CYCLAMEN MITES PEST CONTROL
Cyclamen mites are pretty much like broad mites and it isn’t uncommon to confuse one for the other. However, cyclamen mites are slightly bigger and move a lot slower than broad mites. They are usually yellowish and transparent and have a more waxy body. Their eggs are smooth and more apt to be found hidden in folds of plant tissue.
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Organic Cannabis Pest Control: CYCLAMEN MITES
Cyclamen mites are pretty much like broad mites and it isn’t uncommon to confuse one for the other. However, cyclamen mites are slightly bigger and move a lot slower than broad mites. They are usually yellowish and transparent and have a more waxy body. Their eggs are smooth and more apt to be found hidden in folds of plant tissue. They also like to hide in buds or tips of new growth. They avoid light and prefer high humidity and cool temperatures.
As cyclamen mites feed off your cannabis plants, they secrete and inject a toxic growth regulator. Symptoms of cyclamen mite feeding include leaf distortion or twisting, bronzing, and curling. Leaves may appear wrinkled, brittle, and rough. Heavily infested plants are stunted, with small leaves that eventually turn brown to silver. Flower buds may not open properly or completely abort. Overall growth is underdeveloped while new growth can blacken and die. Cyclamen mite infestation resembles herbicide damage or it could also be confused with a viral disease or micronutrient deficiency.
Biology and life cycle of cyclamen mites
Cyclamen mites measure 0.2 mm to about 0.25 mm long and are nearly invisible to the naked eye. Adults are oval in shape, have four pairs of legs and look like small spiders. Depending on the stage of development, the color of cyclamen mites varies from yellow to brown at maturity. Females are slightly larger than their male counterparts, the latter being shorter and broad with their hind legs ending in a kind of hook.
A female cyclamen mite lays around 30 eggs in her lifetime, each hatching into milky white and translucent larvae in four to eight days. After molting once, larvae inch up towards young leaves and buds where they go into the nymph stage in another four days or more. Nymphs remain motionless, then turn into adults after 8 to 10 days. Adult cyclamen mites may live from 10 to 30 days.
Reproduction in cyclamen mites may be asexual to a large extent, as females can lay both fertilized and unfertilized eggs. Male cyclamen mites only show up during the summer when the development cycle is really fast. With the warmer weather, it can take as little as 10 days for a generation to go from larva to adult. This results in a higher number of cyclamen mite generations in one year (usually 8-10). It is also during the summer when cyclamen mite infestations bring about the most damage.
Environmental conditions where cyclamen mites thrive
Cyclamen mites thrive best in temperatures ranging from 59 – 72ºF and a relative humidity of about 80 – 100%. They shun light at all developmental stages, which explains why you won’t see them in plant parts that are directly exposed to sunlight. Instead, you’ll find them in young leaves, flower buds and flowers so their bodies won’t dry out. Cyclamen mites die when relative humidity is below 70%.
Prevention and control of cyclamen mites
Regular inspection is key to preventing cyclamen mites from infesting cannabis as they can show up at any stage of the plant cycle. Precautionary measures include reducing humidity to around 60 – 75% so the grow environment becomes unattractive to these bugs on marijuana plants. Temperature levels should remain between 68 – 78ºF. Go low on nitrogenous or potassium manure, as they promote fertilization and prolong the life expectancy of cyclamen mites.
Spraying cannabis plants with insecticidal soap or miticides containing Abamectin as the active ingredient can also provide effective control of cyclamen mites. Predator insects may also be used for biological control of cyclamen mite infestations. Phytoseiulus persimilis and Amblyseius californicus especially love to feed on these cannabis pests, so introducing them to your grow space will prove to be beneficial in controlling and eradicating cyclamen mites.
If predatory mites are to be used, it is critical to release them at the first sign of a cyclamen mite infestation. Unlike the use of miticides which deliver instantaneous effects, it will take a bit of time for beneficial insects to control infestations.
Ant & Garden Pest Control in Beaverton, Oregon can help you take care of cyclamen mites in your marijuana plants. It doesn’t matter if you’re raising a few pots in your backyard grow tent or running a large-scale cannabis grow operation. Ant & Garden Pest Control has all the knowledge, skills and equipment to tackle cyclamen mites and other common bugs in your marijuana plants!
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