, it will not take the average person too much time to perform the below practices.

    • Consider Hydroponics -Spider mites can thrive outdoors, indoors and they show up more when soil is used as a growing medium. They can also show up when you are growing via hydroponics. However, hydroponics will reduce the chance of infestation. So, if you are having problems, you may want to explore hydroponic gardening.
    • Inspect Your Plants– It is essential that you regularly inspect your cannabis leaves for any spider mites invasion sign.
    • Proper Grow Room Environment– Spider mites tend to appear more during dry spells. With indoor growing, you can control your growing environment. So, you do not have to worry about dry spells. As a result, you need to make sure your grow area has the optimum humidity, temperature, enough water, proper movement, etc.
    • No Outside Plants – Best practice means that you should not put any outside plants in your grow room. If you must though, all pants should be kept separate from your main grow area or room for at least two weeks.
    • Keep Grow Area Clean -Keeping a clean grow room will not only work to prevent spider mites, but it will also help prevent other problems from occurring. First of all, remove all dead leaves ASAP from your grow room. Also, you need to make sure that any person who walks into the grow room is clean and free of any outside insects, like spider mites. So, if you were doing manual labor outside in the yard, you should change before entering your growing area.

    How To Identify A Spider Mite Problem

    With practice, spider mites will not be too hard to discover. Obviously, the first thing that you need to do is lookout for any tiny, spider mites, insects, or spider mite webs. If you do not see any spider mite webs or mites, you then need to periodically check a plant’s leaves for any damages that could have been caused by spider mites.

    Plant Vampires

    Spider mites are like miniature vampires, in that they suck the juices, out of a plant leaf. At first, the damage will be hard to recognize as you will only see, tiny, yellow or white, mottled spots. Later, the mites will cause plant leaves to be more severely discolored and will have a bronze and bleached appearance. If ignored the plant leaves will turn yellow and in the final stages the leaves will fall out and the buds will become useless.

    How To Eliminate Spider Mites

    As I said earlier, spider mites breed voraciously, and the spider mite population can easily get out of hand. So, deal with the problem ASAP, if you discover an infestation problem. There are several organic methods to fix the problem without having to use insecticides. I would first recommend that unless your problem is severe that you try these simple and organic pest control methods first.

    Gardening Tools Needed

    For a larger garden, I would purchase a garden pump sprayer:

    Garden Pump Sprayer Chapin International 20075 Disinfectant Bleach Sprayer, 1 Gallon, Translucent White

     

    For a smaller growing setup, this will likely do:

    LITTLE GIANT Professional Spray Bottle (Green) All Purpose General Use Spray Bottle (32 oz.) (Item No. PS32GREEN)

    Also, I would keep separate bottles for using toxic insecticides and non-toxic DIY solutions.

    Simple, DIY, Methods To Eliminate Spider Mites On Plants

    If it is not too late, these methods will work, right before you are ready for harvest.

    • Lady Bugs – Ladybugs are beneficial insects that are a born natural spider mite killer. (They are also natural enemies of root aphids, fungus gnats, broad mite, and other predatory mite insects.) They can be used for both inside and outside pest control. The main problem with using ladybugs or other beneficial insects, for outdoor growing, is that the bugs may not stay in your yard. However, ladybugs will work splendidly in a grow tent, or grow room as will stay there until they get the job done.

    300 Live Ladybugs - Good Bugs - Ladybugs - Guaranteed Live Delivery!

    • Spray-Hosing your plants with a forceful spray of water will kill and remove the mites off of your plants.
    • Vacuum-Using a handheld vacuum cleaner at low power to suck the spider mites, webs, and other insects right off your plants.
    • Neem Oil-It is horticultural oil from the Neem tree that can kill mites and also prevent a new infestation from occurring. For more info check out the appendix.
    Neem Oil for Spider Mites
                                          Neem Oil

    DIY, Safe, Organic Insecticides

    The following foliar spray recipes are simple and require everyday items and all you need to do is place them in a spray bottle and start spraying.

    • A Bleach-A simple recipe that all you have to do is add one tbsp of bleach to a gallon of pH-balanced water. (Water needs to be 95 degrees)
    • Alcohol-Mix water and alcohol. To ensure your plants are not harmed you need to make sure the solution does not contain more than 30% alcohol.
    • Insecticidal Soap-The Oregon State University Agricultural school recommends the following; three tbsp of dish soap and one gallon of water

    Insecticides (Last Resort)

    I am not for or against using synthetic insecticides. The choice is your own. However, if if you have a severe problem chemical pesticides may be the best solution. There are several, commercial, insecticides that will eliminate spider mites and other pests from your garden. One that I reviewed earlier was Doctor Doom Spider Mite Knockout. It is especially handy as all you do is spray it on the mites.

    dDoktorDoom KnockOut

    Avid 0.15 EC Miticide Insecticide Syngenta Mites
    Avid is also highly regarded

     

    How to Remove Spider Mites From Buds During Harvest

    Unfortunately, if you discover the problem during harvest time, it may be too late. At the final stages of infestation, your cannabis plant and buds will be covered in cobwebs. When this occurs, your options are limited as the affected plant and buds may not be salvageable.

    For example, In some instances, spider mites will turn cannabis buds into dust and make them unusable. So, assuming that your buds are not that badly affected, you can either spray them with the DIY pesticide recipes, vacuum them off the plants, buy a commercial pesticide or use neem oil.

    Additionally, I have not tried this out myself, but some growers hang the buds upside down (I have not had a chance to try this and the source is from a forum; so, you may want to experiment with a small weed plant or so, at first) during drying and the spider mites may eventually fall off and die after they run out of food.

    Final Thoughts

    If there is one thing that you get out of this article, that thing should be prevention. Preventing spider mites early is your number one priority because often it will be too late if spider mites are discovered during harvest. The preventive steps are quite easy to follow: Don’t bring plants from outside, keep your grow are clean, and check out your fan leaves constantly for infestation, etc. Also, spider mites breed like crazy. So, fixing the problem ASAP is the key if you do have an infestation. If you follow these above steps you should greatly reduce the chance of your crops being ruined by spider mites or other common pests.

     


    Appendix

    Spider Mite FAQ
    These questions were addressed above. But, for your convenience, I’ve included the most commonly asked questions concerning Spider Mite Control.

    Do spider mites eat buds?

    No, they suck the juices out of the leaves. However, if mites destroy a cannabis plant’s leaves; the buds will eventually die.

    How do you get rid of spider mites when harvesting?

    Spray them with a DIY, alcohol/water mix, or a bleach mix. (Recipe is shown earlier) Alternatively, depending on how bad it is; hanging up the cannabis plant upside down while drying may cause the mites to fall off when they eventually run out of food.

    Does neem kill spider mites?

    Neem can kill spider mites on a cannabis plant. However, it tends to work better in preventing an infestation.

     


    Neem Oil

    Neem oil, made from the neem tree, and has been used for hundreds of years as an organic pesticide. It can be identified by its yellowish-brown color and bitter taste. (The taste is recognizable to some as it is used in other consumer goods like soaps, pet shampoo, and even toothpaste.) It can kill existing kill spider mites and also prevent new infestations from coming up again.

    Active Ingredients
    Neem is made of several ingredients, and Azadirachtin is the main ingredient responsible for its pest control properties.

    How Does It Work?
    The Azadirachtin affects spider mites and other pests in both the short and long term. In the short term, it makes it difficult for pests to eat, which results in starvation. Also, it interferes with a pest’s ability to reproduce.’

     

     

     


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