In a previous article we saw how the red spider mite and other mites can affect our marijuana plant. In this week’s post, we would like to take a closer look at microscopic mites (Phytonemus Pallidus or Steneotarsonemus Pallidus) or the Grape leaf rust mite (Calepitrimerus vitis)-which above all affect wine harvests – since they are one of the most complicated plagues that can be found.
These mites above all proliferate en hotter months, so we would like to help you with some preventative measures and different solutions in order to get rid of them.
To begin, here are some basic differences based on which mite you’re dealing with:
- The red spider mite is like the bigger sister of the mite family. We can detect it with a pocket microscope, as the mites can measure around 1mm.
- On the other hand, microscopic mites are almost invisible, and can measure around 0.2mm which puts our plant in danger, since if we don’t realize quickly, in a few days they can multiply and reproduce at a precipitous speed, turning into a truly damaging plague for our marijuana plant.
Photograph from Cannabis Magazine
Clean and disinfected crop
Before starting any crop, we advise you to deep clean and disinfect your grow area in order to avoid leaving behind eggs of any kind.
Soil should also be clean. Eggs can live through the winter in soil until they hatch. Thus, if the plant has been infected during the season by any type of mite, it would not be advisable to reuse the same soil for a new plant since surely there will be multiple eggs that you aren’t able to see, and which are preserved until the following season.
How do I know if I have microscopic mites or Grape leaf rust mites?
Visible effects of microscopic mites on our cannabis plant
As we told you in the last article about the red spider mite and other mites, the symptoms that we can detect if we have microscopic mites are similar and we should pay attention since this is the only way that we can detect if we are suffering from a plague of microscopic mites in our marijuana plant.
- Deformed leaves
- Whitish marks
- Oxidation of the flowers and brown pistils
- Plant stops growing
How to get rid of a plague in a biological way
In order to eliminate a microscopic mite plague, you can follow one of the formulas that we explain here:
- Mixture of Potassium soap + Horticulture oil
The first logical option that we can consider in order to solve the plague, is the biological and more natural option that we have within our reach in order to avoid being aggressive with the plan, and with ourselves. This mixture works as a natural insecticide that we should use by spraying and fumigating the whole plant. The majority of insects and, therefore mites, tend to concentrate themselves on the underside of the leaves, so we should especially fumigate these areas. You can also combine a mixture of potassium soap with pyrethrins.
- Neem oil
This is a very easy product to use which you can find in any grow shop. You mix it according to the instructions and then you put it in your sprayer. If you have an abundant plague in your marijuana plant you can also fumigate with Neem oil each day but you should try to compensate for it by caring for your plant with other types of nutrients to avoid damaging it too much. Avoid spraying the buds since Neem has a strong smell and flavor. It’s not a good idea to wait until the plague is bad, since this oil tends to be applied to marijuana crops as a preventative measure.
- Organic insecticide
You can ask in your trusted grow show and they will help you will the different types and brands. Some need to be applied each day, and others every 8 hours, etc. So, you can ask about which option would be best for you depending on how much time you have to dedicate to the situation.
- Natural predators
The most common is Amblyseius (californicus; A. stipulatus). You can find other types such as: Typhlodromus (pyri, T. phialatus), Phytoseiulus (persimilis), Euseiulus (scutalis), Kampimodromus (aberrans), etc.
Recommendations to keep in mind
- Use a mask and gloves. Even if it is with a biological treatment and cure, it’s never a bad idea to protect your skin and avoid inhaling the components.
- Chlorine free water in order to prepare the mixture. This way, we can be more sure that the chlorine doesn’t interfere with the other components and that the mixture works well.
How to eliminate the plague using chemicals
If the first option doesn’t work for us, we can also use plant protection products or chemical insecticides with components designed to eradicate these types of plagues. Here are some highlights:
- Abamectin. This is a frequently used mite killer to eradicate mite plagues. It is concentrated and very effective. After ingesting this component, the mite becomes paralyzed. It can’t feed itself nor lay eggs and its whole nervous system is affected. They die in a short period of time. It doesn’t work on the egg and so we shouldn’t let our guard down, and continue fumigating in order to exterminate eggs that have hatched.
- Mite killers, ovicides. There are various types of mite killer and ovicides with pyrethroids, fernasol, etc. that your grow shop can recommend for you according the conditions of your plague.
Photograph from agriculturers
Recommendations to keep in mind:
- Use a mask and gloves according to the instructions on the product. Put gloves on from the first moment in which you are preparing the mixture, and while fumigating, use a mask.
- Chlorine free water as we had said before, the water that we use is chlorine free in order to not interfere with the mixture and make sure that it works correctly.
- DON’T fumigate during the flowering phase. This type of product can be used in the growing phase and at the latest in the first week of flowing, but never when the flowers are already growing and maturing since after that we risk leaving behind chemical traces in our cannabis plants.
Sometimes it’s difficult to detect which kind of mite is attacking your plant. For that reason, we recommend that you also consult our previous article about the red spider mite and other mites in order to have more information, and to have more options within your reach in order to be able to better eliminate the plague from your crop.