Just as you think you have fully gotten rid of all the bugs and insects in your gardens, you suddenly find another chunk off your leaves or branches! What in the world could have caused this? Well, try asking yourselves: “What do deer eat?” or “Do we have mice here?”. Yes, that’s right. Rodents and other domesticated animals do pose a significant threat to your cannabis crops.
This holds especially true for growers who have cannabis gardens located in places near forests and open fields. While many animals tend to run through your crop and destroy the plants, a great deal of others will actually eat away on the stems and buds of your marijuana!
We are going to list down the different kinds of rodents and pests that you might suspect wreak havoc to your cannabis gardens. Are they really the ones responsible for these damages? Let us find out!
One Disadvantage of Outdoor Growing!
For obvious reasons, the dangers of certain animals are much higher in an outdoor cannabis growing setup when you compare it to an indoor cannabis garden. When growing plants indoors, you can easily seal off your growing area by locking the rooms and shutting any windows that may invite the entrance of rodents. For example, it is highly unlikely to find birds snacking on your indoor plants as opposed to outdoors crops, or to find a deer roaming around inside your indoor growing area rather than out in the open fields of your garden.
While it is possible to build fences and barriers in an outdoor setup, it will require much more work and effort to keep those annoying menaces out of your gardens. Moreover, animals can casually sneak into outdoor gardens at night and wreak havoc when nobody is watching!
Securing your outdoor growing area is key, most especially since most animals can easily maze their way through your blockades. This is why you will need to know what to expect in an outdoor setup and learn the respective remedies for preventing such things from happening! It is an inherent risk of outdoor growing, but there are things you can do to reduce it!
What Do Deer Eat? Different Pests in Cannabis Gardens
Bugs and insects aren’t the only things you should watch out for! There are actually quite a number of different animals that may very well be just as annoying as infestations and mold development. Here are some of them and how they will most likely affect your gardens:
While birds are a healthy sign of life around your plants, they can be the main reasons for your headaches. A lot of different birds can affect your gardens both positively and negatively. For one, they usually prey on insects and bugs. Any infestations that you have can be lessened by the presence of birds.
However, as much as they are helpful, they can also be detrimental. The diet of these flying beasts consist not only of insects but of seeds and (sometimes) buds as well! And the speed in which they move also makes it hard to catch them.
What to do:
Aside from the fact that they can start munching on your seeds and weed buds, birds can actually be quite beneficial for your gardens. They are great agents of nutrients and their presence actually scares away a lot of other insects and bugs. But of course, there are a few ways to keep them away if you wish.
Let’s start with the classics. Birds have always been known to shy away from bright lights. As such, place a few mirrors, tin foil sheets, or reflective items onto the ground of your cannabis gardens. The reflection of light will scare away the birds. Another fun and pretty famous way of getting rid of birds is by using….a scarecrow. Not the most modern method but it is still effective.
After your cannabis seeds have begun to sprout up, you can take away these repellents as you will want the presence of birds during the later stages of your cannabis plant’s life. As for them eating away on your buds, a fishnet placed overhead in your gardens is a great effective choice.
RATS AND MICE:
These resourceful and industrious creatures are no strangers to destroying crops. In addition to weed, they rummage through virtually any open field that gives them the opportunity to do so! You see, rats and mice are scavengers and will make a meal out of anything that they can get their little paws on. This includes the cannabis plants that you are growing! Furthermore, they prove a significant threat both indoors and outdoors!
Rats and mice become quite annoying since they are great in hiding themselves. Whether it is underground or in the cracks and openings within your homes, rats and mice will find a way into your gardens.
What to do:
It is always better to prevent rats and mice rather than deal with them while they munch away on your cannabis plants. There are many store-bought, oil-based repellents that work effectively for rats and mice. Be careful and only use organic solutions! Some traditional rat killers contain very poisonous chemicals that can destroy your whole crop if left there.
Of course, you can always resort to the physical aspect of things: traps. I won’t go into detail as to how mouse traps work. But it would be quite beneficial for you to scatter some of these around the floors of your gardens. Overall, the main factor for mice and rats is maintaining an environment that does not attract them. Smell-based solutions are your safest bet.
Moles aren’t as dangerous as other animals on this list. They usually do not show any interest in eating your cannabis plants. However, they are hole diggers and they burrow their homes underneath your gardens. While moles tend to want to stay away from your gardens due to them being extremely cautious animals, there are unavoidable instances when their burrowing damages the rooting systems of your cannabis plants.
In addition to disturbing the roots and causing stress, the burrowing of the growing medium leads to it losing potency and nutrients. Of course, for the most part, moles are considered virtually harmless. They may even help loosen the growing medium before you plant your seeds.
What to do:
You honestly won’t have to do much when it comes to moles. Leaving them be is enough as they will pretty much stay away from your crops. With that being said, there are isolated cases in which they disrupt your growing medium and soil.
Make sure you use a healthy and robust mixture of soil and amendments. This helps keep the integrity of the growing medium regardless of the presence of moles.
Like moles, gophers are burrowing animals that make their way in and out of cannabis gardens underground. However, gophers are harbingers of destruction for your weed plants and pose a much higher risk of danger than moles! These pests do not avoid your cannabis crops. Instead, they will actually head towards it since they like snacking on the roots of any plant out there!
In addition to disrupting the growing medium, gophers do not shy away from eating the roots. In many instances, they may even pull down a whole cannabis plant from your gardens. This leaves gaping holes in your growing areas which further invites more pests to the party!
What to do:
These suckers are a lot worse than moles. And since they are rodents, they won’t be easy to deal with. Hiring professional services that deal with these things may seem like your safest bet. Because they will also work on preventing any subsequent visitations from gophers, these professionals may save you up some money in the long run.
Of course, you can do things by yourself as well. Applying scent-based solutions like castor and/or garlic oil fends off rodents. Additionally, traps and snares will also work but aren’t recommended for catching a lot of those bad boys.
If you are living in spacious places where trees and fields are abundant, then the presence of deer isn’t something all that surprising to you. But what do deer eat? Is the presence of deer a good thing? For your cannabis plants, it certainly isn’t. You have probably learned in school that deer are herbivores, which means that they feed on the leaves and stems of your plants. Well, cannabis comes from plants. See the connection yet?
Fortunately for you, deer don’t have the strongest jaws out there. They tend to prey more on young seedlings or cannabis plants in their vegetative stages. Keeping your plants secure during this time prevents deers from taking a quick snack on your crops. Once your plants reach their flowering periods, the branches become too hard for them. Also, the pungent aroma produced by the cannabis buds repels the deers from eating them.
What to do:
The thing with deers is that they will only pose a threat to your young and underdeveloped cannabis plants. But keeping them in check during this timeframe is important. Make sure that no deer can come close to take a chunk off your cannabis babies!
Deers aren’t as aggressive as other pests and rodents so traps are quite an overreaction. A stable fence or blockade that seals off your garden from the rest of the backyard will do! Having a worker construct one for you or making one yourself isn’t all that hard. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, too! A couple planks of wood, some nails, steel wirings, and locks can make for an efficient and effective fence.
Deers also have a very sensitive sense of smell. Opting for preventive solutions with strong-smelling scents is a safe and highly recommended solution as long as you use organic mixtures.
CATS AND DOGS:
If you think that your little fur babies and domestic pets are harmless, then think again! In fact, cats and dogs pose the biggest threat to your cannabis plants. They are much more likely to have access to your cannabis gardens since cats and dogs are kept in houses. Stray ones are no different! It is common for strays to venture into backyards at night or during the early hours of the morning. A lot of cases show that growers wake up only to find their weed plants trashed and broken.
One other very dangerous misconception is using the urine and stool of your pets as fertilizers. Don’t! Because domesticated pets are often fed processed food, their urine may contain harmful chemicals that can poison your plants. Plus, the bacteria and parasites found in their stool dirties the growing area and increases the chances of diseases and illnesses.
What to do:
The long and short solution to preventing your domesticated pets from destroying your cannabis plants is by keeping them away. It may seem like a broad and straightforward answer but since your pets are fully under your control, it is your responsibility to keep them in check.
Putting a fence and barriers around your plants for additional security works, as well. Placing locks and pet-friendly controls in your homes helps not only with domesticated animals but for stray cats and dogs as well.
SNAILS AND SLUGS:
Practically any garden that houses all kinds of plants will notice an increase in the number of snails and slugs infesting their gardens. But are these creatures really all that dangerous? What threat could these cute, slow-moving animals give, right? Wrong! Snails and slugs may seem harmless, but they are one of the main predators of cannabis plants. The leaves, branches, and stems of your weed may have some small bite marks on them. And right next to the plants is a slimy, wet trail that leads deeper into your cannabis setup. Yep, you’ve got snails and slugs.
What to do:
If you wanna fight fire with fire, increasing the amount of water puddles in your growing areas attracts frogs, toads, and other predators that eat snails and slugs.
But if you are looking at a more humane way of dealing with these, sprinkling small amounts of salt in your soil beds will slowly start killing the snails. Leaving a cup of beer out in your garden attracts the snails and slugs inside. But beer contains elements that can damage the systems of snails and slugs. Don’t be surprised to see many of their bodies scattered around your garden after you leave it overnight.
How could snails possibly harm your plants? Do gophers eat cannabis plants? What do deer eat? These questions can leave quite a few growers surprised with the answers that they bring. But learning the effects of rodents in your weed crops can definitely help you prevent them from destroying your cannabis gardens.
This guide can help you identify the different threats and pests that can haunt your plants! Maybe next time, you will think twice before leaving your cannabis plants out in the open while unprotected!