How to get rid of spider mites is often a huge concern for cannabis growers. Two-spotted spider mites as well as other mite species such as broad mites, russet mites, and cyclamen mites are hard to spot unless you do a thorough inspection of your plant (usually on both sides of leaves as well as young stems). Early detection is key to getting rid of spider mites in your cannabis plants in order to prevent a full-blown pest infestation.
Act Fast to Control and Eradicate Spider Mites
If you find spider mites or their eggs and larvae on your cannabis plants, you must act immediately. Spider mites can be very quick to take over your plant—you could lose your entire crop if a heavy infestation develops. Here are a few tips on how to get rid of spider mites and prevent them from coming back into your grow space.
1. Identify Source of Infestation
It can help to identify how and where the cannabis spider mite infestation in your grow operation began. There are several possibilities, including:
- Tracking them in from outside
- Cross-contamination from a vegetable garden
- Brought in by animals and pets
- Transference from another plant, not necessarily a cannabis variety
- Cross-contamination from infected clone plants
- Cross-contamination from tools and equipment that haven’t been sanitized
- Transference from another cannabis grow facility
It is possible to bring in spider mites from any of these sources, but given the fact that two-spotted spider mites are specialized feeders of cannabis plants, it’s far more likely that your cannabis spider mite infestation started from infected clones or a trip to another cannabis farm. That’s why it’s so important to quarantine any new clones before integrating them into your grow operation. You should also change your clothes every time you enter and leave your facility to mitigate against the possibility of contamination from outside sources.
2. Pre-Treatment Measures
Cut down their numbers! There are a few things you can do to reduce the spider mite population in your garden. Keep in mind that these methods don’t actually eradicate your two-spotted spider mite infestation but simply slow down its progress until you can reach an organic pest control expert who can map out a more thorough pest management plan for you.
- Control the heat
- Have lots of air blowing over the plants and top of growing medium
- Spray spider mites off the plants if you have a spider mite spray on hand
Spider mites that attack cannabis like the heat and hate a windy environment. Use an oscillating fan to provide a cool breeze in your grow space. This won’t get rid of the spider mites, but the breeze will make it harder for them to reproduce so your other control methods are more effective. They can’t mate in windy conditions so a strong fan can help keep the infestation from getting worse. A breeze also helps organic pest control measures perform better because fans help dry out spray treatments on the plant.
If you have some extra space outside your grow room, it will be wise to bring infected plants outside and spray off as many cannabis spider mites as possible. That way, you can lower their numbers before starting with your main treatments.
3. Treat Entire Grow Area with Insecticide, Not Just Plants!
Spray your entire garden and all of your outbuildings with an organic spray treatment specially formulated for cannabis spider mites. It’s impossible to overstate just how important it is to treat your processing facility, quarantine rooms, and all areas where you grow and process cannabis.
Because of their variable growth process, it’s common to think that you’ve eradicated spider mites in your grow room while they’re secretly building up numbers in one of their immature stages. This is why it’s so important to keep treating your grow room after a spider mite infestation even if it appears that all the cannabis spider mites are gone. Just pretend they’re hiding and doing pushups, building their numbers for a second infestation. Treat your grow room like a war zone and don’t allow the spider mites to build in numbers and attack again!
How to Get Rid of Spider Mites with Organic Pest Control
With traditional spider mite sprays, you often find that the problem recurs, often within a few short weeks. Cannabis spider mites are great at adapting to any treatment used on them and build up resistance quickly, so they can often come back with a vengeance despite treatment.
At Ant & Garden Pest Control, I follow a custom organic pest control plan for each client. I rotate the best OLCC approved products for two-spotted spider mites every three days for a period of 21 days. I also treat all your buildings with my proprietary building spray four times – by the time I’m done, your operation will be totally free of two-spotted spider mites and all other mite species, from your garden and grow site to your outbuildings and processing facility.