ORGANIC SPIDER MITE CONTROL

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WHY TWO-SPOTTED SPIDER MITES ARE THE WORST AGRICULTURAL & CANNABIS PESTS

While there are lots of agricultural and cannabis pests that can cause problems in commercial grows, two-spotted spider mites are the most feared. Here’s why:

FAST REPRODUCTION RATE

A single mature female spider mite produces up to a million two-spotted spider mites in less than a month.

DISAPPEARING ACT

Two-spotted spider mites often appear to be gone completely but come back with a vengeance days or weeks later, right when you thought you’d gotten rid of them for good.

BIG APPETITES

Spider mites can eat up your tender plants in an amazingly short amount of time and a bad infestation has been known to kill plants overnight.

WEBBING

Spider mites cover leaves and buds with a fine mesh of silk webbing, ruining whole crops even after you’ve gotten rid of them.

ZOMBIE-LIKE RESISTANCE

Two-spotted spider mites quickly become immune to whatever you do to try to kill them. If you don’t take care of your spider mite problem using organic spider mite control treatments, you may soon have a population of more resistant ‘super-mites’.

DETECTING & IDENTIFYING TWO-SPOTTED SPIDER MITES

Early detection and proper identification of spider mites is key! Luckily, two-spotted spider mites are larger and easier to spot at a glance compared to other types of mites which are nearly invisible to the naked eye. When checking cannabis plants for spider mites, be sure to do a thorough leaf inspection (on both sides of the leaf). Silk-like webbing on leaves and buds are a dead giveaway that spider mites have infested your cannabis crop.

Although a spider mite problem starts with just speckles, this destructive marijuana pest has certainly earned the “spider” part of its name from the distinctive silk webbing they spin on vegetation, leaves, and flowers once an infestation really sets in. When spider mites attack a particular spot and you see lots of speckles near each other, the leaves may start looking yellow or bronze. Badly attacked leaves often die prematurely.

Web-producing cannabis spider mites may completely coat the foliage and flowers with the fine silk, which collects dust and looks dirty. With flowering plants, you may even see entire buds get covered in fine webbing from a bad two-spotted spider mite infestation.

At Ant & Garden Organic Pest Control, I take pest identification a step up and make use of the state-of-the-art Dino-Lite digital microscope for proper pest identification. This handheld high-powered  microscope connects to any computer and lets you see what you’re dealing with really, really up close.

So I never start any treatment until I know what I’m dealing with and the Dino-Lite microscope is the only way to get to the bottom of things.

You can find this on Amazon starting at $399 for the base model.

DINO-LITE DIGITAL MICROSCOPE

DINO-LITE MICROSCROPE STAND

HOW TO GET RID OF SPIDER MITES

Whether you find adult spider mites, larvae or eggs, you must act fast and hit them hard. Spider mites can be very quick to take over your plant, and even quicker to develop a resistance to almost any method you use to get rid of them – except when you choose organic spider mite control.

FACILITY TREATMENT FOR TWO-SPOTTED SPIDER MITES


At Ant & Garden Organic Pest Control, the first thing I do in indoor gardens is use my proprietary organic building spray consisting of a little bit of lemon juice (1-2 tbsp per gallon) and half-ounce of apple cider vinegar. I use this food-grade spray to treat your entire facility and eradicate spider mites and their eggs on the spot, including those hidden in tiny cracks and crevices of your grow space.

I’m also very, very careful not to get this on your plants because this organic building spray is a herbicide that may compromise the growth and yield of your cannabis crop. I use this in empty rooms before you bring in plants, or if you’re transferring them into a new flowering room. I always make sure I spray everything down to kill anything living (eggs, larvae and adult pests). It’s completely organic so you don’t have to worry about it vaporizing off into your plants.

PLANT TREATMENT FOR TWO-SPOTTED SPIDER MITES

I always recommend using a cold-fogging atomizer when treating cannabis and other agricultural crops for spider mites. There are plenty of really good ones on Amazon and they usually come with a standard 20-micron sprayer. If you’re treating a larger area, I suggest replacing this with a 50-micron sprayer which gives you a larger coverage. Lot more fog and gets the job done in half the time.

When doing pest control treatments on plants, it is very important to use the right products for the particular pest problem you have so pests do not build up any resistance. This is usually a common issue when using chemical pesticides, as bugs do have a tendency to build resistance (which is less common when using organic pesticides). So it’s always good to rotate treatments to prevent any possibility of resistance buildup.

Here’s a shortlist of organic pest control products I use when treating spider mites:

SNS 209

This all-natural systemic pest control formulation works best if you don’t have an infestation yet and you want to prevent getting any bugs to begin with. It protects plants against spider mites, fungus gnats, scale, thrips and whiteflies.

AZAMAX

This 3-in-1 botanical insectide, miticide and nematicide contains azadiractin, an extract from neem seeds which makes it totally organic. It works as an anti-feedant and insect growth regulator (IGR) so it gives you more time to catch an infestation because spider mites are not feeding or molting into the next instar.
You’ll starve them out eventually and the oils will suffocate the eggs and kill all life stages if sprayed directly on contact.

TRIFECTA CROP CONTROL

Although quite an expensive product, nothing works better for heavy mite infestations. This super concentrated 3-in-1 solution works against spider mites, aphids, fungus gnats, whiteflies, mold and mildew. Best of all, it’s OLCC-approved and organic. Simply put it in an atomizer and watch those mites disappear right before your eyes!

VERY IMPORTANT TIP ON SPRAYING: Always do foliar spraying with the lights out unless you’re using only fluorescent or T-5 lights hung way high above your cannabis plants. Liquid pesticide sprays can amplify heat coming from your light source and bring about leaf burn, which you wouldn’t want to happen.

Cease all spray treatments as you enter the third week of flowering and switch to heat treatment for indoor grows. You can use propane heaters to heat up your grow space to 120°F for 40 minutes once weekly until cannabis is ready for harvest. Outdoor growers, on the other hand, may opt to introduce Persimilis predator bugs to tackle spider mites. Check out our comprehensive write-up on predatory mites and their targeted pests in cannabis pest control.

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIC SPIDER MITE CONTROL

Keep in mind that most of the organic pest control products I mentioned are only sold in bulk and can be quite expensive for small to medium-scale growers. You may end up not using all of these organic pesticides or they may lose their potency and have relatively shorter shelf life if not stored properly.

For this reason, engaging the services of an organic pest control expert like Ant & Garden Organic Pest Controlin Beaverton, OR can be your best option. We have all the equipment and products to treat your facility and keep your cannabis grow space pest-free the whole year through.

Give Ryan a call today to book a free consultation or to schedule an onsite assessment and put an end to your endless worries about broad mites and other cannabis pests!

503-713-9590

PREVENTION AGAINST FUTURE SPIDER MITE INFESTATIONS

Once two-spotted spider mites are gone, you also need to think about prevention. With spider mites, the best offense is a good defense! If you’ve had spider mites attack your grow room in the past, you might be unintentionally doing something to encourage or attract them.

There are many preventative organic pest control products such as sprays which make plants less tasty to annoying two-spotted spider mites. However, these should only be used as a supplement to good gardening practices. Really, the most important aspect of spider mite prevention when growing indoors is to maintain a clean and secure grow room.

THE IMPORTANCE OF SANITATION

Many indoor growers unknowingly get spider mites from visiting another grower or grow room. Even just a few eggs on a clone or a few spider mites on your clothes is all it takes to start a full-fledged infestation. This is the most common reason why growers get spider mites, so an ounce of prevention will go a long way.

RECOMMENDATION:

  • Never take your outside clothing into your grow.
  • Better to put on a nice protective suit and a separate pair of shoes whenever you need to work in your grow and leave it there. That way you’re sure you are wearing clean clothing inside your grow space and not bringing in anything from the outside that could contaminate your plants.

IMPLEMENT STRICT QUARANTINE PROCEDURES

 

Never move plants or clones from the outside world into your grow room without first quarantining them for 14 to 21 days. Use a handheld microscope to inspect them thoroughly, making sure to check for eggs and tiny bugs underneath the leaves. If you detect the presence of two-spotted spider mites or other pests, spray new clones with an OLCC-approved organic pesticide.

KEEP A CLEAN GROW SPACE

Keep everything in your grow room clean and tidy. Not only does this help prevent spider mites; it also protects buds so they don’t have fibers and dust all over them!

  • Collect and remove dead leaves or other plant matter from your grow space regularly. It will not work if you simply stack them in a neat pile in one corner – you have to bring dead plant matter out of your grow room.
  • Make sure that you or anyone who comes into your contact space is clean (don’t let anyone walk into your grow room directly from outside). Be especially cautious if the person has recently visited another grow space.
  • Don’t let dogs, cats, rabbits or any domesticated pets enter your grow area. In addition to shedding and possibly bringing in spider mites and other marijuana bugs, some cats will happily chew on your leaves and buds, so that’s more than enough reason not to let them anywhere near your plants!
  • Wipe up and sterilize everything in between grows.

MAINTAIN THE IDEAL GROWING ENVIRONMENT

Two-spotted spider mites do better in some environments than others. It’s a good thing that the conditions that make your plants healthy and happy are not that attractive for spider mites. So if you’re taking care of your plant’s environment, you’re also helping to prevent marijuana bugs and mold.

  1. Always ensure optimum airflow in your grow room as spider mites thrive in stagnant air. Providing lots of circulating air will not only help prevent spider mites, fungus gnats and mold – your plants will be thankful as well!
  2. Spider mites like hot, dry weather. Prevent or slow down a spider mite infestation in your grow room by maintaining a comfortable room temperature and a moderate amount of humidity.
  3. If you have an air intake from outside, make sure you have some sort of filter to keep bugs from getting in through it.
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Keep a close watch on your plants, and react quickly at the FIRST sign of spider mites! If you’re dealing with an impossible two-spotted spider mite problem, call Ryan at Ant & Garden Organic Pest Control in Beaverton Oregon for a free consultation. Let me help you eradicate spider mites and get your cannabis grow operation back on track!

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