It´s the height of spring, the perfect time to think about the pests in marijuana crops that can affect the proper development of our plants and the yield of our home grow., In this article you will find a list of the most common pests that can attack outdoor crops, so that you are prepared and can react quickly and effectively should the worst happen. Defend your cultivation from pests, get to know your enemy and ensure the maximum protection of your crop with these tips.
Prevention is essential, but if this failed you, we have to move on to identification, control and disposal. For this, it is necessary to periodically review the plant and keep your grow free from weeds to make access to your outdoor marijuana plants difficult for any pest.
Listed below are the five pests that can affect both indoor and outdoor cannabis plants
Red Spider Mite:this pest is the most destructive of all, it can devastate entire crops in just a few days if not stopped. The climatic conditions that favor it are very high temperatures and low humidity. Normally, the mites begin by attacking the lower leaves of the plant then move towards the tender shoots. The first symptom is the appearance of small yellow spots on the top of the leaves, the sting marks caused by the spider biting into the leaves to extract the sap. The mites spread rapidly throughout the plant and in the most severe cases form webs around the buds to protect themselves. Chemical, biological and cultural control methods can all be used to combat a red spider mite plague. For chemical control, several different active substances are recommended, each with a different mode of action to avoid resistances such as: abamectin, etoxazole, pyridaben or propargite. Apply at the recommended doses and be careful to reach well behind the leaves, as this is where the red spider mite lurks. The most widespread preventative chemical practice is to keep the soil clean by applying herbicides, whilst maintaining high humidity in the leaves of the plant and regulating the irrigation should largely prevent the presence of this plague.
Whitefly: this is a small white flying insect, which sits on the underside of the leaves. Its appearance is favored in conditions of high temperatures and high humidity. The bites of these insects cause the chlorosis and necrosis of the leaves, which with their sting suck the sap of the leaves, leaving larger round white marks than those of the red spider mite. This attack from white fly can then lead to black mould forming on the damaged areas. To control it place bottles of water filled with water and sweet wine or sugar along with a little pyrethrin with small holes that allow the whitefly to enter. We Specifically designed adhesive chromatic strips can also be used. A solution of 1% potash soap in distilled water can also be made. There are also a variety of popular ecological treatments such as rotenone, pyrethrins or neem.
Caterpillars: These are a highly voracious pest of almost exclusively outdoor crops. The problem here is that they can eat whole leaves without you noticing because they take refuge inside the budding flowers. Their droppings are the cause of the botrytis fungus for which the only solution is to throw away all affected buds.
To combat caterpillars it is recommended to apply a product that repels or kill butterflies eggs and larvae, usually based on a gram-positive bacillus such as Bio Thur. There are also broad spectrum products which can control other pests , not just the caterpillars. In any case it is recommended not to apply products during the last 15 days before harvesting so that traces of products in the buds are eliminated. In all cases it is advisable to check the plants and buds after harvest and remove infected or bitten parts, as well as any live caterpillars, if there was not time to apply the product.
Trips: These are small elongated insects with greenish brown wings that hide on the underside of the leaves, feed by sucking the sap of the plants and can transmit viruses and harmful bacteria. Although they are not a very aggressive pest, the production of a crop affected by trips will be lower.
In order to prevent this pest, It should be enough to keep weed culture clean, although you could also place anti-strip adhesive strips, which will trap them. A pest of trips can be combated biologically with natural pyrethrins like Expelex, and predatory mites can also be used. The insecticide Confidor is also very effective against this pest.
Powdery Mildew :This is a fungus that can affect both indoor and outdoor crops, and affects the aroma and flavor of flowers. It is characterized by the appearance of white or grey powdery spots on the leaves in the initial phases, which will grow and approach the buds as the pest progresses. If the stains reach the buds the crop is pretty much ruined.
To prevent powdery mildew in indoor cultivation, you should avoid a relative humidity in the grow room of 40% and 65%. In outdoor plants keep the plants clear of dry leaves and avoiding planting in areas with few hours of sun. If cultivating in pots, it’s advisable to turn the pots so that all parts of the plants get good exposure to the sun. You should also avoid planting too many plants together to ensure good air circulation. Biological treatments for Powdery Mildew include propolis, oidioprot and ospo. The use of sulfur as a remedy in cannabis crops is not recommended, as the smell will impregnate the marijuana. There are also chemical controls on the market such as antioid, although it is important to always take into account the safety periods recommended by manufacturers.