Pests are one of the main headaches for cannabis growers. exist multitude of pests that can affect our plants, so below we will describe the more common as well as different forms of treatment.
To prevent the plants from being affected by any of these pests it is important, first of all, the prevention. If we have not managed to avoid the attack of any of these insects or mites, we must identify which one is affecting us to control and eliminate it. Quick action is very important to avoid the consequences that in certain cases may be irreversible.
The most common marijuana diseases and pests that can affect cannabis are insects and mites, fungi, and viruses.
Most common insects and mites in marijuana pests:
It’s a polyphagous aleurodid insect, of which the species called Bemisia Tabaci and Trialeurodes vaporariorum are mainly known. The whitefly is a small 2mm insect approximately yellowish-white in color.
Grows and reproduces very quickly. They are usually found on the underside of the leaf, which is the place where the larvae lay their eggs and live.
I know they feed on the plant sucking the sap from the leaves, they can carry viruses and their excrement can also cause the fungus of soot or bold.
The direct damages they cause are derived from the suction of the sap that causes the weakening of the plant and spots on the leaves (chlorosis).
In addition, the whitefly can transmit different viruses and the molasses of its excrement facilitates the appearance of the bold fungus.
Treatment against White fly:
- Prevention: You can prevent the appearance of this pest by using potassium soap or Neem oil or by growing other plants that repel this insect such as basil or calendula.
- Biological fight: biological control consists of the introduction into our crop of insects and predatory parasites of the plague that we want to combat. Whitefly predators are the Encarsia formosa, Eretmocerus californicus, Macrolophus caliginosus or the Paecilomyces fumosoroseus fungus.
- To place adhesive bands yellow
- Treatment with organic products such as rotenone or pyrethrins, and failing that, chemical products can be used, although this option is the least recommended and should be used as a last resort and only when the other options have not worked.
The spider mite, known by the scientific names Tetranychus urticae and Tetranychus cinnabarinus, is actually a mite that has become one of the most common pests in indoor crops and if it is not treated in time, it may have devastating consequences, even lead the plant to death.
I know plays fast in places with high temperatures, low humidity and poor ventilation.
The spider mite is feeds on the sap of the plant and lodges on the underside of the leaves. The first damages of this plague are manifested with the appearance of yellow spots on leaves, later the leaves turn yellow and dry, in the most serious cases, their cobwebs are around the buds. This plague causes the general weakening of the plant and it can lead to their death.
Red spider It’s very tough since it reproduces very easily, which is why it is considered one of the worst pests that exist.
Treatment against Red spider:
- Prevention: maintaining high humidity during the vegetative period, the temperature below 26ºC and avoiding fertilizers with a very high nitrogen content help to avoid this pest.
- Biological Fight: its natural enemies are the phytoseiulus persimilis, neoseiulus californicus or the Typhlodromus phialatus, among others.
- They can also use miticidal products taking into account that these products act against the plague that we want to eliminate as well as against the rest of mites.
3. The Trips
The Trip, specifically the Frankliniella occidentalis species, is an insect that constitutes one of the most common pests of cannabis. The real problem caused by this pest derives from indirect damage caused by acting as a vector and transmitting diseases to the plant.
The trip is a small winged insect that is feeds on the sap of the plant. It is lodged on the underside of the leaves and inside the buds and the warm temperatures favor its appearance.
The direct damage caused by thrips is due to the fact that they suck the leaves to feed on the sap. The symptoms they cause are white spots and silver on the leaves and even these can become deformed by its attacks. What’s more can cause serious damage by acting as vectors transmitting viruses.
This pest mainly affects indoor crops.
Treatment for The Trips:
- Cultural control: Placing blue adhesive traps will allow us to easily detect the presence of thrips in our culture.
- Biological fight: There are various predators of thrips that we can use to eliminate them, such as Amblyseius barkeri, Amblyseius cucumeris or Amblyseius degeneraus.
- Phytosanitary: You can use products such as Neem oil that acts as a preventive and at the same time acts against this pest.
4. The Aphid
The aphid is a aphid with a size between 1-10mm which can be of different colors (black, green or yellow). It lodges on the underside of the leaves and on the stem of the plant. I know feed on the sap which causes defoliation and yellowing of the leaves.
In addition, the aphid can act as a vector transmitting viruses to plants and facilitates the appearance of fungi.
Al reproduce quickly they can invade the plant in a very short period of time.
Treatment against The aphid:
- Biological fight: aphid predators are Coccinella septempunctata, Aphidoletes aphidimyza, Aphidius ervi, Aphidius colemani or Chrysoperla carnea, among others.These insects can kill the entire aphid population.
5. Leaf miner
This little insect with the scientific name of Phyllocnistis citrella lives inside the leaves where it builds galleries which causes the destruction of the sheet.
The eggs are deposited inside the leaves young and later the larvae are the ones that cause the damage.
Treatment for Leaf miner:
- Prevention: Its appearance can be prevented with the use of Neem oil.
- Biological fight: the natural predators of the leaf miner are insects of the families Eulophidae, Braconidae, Encyrtidae and Elasmidae.
6. Ground fly
The soil fly or Sciaridae is a small dipteran insect that is usually lodged in the substrate in indoor crops.
It’s a little black fly whose larvae feed on root hairs severely affecting the root system of the plants.
Their presence can be easily detected if small flies fly out of the substrate when moving the pots.
I know reproduce quickly in humid and dark environments and in addition to affecting the root system, they facilitate the appearance of fungi such as Fusarium or Botrytis.
Treatment for Ground fly:
- Prevention: Using Neem oil will prevent the appearance of this pest on the plant.
- Biological fight: predators that feed on the ground fly are the Atheta Coriaria, Hypoaspis miles or Steinernema feltiae, among others.
7. The Caterpillars
Caterpillars, belonging to the Lepidopteran family, are a voracious pest that affects outdoor crops.
Butterflies and moths lay their eggs on plants and larvae, subsequently, they feed on the leaves and the buds devouring them and causing direct damage to plants.
They have a predilection for plants during flowering so their attacks favor the appearance of mold and rot.
Treatment against The Caterpillars:
- Biological fight: the natural predators of the caterpillar that we can use to combat this pest are Coccinella septempunctata or Orius spp., other parasites and pathogens can also be used to combat it.
- Biological products: One of the most effective products to control this pest is Baccilus thuringiensis, a bacterium that is marketed as a biological insecticide.
- They can also be used chemical products but always as a last alternative