Spider Mites On Buds At The Time Of Harvest
Growers face a lot of issues while growing both indoor or outdoor cannabis plants. Spider mites on buds at the time of harvest are one of the issues that bug growers. And, chances are you are here because you faced something like this, well, you’ve found the right place.
In this article, we are going to cover the topic with the most relevant information. You will get some additional tips along with every basic solution for the problems. Also, there’s an FAQ section, in case you had something more to ask!
Let’s dive right in!
What Are Spider Mites?
As the name sounds, spider mites are related to spiders, both of them are from the arachnid or spider family. Also, they are related to ticks, scorpions, and other mites. All of the mentioned creatures have eight legs and they are able to spin webs.
However, spiders generally do not harm plants, they go for other pests instead. On the other hand, the only mission of spider mites’ lives is to suck from plants. Though spider mites are a common cannabis pest, growers find it difficult to get rid of the pests.
Spider mites come with too sharp teeth to imagine. They penetrate the leaves as well as cause severe damages.
How Can You Identify Spider Mites?
It’s a huge problem for any grower if they cannot identify Spider Mites. But the good news is, you can easily control the spread of spider mites in case you can identify them at an early age.
The leaves of your cannabis will have little, tiny white marks once the spider mites suck the leaves. But it’s hard to notice the marks since they are too small to notice. Growers often confuse those white marks with the marks from Powdery Mildew, that’s completely different.
However, once growers are done with growing a number of cannabis plants, identifying these pests will become easier for them. Spider mites thrive in dry and hot environments. These little creatures are only 1mm long, so it’s almost invisible to the naked eyes. So, you should use a 10x hand lens for identifying spider mites correctly.
If the thing is if you cannot manage time to search for spider mites, or perhaps, you do not have the right types of equipment for microscopically inspecting your plants, there are ways around these.
You can look for these signs below:
- Plants aren’t growing enough, and it feels like their growths are stunted.
- There will be discolorations on the leaves.
- The undersides of the leaves will get yellow spots.
- The leaves’ undersides may convert into white or brown.
- The buds may come as deformed or small in size.
- The stems and leaves may have the webs look-alike a spider web.
- Although plants aren’t facing overwatering or aging issues, leaves seem dying and yellowing.
- Either the top or the bottom of the leaves will accumulate materials like dust. You can do a trick- get a piece of white paper and hold it under the leaf, then, tap. If you notice fall specks, then chances are they are spider mites.
Worth mentioning, spider mites do not team up with any extra sticky trichome. But yes, they can circle a full bud or a whole fan leaf using their webbing.
How To Remove Spider Mites From Buds During Harvest
Since spider mites breed rapaciously, you should take actionable steps right after you identify them. Moreover, experts suggest that you should keep the necessary products at your elbow in case you face an outbreak.
However, you will be happy to know that there are some useful ways to remove spider mites on buds at the time of harvest.
Natural Ways to Get Rid Of Spider Mites
- Using a vacuum on low power is a good idea. It will suck the mites of the cannabis plants. Do the job gently.
- Mark the infested leaves and physically remove the mites. To do so, you can simply prune or cut down the infested leaves.
- To get rid of the mites, you can also spray water. Get a hose and a forceful spray for removing the spider mites. Using a multi-hose sprayer and adding soapy water to it is another good idea.
- You can collect some ladybugs from online or nurseries as spider mites are one of the favorite foods of ladybugs. However, this may not work like a champ if you are an outdoor grower as there is a chance that ladybugs can fly off. On the other hand, if you are an indoor grower who is growing cannabis in grow rooms or greenhouses, using ladybugs can be a great option.
- Apply neem oil to kill spider mites. It’s one of the most useful organic pesticides that both kill the mites and prevent further infestation.
Using Insecticides to Get Rid Of Spider Mites
Saying fair and square, using insecticides should be the last thing to do to kill spider mites. Using something natural and preventative is always a better option. However, if it’s too late and your plants are covered with a huge number of spider mites, you have to use insecticides.
You will find some commercial insecticides such as Bio-advanced, Ortho, 3 in 1, and others.
And, here’s a bonus tip for you. You can use these tips below to get rid of spider mites from your plants.
- Get a water sprayer
- Put some black soap in the sprayer
- Add neem oil to the black soap
- Fill the sprayer with water
- Spray under and above the stems, all of the foliage, and everything.
For using the black soap, the water will stick to the leaves. Also, the black soap here lets the neem oil spread all over. When spider mites join into the neem oil, they will die.
But a point to be noted here, this method is not for killing the eggs. So, you better go through these steps right after they hatch. It will kill any individuals.
Also, there are a number of insecticidal soaps and organics insecticides in the market that control spider mites. Let’s check them out:
- Essentria IC3: This organic spray contains a combination of some useful horticultural oils. You can easily apply it to your plants with a mister. But one limitation of this spray is, it will be active for only 8-12 hours. Therefore, you should use it daily.
- Spinosad: This organic product is also completely harmless. You can kill spider mites using it directly or add it to the plants’ water supply. It will ensure long-term protection against pests like spider mites.
- Insecticidal soaps: Here’s another great way to spot-treat the infested parts of your plants. But you may need a couple of more treatments since soap will not be staying active for a long time.
Although the most common essential oil in order to control spider mites is Neem oil, there are some more types that work well.
- Lemon oil
- Eucalyptus oil
- Peppermint oil
- Cinnamon oil
- Rosemary oil
You can simply mix the oils with water as well as apply them to your mites.
How To Prevent Spider Mites on Buds
Prevention is not only a simple method to avoid spider mites from the very first days but also it works great to avoid massive damage to your plants. And, you may find some preventative steps a bit time-consuming. However, prevention is well worth the time.
Here you go with some actionable preventative steps that you may take against spider mites.
- Inspect your plants frequently: You should look for any sign of damage to your plants on a regular basis. To inspect your plants, just look carefully at both sides of your plants.
- Ensure having proper grow room settings: Spider mites love a dry environment. You make sure that your cannabis plants are having optimum temperature, humidity, and proper watering.
- Go for Hydroponics: An outdoor environment is a better home for spider mites. Yes, there are still chances of having spider mites once you switch to hydroponics, the risks are way too lower.
- Try reducing cross-contamination: Make sure you are not placing an outdoor plant into your grow room. There are chances of re-infesting the outdoor plants with spider mites. In case, you can’t see a second option, make a separate room for the outdoor plants from the other plants and keep them separated for around two weeks.
- Make sure your grow area is clean: If you can make sure that your grow area stays clean all the time, the possibility of infestation with mites will become very low. Moreover, this will keep molds or other issues away from your plants.
- Increase the ventilation: Increasing the ventilation will help to prevent spider mites. When you install a couple of powerful fans for increasing airflow, it will both reduce temperature and create a strong breeze.
- Understand the mites’ life cycle: When there is low humidity and high heat, chances are a hundred times more that there will be a spider mites infestation. Spider mites complete the full life cycle when the humidity is under 50% which takes around a week. So, it’s important to make sure there’s the right condition in both humidity and temperature.
The environment that Spider Mites Hate
Here are some conditions when spider mites don’t feel comfortable spreading rapidly.
- When the humidity is high
- The temperature is low
- When you point fans on your cannabis plants
- When you maintain a good ventilation system
Some more detailed information regarding the environment spider mites hate.
- Try to keep the temperature under 75℉. At night, reducing the temperature a bit more (keeping it 65℉) is a good idea.
- Keep the humidity around 50%. In case, you don’t see any bad effect on your plants for getting the humidity level high, you may get it around 65%.
- Spider mites will hate a strong airflow, so make sure you point some fans on them.
- Make sure of a good air filtration system. If you can keep a good air filtration system, the air circulation will disturb the little mites and keep them away from sucking your plants.
So yes, it’s not hard to control spider mites and make things normal if you can identify the problems early and take actionable steps. Since we have had an informative discussion on spider mites on buds at the time of harvest, hopefully, you have found it useful. Try your best to follow each instruction we have suggested here and limit the spreading of spider mites and take enough care of your plants.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the thriving environment for spider mites?
Humid, hot, and still environments are perfect for spider mites. If the humidity level of your place is below 35%, the temperature is above 82℉, and there’s an inappropriate ventilation system, you have created a better home for spider mites, nothing good.
Does a spider mite bite humans?
In general, the answer is no. However, there may create a red ring around their bites. However, there’s nothing to worry about since spider mites love to eat chlorophyll that is only found in plants.
Do spider mites die when I harvest?
Once you’re done harvesting, the leaves start drying out as well as the flow stops. For this, spider mites cannot feed since there is no interstitial fluid or juice remaining. The mites need to search for other foods then. Some of them will just hang around whereas others will die.
What are the very first signs of spider mites?
At the very first times, you may find nothing but some silvery dots. Over time, you will find delicate webs at the edges of the stems or under the leaves. You will notice tiny white dots scattering throughout which are spider mites.
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Wish you good luck!