What is spider mite?

The spider mite (Tetranychus urticae) is a small mite that feeds on plant leaf cells. As it reproduces and multiplies, it can cause significant damage to marijuana.

In this blog we will examine the symptoms, causes, prevention and treatment of this pest in cannabis. Read on!

Symptoms of red spider mite on marijuana 

Spider mite infestation can have various symptoms on marijuana plants. Some of the most common symptoms include:

Yellow spots on leaves: Leaves infested by spider mites often develop small yellow or silver spots. These spots are the result of damage caused by mite feeding on plant cells.

Fine webs: As the infestation progresses, you may observe the appearance of fine webs on the leaves and on the plant in general. These webs are produced by spider mites to protect themselves and facilitate their movement.

Wilted and drooping leaves: Over time, spider mite infested leaves can become wilted, dry and eventually fall off the plant. This deterioration can negatively affect the healthy growth and development of marijuana.

What can cause this type of pest in cannabis?

Spider mite infestation can be related to several factors, and it reproduces very easily. Some of the most common causes of this pest in cannabis include:

  • Favorable environmental conditions: Spider mite tends to thrive in warm, dry conditions. Therefore, marijuana crops in environments with low humidity and high temperatures are more susceptible to this pest.
  • Lack of ventilation: Poor ventilation in the growing space can contribute to the problem. Lack of air circulation can create an environment conducive to spider mite development.
  • Introduction of pests: spider mites can reach marijuana plants through the introduction of infested plants, contaminated clothing or equipment, or even the presence of insect carriers.

How to prevent spider mites in marijuana?

Prevention is key when it comes to spider mites. Here are some effective strategies to prevent and control this pest:

Maintain a healthy environment: make sure your marijuana growing space has the right environmental conditions. Keep the relative humidity in an optimal range, between 40% and 60%, and the temperature around 25°C. This will hinder spider mite reproduction and survival.

Regular inspection: Perform regular inspections on your marijuana plants to detect any early signs of infestation. Look closely at the leaves and look for the symptoms mentioned above, such as yellow spots and fine webs. The earlier you detect the pest, the easier it will be to control it.

Increase ventilation: Improve air circulation in your growing space. This can be achieved by installing fans or exhaust fans. The airflow will help reduce humidity and prevent spider mites from establishing on plants.

Crop rotation: If possible, practice crop rotation. Avoid growing marijuana in the same location year after year, as this can allow pests, such as spider mites, to establish and reproduce easily. Crop rotation helps interrupt their life cycle and reduces the chances of infestation.

Control this pest in your cannabis crop!

The red spider mite pest spreads easily in marijuana crops, but fortunately there are several control methods that can help you fight it effectively. Here are some of the most commonly used methods:

Biological control: Biological control involves the use of living organisms to combat spider mite infestations. Some of the natural enemies of spider mites are:

  • Predatory mites: Introduce beneficial mites, such as Phytoseiulus persimilis, Neoseiulus californicus or Amblyseius fallacis. These mites feed on spider mites and can help keep their population under control.
  • Ladybugs: Ladybug larvae and adults are natural predators of spider mites. Attract these beneficial creatures to your crop by planting plants that provide them with food, such as marigolds or dill.
  • Parasitoid wasps: some species of parasitoid wasps, such as Eretmocerus eremicus or Phytoseiulus persimilis, lay their eggs inside spider mites, which leads to their control and population decrease.

Chemical control: If the above methods have not been sufficient to control the infestation, you can resort to chemical treatments. However, you should use these products with caution and following the manufacturer's instructions. Some options include:

  • Acaricide insecticides: there are different specific insecticides for spider mite control on the market. Be sure to choose a product suitable for marijuana cultivation and follow the instructions for use and safety.
  • Insecticidal soaps: Insecticidal soaps based on natural ingredients, such as potash soap, can be effective in controlling spider mites. Spray your plants with the soap and water mixture as directed.

In a nutshell

Spider mite is a very common pest in marijuana cultivation, but with proper preventive measures and regular monitoring, it is possible to prevent and control its infestation.

Maintain a healthy environment, regularly inspect your plants, increase ventilation, practice cleanliness and consider biological control as preferred options.

Remember that an integrated and balanced approach is key to keeping your marijuana plants free of this pest and ensuring a healthy and productive crop.

If you've noticed that your plant, the result of our varieties of Positronics Seeds, looks strange, contact us HEREwe will be happy to help you.

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