Indoor and outdoor cannabis cultivation is vulnerable to a variety of pests. Growers are encouraged to monitor their crops and take action when early signs of infestations appear.
One way to reduce your risk of pest problems is to use beneficial insects. These natural 24-hour predators can help keep your crop free of disease and pests.
Many cannabis growers use a mix of predatory mites to combat pests throughout the growing season. This is a relatively inexpensive approach that can prevent pests getting anywhere near problematic levels and help to keep harvest quality high.
There are several types of predatory mites, including Phytoseiulus persimilis, Amblyseius californicus and Amblyseius swirskii. These insects are effective at controlling two-spotted spider mites and may even eradicate a population of these pests on a cannabis crop.
Predatory mites are tiny creatures that can be difficult to spot with the naked eye, so it is important to check your plants for signs of pest infestation as soon as possible. Place a few of these predatory mites on the affected areas, and wait for them to degrade the population of spider mites.
Lacewing larvae can be a valuable control option for growers who are struggling with soft-bodied pests such as thrips, whitefly and fungus gnats. Lacewings are a delicate flying insect with transparent and lace-like wings, and they are able to eat 100 to 200 pest eggs while still in the larval stage.
One popular method of using predatory mites is to release them through small flasks or bottles. They are usually packaged in a water-resistant paper, with an exit hole that is protected so the predators cannot be sprayed by overhead mist or water. The flask or bottle should be placed in the greenhouse, propagation room or outdoors and left in a high-humidity environment (60 to 80% RH) for about an hour before being released.
Rove beetles, also known as fungus gnats eaters, are small pest predators that feast on a wide variety of field and greenhouse insects. These insects include fungus gnats, mosquitoes and flies.
They are an effective and easy-to-use insect control solution for weed growers who are looking for natural pest control methods. Their short life cycle means that you will need to reapply them regularly to keep your crops healthy and vibrant.
The main symptom of a rove beetle infestation is long brown lines that extend down the leaves, indicating that the larvae are digging tunnels under them and eating the tissues. The resulting damage to the plant can lead to stunted growth and discolored buds.
These insects are often used as a control method for other types of garden pests like thrips and whiteflies, but they can be especially beneficial to growers who have problems with bud rot. They can help prevent bud rot by feeding on aphids and other similar pests.
Another effective insect control method is the use of green lacewing larvae. These larvae can be purchased in bottle form and are applied directly to affected plants for a quick and effective pest control.
These larvae are incredibly small and look a lot like aphids, but they eat them rather than the plant tissues. The lacewings are also extremely effective in controlling other pests like snails and slugs, reducing their ability to invade and eat your plants.
Green lacewing larvae
Growers have the option of releasing green lacewing larvae on cannabis plants to control pests. These beneficial insects can reduce aphid populations and are highly effective against other soft-bodied insects such as mites, thrips, whiteflies, and leafhoppers.
Adult green lacewings hibernate over the winter and lay their eggs in late spring and early summer. Larvae feed on aphids, worms, fungus gnats, chinch bugs, and other soft-bodied insects. They can also eat and parasitize whiteflies, spider mites, and leafhopper nymphs.
Lacewings are a valuable pest management tool because they can consume over 200 fronting pests or eggs per week. This is more than enough to help control pests.
In order to maximize the benefits of green lacewing larvae, growers should provide them with plenty of food sources such as nectar, pollen, and honeydew. This will encourage these insects to remain in the release area and reproduce.
ARBICO recommends using Good Bug Power Meal, a supplemental molasses-based food source that provides these beneficial insects with the nutrients they need to survive and reproduce. The molasses-based meal also acts as a nutrient-rich barrier for the insect to protect it from predators such as wasps.
Predatory mites are a common garden pest that can cause damage to cannabis plants, especially those growing indoors. Using slow-release sachets or starting them in propagation can help keep mites at bay.
Ladybugs are one of the most effective beneficial insects to use to control pests in cannabis cultivation. They are a natural, organic way to combat aphids and spider mites.
These insects are attracted to the smell of aphids and the damage they cause on plants. As a result, they’re extremely active and can consume up to 100 mites in a single day!
To encourage ladybugs to settle in on your cannabis plant, try incorporating a layer of moisture in the soil. This will make it easier for them to find a suitable home, and they will be more likely to stick around.
You can also attract ladybugs naturally by introducing companion plants to your grow room. These can help confuse and repel predators from attacking your plant in the first place, or they can provide a source of food for beneficial insects.
During their larval stage, ladybugs become brightly colored to draw attention away from predators. Their markings tell predators that they’re unappetizing and can release an oily, foul-smelling fluid when threatened. They also may play dead. As a result, they can deter predators, including birds and other small animals. Despite the fact that they’re considered pests by some, ladybugs are still an important part of a healthy ecosystem.
Assassin bugs are a type of insect predator that can help you control pests in cannabis cultivation. They have a wide variety of predatory behaviors, including attacking insects and nematodes that can damage plant roots.
Generally, these insects are not aggressive towards humans; however, some may bite if they feel threatened. If you are bitten, it is recommended to wash the area and apply antiseptic as needed. If symptoms persist or you experience anaphylactic reactions, call a physician.
Some types of assassin bugs, such as the black corsair (Melanolestes picipes) and masked hunter (Reduvius personatus), can inflict venomous bites on humans. These bites are immediately painful and can cause localized swelling or hives.
Most species of assassin bugs breed in autumn, depositing clumps of eggs under leaves or on stems and in crevices around plants. Eggs hatch into wingless nymphs the following spring, then grow and become adults by summer.
Many assassin bugs are recognizable by their brightly colored bodies, sometimes in shades of red, orange and green. They are also known for their curved proboscis that can be used to quickly capture and digest prey.
In addition to their venomous bites, assassin bugs are also capable of transmitting Chagas disease, a potentially fatal illness that can lead to fever, fatigue, headaches and body aches. This condition can occur when feces are suckd onto your skin or when an assassin bug bites you and transfers the parasite into your bloodstream.
If you’re an indoor or outdoor grower, you may be looking for ways to keep your plants free of pests. The good news is that there are certain beneficial insects you can use to control a number of different pest populations in your cannabis garden.
Predator mites, Rove Beetles and green lacewing larvae can all be used to eradicate a range of pests from your cannabis plantation. You can buy these predator insects online or from a local garden store and then simply place them on the affected areas of your plant.
Depending on your environment you can also use companion plants to attract these predator insects. Dill, borage, dandelion, thyme and nasturtium all have a strong ability to attract these particular species of beneficial insect.
Nematodes are a key part of healthy soil life. They’re microscopic wormlike organisms that live in water films and pore spaces that surround a wide range of soil elements, including plant roots and other organic matter.
When nematodes feed on the roots of plants, they cause a number of problems. They reduce the plant’s ability to take up nutrients and moisture, and they can also transmit viruses that cause disease.
While there are many different types of nematodes, one type in particular that is worth keeping an eye on is the root-knot nematode. These worms are very destructive to the roots of cannabis and can even kill plants completely. The best way to deal with this type of nematode is to maintain a healthy soil and ensure that you are watering your plants regularly.