You might have noticed lately that some cannabis plant leaves are turning yellow and wilting. That’s one of the signs of a spider mite feeding ground. Those little buggers are spinning webs under the leaves and on the entire plant to get around easier. They’re not actual spiders, though, but they have some things in common with them. Like many legs, for instance. Many legs and many eyes. Other than that, they’re very tiny, just like your average mites.
These herbivorous bastards will act like termites when they see cannabis plants. It’s not that they’re crazy about this plant but that they’ll eat anything with chlorophyll in it. You can find them on trees and green plants, eating their fill day in and day out. After they grow to maturity, they form a colony, and they like to live under the leaves, weaving webs all day long. The fan-like leaves of cannabis are among their favorites for building nests.
While one mite might not harm your plant at all, add a few hundred more mites, and you have a real problem. By sucking out the chlorophyll, the plant can’t photosynthesize anymore. It won’t create as much energy either. Slowly but surely, the plant will die out, wilted and deathly-yellow.
How do I know I’m dealing with spider mites?
While spider mites are not the only herbivorous predators lurking around your garden, they leave behind clear signs of their passage, such as:
- Yellow or white spots on the plant
- Wilted leaves
- Wilted plant
- Slower plant growth rate
- Discoloration of the plant membrane and tissue
- Web threads under the leaves
- Red, orange, or yellow multi-legged spots that move around – those are the spider mites. They have two body parts and eight legs.
The spider mites are usually hard to spot, given their tiny size. However, when coupled with the other alarm signs, you can be pretty sure you have a spider mite infestation in your garden.
Best ways to deal with spider mites
Now that you’re aware of the spider mites, you can start taking care of the problem. We recommend the following methods:
- Companion plants – dill, potatoes, anise, and carraway will keep spider mites at a distance. Various plants have various benefits for your garden, and one of them is repelling pests of all kinds.
- Neem oil – Neem oil is the organic pest-repellant substance that will help you eliminate spider mites for good. Just dilute a teaspoon of neem oil in a liter of water, put it in a spray bottle with a few drops of surfactant, and have a go at the spider mites! We recommend spraying the leaves’ undersides, then spraying the spider mite webs as you see them.
- Super insects – Not all insects are bad for your garden. Some of them are entirely beneficial in that they hunt local pests like spider mites. Among these wondrous insects, we have the neoseiulus californicus, the typhlodromus pyri, and the all-loved ladybug.
There you have it, three efficient methods to kill spider mites, eliminate their webs, and save your cannabis plantation.
Are ladybugs so good against spider mites?
That’s right, your average ladybug is extremely interested in spider mites, and it’s not to make friends. Ladybugs are, in fact, carnivorous. You won’t find them eating plants unless it’s some weird ladybug strain that we don’t know of. In fact, a ladybug can eat about 100 spider mites in a single day.
Don’t let the bright colors fool you! These reddish death queens are one of nature’s finest predators when it comes to spider mites. They can smell them from a mile away, and boy, do they enjoy eating them! You may want to create a so-called “ladybug hotel” in your garden, which is a simple shelter made from hay, pine cones, ropes, straw, crate material, and anything else you can find.
This way, you can always release your army of ladybugs to exterminate any menacing insects threatening your cannabis plants. Ideally, though, you should release your ladybugs in the morning or the evening. They don’t like the heat too much, and they’re likely to seek shelter if you take them out in midday. Be sure to have many ladybugs working together so they can clear out the spider mites quickly!
Suddenly, the spider mite infestation isn’t so much of a problem now that you have ladybugs helping you out, right?