Pests in cannabis can be a huge problem for those who are growing their own marijuana plants. Without proper prevention, common cannabis pests like aphids, larvae, fungus gnats, and spider mites can quickly cause damage to your plants and destroy the entire crop.
To avoid this nightmare scenario, taking some simple preventative measures is paramount. This includes checking plants regularly to ensure they are free from pests, monitoring temperatures and humidity levels, and providing basic necessities like ventilation and soil nutrition.
When it comes to dealing with pests once they have already invaded your weed plants, quick action is essential to prevent further damage. Inspecting your plants on a regular basis – particularly when first identifying an infestation – can help you pinpoint exactly what pest species may be present on or around your plants.
Once identified, it is important to eliminate these pests as quickly as possible using natural grass bug sprays or pesticides since traditional insecticides are often too toxic for use on cannabis crops. Keeping up with regular inspections will also help keep future infestations at bay by stopping larger issues before they even begin.
Aphids are troublesome pests that can wreak havoc on gardens, farming, and even indoor controlled environment crops. Their small size makes them easy to overlook but they colonize quickly and reproduce just as rapidly.
They suck the life out of plants by sucking the sap from their leaves and stems, draining them of life-sustaining nutrients. In outdoor gardens and farms, aphids can overrun an entire field or garden in no time, creating a huge problem for farmers or gardeners.
How To Deal?
In order to deal with an aphid infestation, the best way is to prevent its occurrence in the first place. Regular visual inspection of your plants is extremely important to catch any signs of an aphid attack as soon as possible.
If you’re lucky enough to discover just a couple of aphids, you should remove them manually and spray with a natural insecticide like Neem Oil or any other Organic solution that is safe for use. Additionally, if plants are grown in pots it’s wise to separate those that have aphids from the rest to avoid them from invading neighboring specimens.
Fungus gnats are a common problem for cannabis growers. They look like black ants with wings and love to hang around your plants. While they are primarily just a nuisance, the larvae of fungus gnats can cause real damage to cannabis plants.
The larvae will start eating at the base of the plant and then work their way into the root system, hindering growth and impairing drainage of the soil or other medium in which it is growing.
How To Deal?
Fungus gnats can be a frustrating problem for indoor potted plants and gardeners alike. While they don’t pose any direct threat to the health of plants, they can become annoying if left unchecked. The most common way they appear is due to overwatering, as fungus gnats need wet soil to thrive.
Luckily, there are ways to deal with an infestation of fungus gnats without resorting to chemicals or toxic solutions. The simplest remedy is often just allowing the top layer of the soil to dry out, reducing the amount of moisture that encourages plant growth.
If this isn’t enough, you can try yellow sticky cards, neem oil, or even diatomaceous earth as a means of eradication. Be sure to evaluate your watering habits and make sure your plants aren’t getting overwatered! Taking steps now will save you from needing to address bigger issues down the road.
Leaf miners are a common problem among cannabis growers, and can cause significant damage to your plants. The larvae of different species of flies, beetles, and moths will dig through the top part of the cannabis leaves, damaging the cells and draining out nutrients.
This can be very detrimental to the health of your plant as stunted growth and inhibit yields. Symptoms of leaf miner infestations are easy to recognize: you may notice white, brown, or yellow traces running along the top of affected leaves.
How To Deal?
One way to deal with this problem is to simply remove any affected leaves from the plant, as this will ensure that no further larvae are able to reproduce in that area. However, this could be impractical if you don’t want to part with all the affected foliage.
In this case, a good solution is to treat individual leaves where you can see that they have been penetrated or bored into by leaf miners. All you have to do is crush the larva with your fingers right where it has bored into the leaf; or if you’re dealing with a very large mine, simply cut out and discard the entire area of infestation.
You may have to repeat these steps several times within an affected plant before there is no longer any sign of infestation. Over time, regular checks of your plants should help keep this pest at bay.
Mealybugs are soft, white bugs that can be a problem on cannabis plants. Normally, a small number of mealybugs is harmless, but if their population gets out of control, the effects can be serious.
When mealybugs start to form white balls on the leaves, it’s an indication that their population has gotten too large. At this stage, the plant is beginning to suffer from nutrient deficiency and weakened growth. If not dealt with quickly, the bugs will eventually kill the plant.
How To Deal?
Mealybugs can be a real nuisance in gardens and homes. They are small, soft-bodied insects that feed on plants, causing damage and spreading disease. Luckily, there are easy ways to deal with mealybugs that don’t require toxic chemicals.
If you have only a few mealy bugs, the best way to get rid of them is by hand-picking. Make sure to wear gloves when doing this as you don’t want to come into contact with their secretions which can cause skin irritation.
If you have an infestation, however, hand-picking won’t suffice so you might need to resort to using natural treatments such as Neem oil or lemon juice mixed with a little bit of water. Both of these remedies should be sprayed directly onto the infested plants and repeated every few days until the problem is under control.
Remember to also treat any other nearby plants as the mealybugs could spread there too. With regular application, these natural treatments should help significantly reduce the population of mealybugs and return your garden or home to its bug-free state in no time!
Spider mites are a nuisance pest that can cause major problems in the cultivation of cannabis. They are extremely tiny, usually measuring between 0.04 and 0.10 millimeters long, and resemble ticks in terms of appearance. It takes just a few days for spider mites to reach full maturity, allowing them to reproduce quickly and spread rapidly among plants.
Despite their minuscule size, these bugs can have a huge impact on the condition of cannabis plants. Spider mites feed on valuable nutrients from plant cells as well as on chlorophyll, eventually leading to extensive leaf damage and unsightly discoloration as well as complete cessation of growth if not dealt with swiftly and appropriately.
In an indoor garden setting where no natural predators remain available, infestations of spider mites can become so severe that entire crops may become lost due to the speed at which these pests multiply if left unaddressed for even the shortest period of time.
How To Deal?
Spider mites can be a serious problem for your indoor garden. As a notoriously hardy species, they are difficult to eradicate but not impossible. The key to dealing with spider mites is temperature and wind. Raising the heat or having the fan turned up high can cause spider mites to seek shelter in other places. Additionally, taking care to personally remove as many of the pests as possible is an essential first step.
Thrips are tiny insects that can wreak havoc if not detected early on. These insects measure about 1-2mm in length and look like small worms with legs. Depending on their age, they may also have wings. Their primary source of food is the flower itself, which can be extremely damaging to your plant’s productivity.
Flower buds fail to fully develop when they are attacked by thrips and any open wounds become entry points for diseases to set in. By sucking juices from within the flowers they cause twisted petals as well as discoloration and brown spots on the stems and leaves as well.
How To Deal?
Preventative action is always the best way to deal with any type of pest, and thrips are no exception. To protect your plants from these pesky invaders, you should monitor them closely every few days to make sure there’s no sign of thrips or other insects. Utilizing natural repellents such as diatomaceous earth and essential oils can also help discourage or defend your plant against potential threats.
If thrips have already taken over your plants, spraying a mix of water and neem oil can help get rid of them. Neem oil contains an active ingredient called azadirachtin which has insecticidal properties effective in controlling most common agricultural pests such as thrips.
Always make sure to properly dilute the solution when using it to spray on your plants. As an additional measure, you may want to treat the soil beneath the plant with beneficial nematodes that attack immature stages of pests in order to stop the life cycle from continuing.
Whiteflies are tiny, flying insects that can cause serious damage to cannabis plants. They are very difficult to identify and can be seen as white, powdery dust on the underside of leaves. Whiteflies have to pierce and suck mouthparts that they use to feed on carbohydrates in the plant’s sap, causing potential deformities with young development and stunting of overall growth.
In addition to feeding off the plant matter, whiteflies also secrete a sticky residue which can lead to sooty mold forming on its foliage.
How To Deal?
When it comes to dealing with whiteflies, the best approach is prevention. Make sure your growing environment is clean and inspect your plants regularly for pests. This can help mitigate an infestation before it has a chance to become serious.
Additionally, a home remedy of garlic mixed with water can be sprayed onto plants as a less aggressive form of deterrence. The pungent smell would repel the whiteflies and keep them away from your precious plants.
Ants can be surprisingly helpful when it comes to your cannabis. While they don’t directly damage your plants, they feed off other pests, making them valuable indicators of potential problems with other critters.
If you see them climbing the stems of your plants or the soil around it, there’s a good chance something else is amiss and you need to check for signs of infestation from other bugs.
How To Deal?
Dealing with ants can be surprisingly easy, but it does require some knowledge about how to solve the problem in order to make sure that the population does not come back. To start, take a look at the other pests that may be affecting your plant.
Ants love to feed off of other insects and by eliminating them, you will naturally eliminate the ant population too. For more stubborn cases, using Neem Oil or another natural insecticide is often an effective way to deal with the issue.
Spraying around the base of the plants should help discourage any new ant colonies from setting up shop in your garden. It is also wise to clean up any debris around your garden and remove any food sources that ants may have access to, like fallen fruits or sugary spills.
Organic Pest Control Methods for Cannabis
Organic pest control methods are a great way to help protect your cannabis plants from infestations by flying or crawling pests. Not only is an organic approach less harsh on the plants, but it also has fewer side effects that could negatively affect the quality and yield of the crop.
To ensure plant health and natural immunity, it’s important to create an optimal environment. This includes monitoring soil (or other growing mediums) quality, along with introducing amendments and beneficial insects for prevention and treatment where necessary.
When it comes to organic and natural insect control, beneficial insects are one great way of doing it. These bugs feed on the pests in our gardens, improving the quality of the soil and providing natural protection against any unwanted bugs. These insects can be easily purchased online or at garden stores, with a wide variety of options available in types and sizes.
When introducing any beneficial insects into your garden, it’s best to store them in the fridge for a few hours beforehand, release them when the lights are off, wet the plants down first, and add them near a food source, the bugs you want them to eat. This way they have the highest chance of survival until they become established in your garden.
The Ladybug, also known as Hippodamia convergens, is one of the most beloved insects among gardeners and farmers alike. They have a cute appearance which has no doubt contributed to their popularity, but aside from looking pretty, Ladybugs are truly phenomenal creatures with astounding prowess in pest control.
They possess an insatiable appetite for various soft-bodied insects such as aphids, mites, whiteflies, and ants – making them a readily available tool for many growers in dealing with persistent pests.
Ladybugs help reduce the impact of harmful pest species by eating large numbers on a daily basis. Even better, Ladybugs can be purchased from local garden supply stores in bulk so you can introduce them into your own turf with ease.
Green lacewings are an excellent form of natural pest control. They are small and delicate insects with transparent wings, often speckled in green or brown. They feed on aphids and other soft-bodied pests, allowing gardeners to benefit from their presence without relying on chemical pesticides.
Additionally, the larval form (unlike adult ladybugs) can be easily shipped right to people’s doorsteps, making them a great choice for those looking to use more organic gardening methods. When considering green lacewings as a pest management technique keep in mind that they need to be placed strategically and with caution.
The Common Praying Mantis is a hugely beneficial creature to have around in your garden or fields. Not only are they adept at ridding your crops and plants of pests, but they offer one bonus not found with any other natural pest control.
Once the exterior pests have been destroyed or removed, the Praying Mantis will burrow deep into the bud itself to search for hidden intruders. While this may cause some slight damage to the flowers themselves, it is definitely preferable when compared to dealing with completely infested buds caused by unchecked insect populations.
Nematodes are an incredibly useful tool for cannabis growers, especially when it comes to pest control. These tiny parasitic worms are so small that you’ll most likely need a microscope or a jeweler’s loupe to see them—luckily, they come in handy sizes and quantities!
One of the species most beneficial to weed growers is the Steinernema feltiae. They kill unwanted insects by laying their eggs inside the host, which hatch and then slowly eat it from the inside out over time until all that’s left is deathly silence.
Nematodes can be added to your growing medium at any point and are commonly sold in egg form on inoculated flakes. All in all, these fuzzy little parasites might be small, but they pack a mighty punch against pests when included as part of your grow plan!