Today we are going to talk about one of the most feared pests by marijuana growers: the red spider. A tiny mite that, if it is not controlled, can damage your plant to unsuspected limits. But don’t be alarmed, read on because in this post we offer you possible solutions.
The first thing you will notice if your cannabis plant is being populated by the red spider, is the appearance of countless small dots or white spots on the leaves. If the plague has advanced a lot in its destructive work, the leaves have probably turned greyish or a sad greenish green. The next symptom that will make us suspect is that fine cobwebs will appear in the back of the leaves. We can say that colonization has been consummated and the discomfort of our plant is total, when it is completely covered by the silk threads of the red spider. It is then, when saving the plant’s life is more complicated.
Why does it attack our plants?
What is this bug and why does it attack our beloved plants? Well, Tetranychus Urticae also known as red spider is an intense red color mite of about 0.5mm that is nourished by sage and the cellular contents of leaves.
They live in colonies and produce cobwebs to shelter and protect themselves from predators. Red spider mites can appear on many types of plants in dry environments with temperatures between 21 and 27ºC. In marijuana plants the most common is that it appears in indoor crops, as well as in cultivation areas with high temperatures.
Now that we know what the red spider is and how its population can end up killing the life of our plants, we are going to look for remedies. As the saying goes: It is better to stop something bad from happening than it is to deal with it after it has happened. So, if you’ve come across this post entry and your plants have never been colonized by this ferocious plague, you’re in luck because here are a few guidelines to prevent it from appearing.
- Cleanse and disinfect your crop daily. Change your clothes when you enter the area where your plants are, because without noticing it you could introduce some plague from the outside.
- Check the appearance of the specimen with a magnifying glass.
- Apply potassium soap and neem oil to cuttings or plant leaves during the growing period. They are natural insecticides that will serve as a preventive method. Crushed and diluted garlic also serves as a preventative solution.
- Prevents the relative humidity of the growing environment from exceeding 55-60%. Red spiders adore humid environments and reproduce at full speed in them.
- Introduce predatory mites that kill red spider mites and do not attack plant matter such as Neoseiulus Californicus. Use this technique only as prevention, never when the pest is widespread, as the action of predators will be ineffective.
Solutions to kill the plague
- Clean your growing area thoroughly and frequently.
- Quarantine the infected plant(s) so that it does not infect healthy individuals.
- Remove affected leaves.
- Lower the temperature to 15 or 16 degrees to create an environment that puts the life of the red spider in serious trouble.
- Remove the mites manually and spray the leaves with cold water to make them slide to the ground.
- Use potassium soap, Neem oil and/or pyrethrum oil.
Red spider in marijuana
Do you need help?
Always remember to wash your hands and disinfect all utensils you have used to prevent the spread of the “red spider”. If you have problems with this type of plague in your crop, do not hesitate to leave a comment and, from Gea seeds, we will help you to cure and keep your crops healthy.