One of the most common pests that can affect your autoflowering cannabis plants are spider mites. These are little mites that are related to spiders with uniform bodies and extra-large appetites. These mites can bite leaves with their large and strong mouths and suck the sap out of leaves.
Spider mites can stealthily get in your indoor grow operations and ruin your crops in just a few days. These are impossible to remove; you will have a full-blown spider mite problem in no time unless something is done.
How Are Spider Mites Introduced In Your Indoor Grow Operation
Spider mites are either red, black or translucent and usually introduced to your indoor grow operation by carriers. A spider mite can transfer from one garden to another by sticking onto people’s clothes. It may also transfer from another garden if a plant from that garden is introduced to another one. A single infested plant can affect your indoor growth area.
More spider mite facts
- A single spider mite egg contains hundreds of mites which can infest your entire operation in just three days.
- When a mite hatches from an egg, it quickly lays new eggs to multiply and spread.
- A spider mite can feed and suck out the sap of all the leaves of one plant and then transfer to another nearby plant.
- If you don’t do anything, these mites will create webbing during its final stages of infestation. This webbing will completely coat leaves and buds which will make these plants unusable.
- Spider mites love warm places with low humidity.
- Spider mites can lay eggs which hatch every 3 days.
How to spot spider mites
During the first stages of infestation, spider mites look like small, white spots found on the leaves of plants. The leaf will soon turn yellow and become engulfed with a thin and delicate web. The mites usually live and eat at the bottom of the leaf because this part is softer and easier to pierce. So as soon as you notice discoloration on your leaves, check the bottom for spider mites.
How to remove spider mites
During the early stage of infestation, you can still save your crops by being very meticulous. As soon as you spot red or black tiny moving dots at the back of the leaves of your plants suspect that you have spider mite infestation. Immediately take action and check all the leaves nearby. Chances are these mites are still on just one or two plants if you monitor your crop every day and it’s not too late to do anything.
The first thing you need to do is to soak the infested plant completely in water using a strong sprayer. Spray directly on the mites found at the underside of the leaves to remove them from the plant. Constant application of water once a day or twice a day will eventually remove the mites. You must do this until your plants are all ready for harvest. And as soon as your harvest is over, destroy all remaining plants and completely clean and sanitize your grow room.
You may also use neem oil or a soap solution made from neem to remove spider mites. It is really hard to eradicate spider mites as this can’t be killed even by very strong insecticidal solutions and soaps. You must just be diligent and just spray them out of your plant until everything is over and you can have a new clean room.
Preventing spider mites infestation
- Never accept plants as a gift. If you must, place it in a “quarantine” area of your home to check it for any signs of mites and other diseases.
- Prefer to grow autoflowering plants because these grow from seeds and are unlikely to carry any mites.
- Protect your crops and the entire grow room by wearing a lab coat or gown. This will help prevent any mites, insects and other dangers from entering your grow room uninvited.
Spider mites are hard to eradicate especially if it has completely affected your entire crop area. The only way to avoid spider mite problems is by prevention and to treat your plants with tender loving care.