Are you a cannabis cultivator and concerned about common pests? Growing cannabis can be pretty easy and straightforward. However, you should brace yourself because you will definitely encounter a few problems along the way. One of the biggest challenges that you should be prepared for is dealing with pests. However, you do not need to worry because, in this article, we will tell you about the common cannabis pests and prevention strategies for a better yield.
Although cannabis pests are among the common problems you will encounter in your cultivation journey, they are quite easy to handle. As long as you have the right information and equipment, you can easily counter these tiny but highly destructive creatures. In this article, we present the common pests that affect cannabis farming and educate you on the best ways to prevent them from destroying your precious crop. Read further to learn more about the common cannabis pests.
Aphids on weed
These are among the common pests that attack cannabis plants. They are very tiny and pale-looking pests that can quickly proliferate in a small area. The worst thing about the aphids is that you may not be able to easily recognize their presence until they have destroyed your crop because they are commonly found on the underside of the leaves. Additionally, these pests are a nuisance because they have high rates of reproduction: they lay eggs for up to twelve hours in a single day!
Aphids on weed can cause significant distress to the farmer. They suck plant nutrients out of your marijuana leaves, leaving the plant with symptoms such as discolorations and deformations. Additionally, these pests can introduce viruses to your cannabis plants. Eventually, your plants will be diseased, compounding the problem of slow production and stunted growth that the pests cause. In fact, the plant may eventually die if you do not take action.
How do you deal with aphids on weed?
Thankfully, nature has an incredible way of limiting these nasty beings from causing complete destruction to your plants. Wasps and ladybugs are aphids’ worst enemies. These organisms can feed on the aphids, reducing their numbers greatly. However, you may need to exert some effort if they still trouble you.
A Do-It-Yourself approach may help you deal with these annoying creatures. For example, combining garlic or tomato with mineral oil is a good solution to this problem. All you need to do is soak garlic or tomato in mineral oil for about a day or two before sprinkling the combo on the marijuana leaves. This will work wonders, but if you are not a fan of DIY projects, then you may go for a commercial pesticide to help you deal with this menace.
Spider mites on weed
These pests affect a significant number of plant species, including marijuana. The spider mites belong to the same family as spiders, ticks, and other mites. However, they are smaller than the rest of the pests. Nonetheless, these are the worst nightmare for any cannabis grower because they are pretty difficult to eliminate once they attack your plants. They have sharp mouths that they use to suck out the entire sup from your plants. The results of their attacks are small yellow, white, or orange spots on the cannabis leaves. Your plants would likely die because these pests feed on chlorophyll, which is required for the plants’ growth. While there are several varieties of spider mites, the worst is the two-spotted spider mites, which in particular love weed plants.
Thankfully, detecting spider mites is easy because they spun webs to protect their young ones. However, the webs can lead to undesired results: the webs are difficult to remove and can affect the quality of your harvest adversely.
How do you deal with spider mites on weed?
With these pests, prevention is better than cure. You should make an effort to prevent spider mites from attacking your crops by ensuring that all your equipment, growing media, and any other item you use for marijuana cultivation and growing are well sanitized. Additionally, you should never allow pets to access your grow rooms because these mites cling onto animals.
However, if the spider mites have already infested your plants, a Neem oil spray is effective and safe.
You may also use a commercial spray if you don’t have access to the neem spray or the infestation is gross. You can easily find the sprays at any agricultural supply store.
Caterpillars on cannabis
Caterpillars can cause significant damage to your crop! As these larvae of insects in the Lepidoptera family metamorphosis into beautiful butterflies, they exhibit a voracious appetite. They will feast on your cannabis plants, leaving big spots on the crops. In particular, caterpillars love marijuana because of its scent. The borer caterpillars are the worst because they will burrow inside the cannabis plant and eat their way out.
How do you deal with caterpillars on cannabis?
Thankfully, mother nature can handle these ones too. Parasitic wasps and praying mantis are the major predators of caterpillars. Most likely, these predators will come on their own once they sense the presence of caterpillars. The wasps lay eggs on these pests’ bodies, and once they hatch, the caterpillars become their food. On the other hand, praying mantises love eating caterpillars. They will remain until they devour all the caterpillars.
A neem spray could also help with controlling caterpillars. You simply need to spray the base and tops of the cannabis plants. You can make your own neem oil spray by pouring 1 teaspoon liquid dish shop and 1 ounce of neem oil into a gallon of warm water and shaking well. Use the solution within 4 hours of preparation because it typically loses its strength after 4 hours.
Thrips on weed
You should be on the lookout for thrips on weed. This creature can cause the worst destruction because they prefer marijuana flowers to the leaves. These pests come in different forms ranging from tiny unmoving and pale worms to golden or dark-winged insects, depending on the geographical location and their stage of life.
The thrips use their mouths to piece cannabis plants and suck out sup from the plants leaving shiny or slimy, bronze or silver spots on the affected leaves. If the biting goes on for a long period, the leaves may die.
Apart from devouring the leaves, the thrips are disease vectors. As such, they can spread infections from one plant to the other, resulting in more damage.
How do you deal with thrips on weed?
With thrips, the best way is to prevent them from getting into the grow room. You can attain this by ensuring all your equipment is sanitized and using high-quality compost. A generally well-sanitized and clean growing environment will prevent thrips from affecting your cannabis.
However, if your plants are already infested, using insecticidal soap would help you deal with these pests. Insecticidal soaps can effectively eliminate thrips by weakening their outer shells. They are also safe for use on your cannabis plants. However, you should avoid getting the soap on the buds, and you may need to use the soap repeatedly until all thrips are eliminated.
White flies on cannabis
Whiteflies behave like spider mites by hanging out under the leaves and sucking essential nutrients from your cannabis plants. As a result, the leaves develop white spots on the leaf’s top side. However, you may also notice the pests flying around before seeing any damage to your crops. They are about 2mm long and look like tiny white moths as they fly around. Thankfully, you can easily spot these flies with your naked eyes. They take off into the air if you shake your plant a bit.
A few whiteflies in your grow room may not cause any notable damage. However, once you notice some flies in your cannabis grow environment, you should be worried because these flies reproduce at a very high rate. A female whitefly can lay between 180 and 200 eggs. If you ignore an infestation, it can grow out of control! Additionally, the eggs will be glued on the cannabis plant, making it difficult to wipe them out.
How do you deal with whiteflies on cannabis?
As with other pests, the best way of handling whiteflies is prevention. The best way to prevent whiteflies is to ensure the grow area is clean and properly sanitized. If you are growing your plants indoors, you may make a filter in the grow room’s air inlet to prevent the entry of insects.
However, if your plants are already infested with whiteflies, neem oil is one of the best ways to eliminate them. This method is not only natural, but it is also effective and economical.
Broad mites on cannabis
Broad mites are microscopic bugs, scientifically referred to as Polyphagotarsonemus latus. These bugs feed on the cannabis plants’ content affecting yield adversely. Broad mites occur majorly in temperate climates and are increasingly being seen on cannabis plants as cannabis becomes more popular and the growing of the plant becomes more common. The broad mites feed on the cannabis plants leaving behind some toxic saliva on the plants.
However, detecting these pests can be quite difficult without special equipment. You will only be able to spot them once their population has increased significantly. By the time you start spotting them, they may have already started causing damage to your crops. You should take action immediately to avoid losing all your plants.
How do you deal with broad mites in cannabis?
One of the steps you must take to deal with the broad mites is to carefully remove the affected parts and dispose of them. While this may reduce the number of bugs significantly, you may also need to take a further step to eliminate the broad mites.
A neem oil spray will leave behind an unpleasant smell that will repel these bugs. However, do not let the neem get near the buds because of the unpleasant smell and taste. Alternatively, you may use insecticidal soaps to eliminate broad mites. The fatty acid salts in these soaps weaken the outer shells of these bugs, thereby reducing them dramatically.
Dealing with common cannabis pests
Now that you know about the common cannabis pests, keep a close eye on your plants and if you spot any creepy crawlies check back here on our list of the most common cannabis pests and their preventions. However, if your crops are already infested, use the strategies discussed above as soon as possible to salvage your grow. A point of caution here is that you should never use chemical approaches if your plants are already in the flowering stage because the chemicals may be harmful to your crops.
Besides pests, other common issues you are likely to experience while growing is mold or bud rot, this mostly occurs with indoor grows due to the lack of ventilation. However there are ways that this can be prevented and also plenty of mold resistant strains to grow with.