Macro view of thrips

What to do About Thrips in Cannabis

What are Thrips?

Thrips are small and slender insects that are pale and wormy looking in infancy and become darker with fringed wings as adults. These pests feed on the extracts of cannabis leaves by poking a hole through the leaves with their mouths, leaving bronze or white spots where they bite.

Removing these Insects

There are a lot of methods that you can employ in order to prevent these pests from infesting and damaging your cannabis plants. These include the following;

  • Insecticidal Soap

Also called fatty acid salts, this treatment is used weaken the outer shell covering of the thrips. These products are safe and do not leave much residue. Since the soap washes off easily, it is best to apply this product regularly to boost its function.

  • Pyrethrins

These insecticides are commonly used in vegetable gardens. These compounds are not toxic to humans and considered safe for cannabis plants. However, if you are an outdoor grower, it is important to note that this insecticide is considered harmful to bees. To avoid harming bees, only spray in the late evening, night, or early morning. Do not apply when temperatures are forecast to be below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 degrees Celsius) as the residual effects are twice as hazardous to bees during these conditions.

  • Spinosad Products

These are organic based pesticides which means that they will not harm pets, insects, or humans. You can spray these pesticides on the leaves, roots, or even directly on the thrips.

This organic pesticide is made naturally from the fermentation of soil bacteria. Upon ingestion by the thrips, it will infect their nervous system causing paralysis and death. To use, mix the solution with water and let sit for 24 hours before using it on the plants.

  • Neem Oil

This is a plant-based insecticide that is famous for repelling and killing insects. However, for cannabis plants, avoid spraying this oil on the cannabis buds. This oil excretes an unpleasant smell that could affect the potency of your buds.

  • Predators

Lastly, some gardeners culture insects such as wasps and predatory mites to drive away thrips. However, this last method is not recommended, as it can overpopulate your cannabis garden and become harmful to the plants.

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