BROAD MITES, RUSSET MITES & CYCLAMEN MITES IN CANNABIS
Eriophyid mites account for a large percentage of cannabis pest infestations and have become a huge problem for cannabis growers. The term “mite” encompasses thousands of different arthropod species, but the three most common types or eriophyid mites in cannabis are broad mites, russet mites, and cyclamen mites. And while most mites are roughly the size of a pinhead, those that infest cannabis grows are even smaller than that. In fact, you won’t be able to spot them with the naked eye unless you’re using a high-powered microscope. By the time you’ll notice mites in cannabis, they’ve already formed clusters that have started doing damage to your crops.
While mites are vectors for infectious pathogens and disease, their major damage lies in the interference with the process of photosynthesis. Mites in cannabis suck out liquids and nutrients from leaves and slow down plant growth. Along with other vectors they can carry, mites can also prevent or damage new plant growth. Worst of all, they inject plant growth regulators (PGR) into your plants and when damage is done, cannabis growth slows down. In extreme cases, your plants will not recover even if you eradicate the mites and it’s better to start over with a pest-free grow.
In any case, eriophyid mites in cannabis must be eradicated to continue to successfully process high-grade yields. Based on plant damage, we must make a decision on which direction to take. Even if we must toss everything out and start over, a clone can be made so your prized genetics will not be lost. The greatest advantage is that the clones off this plant will no longer have the PGR.
BROAD MITES IN CANNABIS
Broad mites in cannabis are so tiny they are practically impossible to spot without magnification. Under a microscope, you’ll notice that young broad mites have six legs while adult mites have eight. Coloration can vary, but often they look like a pale yellow or clear dewdrop with tiny legs.
One of the biggest reasons broad mites can be so difficult to diagnose is you rarely see any signs of these cannabis bugs. The main way to spot an infestation is the damage they leave behind because usually, broad mites in cannabis are too small to see. With a broad mite infestation, leaves turn up at the edges and may be blistered and wet-looking. New growth is usually twisted or drooping and if your cannabis plants are in the flowering stage, buds may turn brown and die.
Broad mites in cannabis don’t attack all parts of the plant evenly so symptoms may be worse in certain spots where the infestation is concentrated. Symptoms of broad mite infestation are commonly misdiagnosed and often confused for overwatering, heat stress, nutrient deficiency, or a pH imbalance. Unfortunately, broad mites in cannabis are probably one of the hardest pests to get rid of. They lay their eggs inside the plant which makes it very difficult to kill their eggs!
RUSSET MITES IN CANNABIS
Hemp russet mites are tiny bugs on marijuana plants. In fact, they are so small you can only see them with a magnifier unless there are thousands of them infesting your plant. They live the crevices of leaves, stems or buds, and the initial symptoms are not that serious. Many growers may not realize they have russet mites in cannabis and it isn’t unusual for them to confuse the symptoms for other problems such as heat damage, overwatering, or nutrient deficiency, as well as pollen, mold, or the tobacco mosaic virus.
Russet mites in cannabis are tiny and you often won’t see them until you have a full infestation. In big enough numbers they may appear as a beige or yellow mass, with symptoms often more prominent towards the tops of the cannabis plants. There is also noticeable drooping and curling of leaf edges. Where mites live inside plant tissue, the leaves and stems are usually dull-colored.
The brown or yellow spots caused by russet mites in cannabis are often mistaken for mold, fungus or pollen. An intense hemp russet mite infestation on cannabis plants can also be difficult to diagnose because it’s hard to see the individual bugs. Russet mites can reproduce and attack cannabis plants all year round and are most harmful in the flowering stage when buds get infested.
CYCLAMEN MITES IN CANNABIS
Cyclamen mites are pretty much like broad mites and it isn’t uncommon to confuse one for the other. However, cyclamen mites in cannabis are slightly bigger and move a lot slower than broad mites. They are usually greenish 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 mites in cannabis 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.
ORGANIC PEST CONTROL FOR MITES IN CANNABIS
While this may seem really basic, the best way to prevent a cannabis mite infestation is to either prevent it altogether or catch it as soon as possible. Even if you can completely get rid of a pest, it’s better to not have them living, breeding, and making waste on your plants. Thankfully, ANT & GARDEN ORGANIC PEST CONTROL in Beaverton, Oregon offers organic cannabis mite pest control and eradication methods specifically designed to do both—addressing an existing mite problem and preventing any re-infestation in the future.
There are generally two directions to take when formulating an organic pest control treatment program for mites in cannabis. The first is to eradicate an existing pest population, and the second is for preventative measures. Ant & Garden Organic Pest Control does this effectively by using only the best OLCC-approved cannabis pest control products via rotation spraying.
In most instances, it takes about three weeks to completely eradicate mites in cannabis. The Ant & Garden organic cannabis mite eradication and control program begins with me personally spraying your plants and entire facility with my proprietary building spray consisting of safe, organic and eco-friendly natural oils, repellants, insect growth regulators (IGRs) and antifeedants. Three days after this initial treatment, I come back to spray a different set of bioinsecticides and oils, plus the IGR on just your cannabis plants. Then, after another three days I go back to Step 1 and treat both your entire facility and your plants. This process goes on and on over the entire 21-day period so you get a total of seven treatments during the three-week process.
On top of this, I offer a 1-month no pest guarantee along with customized sanitation guidelines so broad mites, russet mites and cyclamen mites in cannabis do not return or the process will have to be repeated. I have been to grows where I have killed all the bugs and watched the warehouse owner bring new clones infested with two-spotted spider mites into the grow facility!
So even if you trust the grower, you need to treat new clones just in case the clone is infected. In fact, this is one of the most common ways growers get these pest mites in cannabis grow spaces. Even two or three eggs on your clone is all it takes to start a new infestation, so ask yourself if it’s worth torturing yourself with a new clone. When the bugs are gone, you need to keep things clean, stop collecting genetics and enjoy a few grows.
The point is, when it comes to organic cannabis pest control – prevention and overall plant health is key. Yet even the most robust, organically grown cannabis will need our help to fight mites in cannabis plants so if you’re having a problem with broad mites, russet mites and cyclamen mites, contact Ryan at Ant & Garden Pest Control today!