Spider mites are one of the most dreaded pests among cannabis growers worldwide.
They often go unnoticed until it’s too late and your entire crop is irreparably damaged, which means that many growers choose to use pesticides or harsh chemicals to get rid of them—but these methods aren’t good for your plants!
This guide will help you eradicate how to get rid of spider mites during flowering without chemicals and avoid them in the future so you can take care of your plants safely and effectively.
What is a Spider Mite?
A Spider Mite is a tiny, eight-legged arachnid that feeds on the fluids from a plants’s leaves and stems. Spider Mites are attracted to stressed plants which makes it difficult for infected plants with varying levels of stress to recover.
In most cases, this feeder does not cause major damage, but if left untreated can kill a plant in as little as ten days.
The feeding process causes defoliation and creates dusty spots or streaks on the affected leaves (the dust will vary depending on whether you have oil-based or water-based pest control).
In addition, the presence of large amounts of yellow or bronze coloration around your leaf edges is an indication that the Spider Mite population has reached the stage where intervention is necessary.
How To Identify Spider Mite Damage
Spider mites typically start off small and yellow before they can be seen with the naked eye. Spider mite damage can range from small yellow spots on leaves, stems, or flowers all the way up to large, blotchy patches.
Spider mite eggs are often laid underneath a leaf’s surface near the base of a plant and may not be visible from above ground level. They then hatch into tiny creatures that go out in search for a host plant–like your cannabis plants! If unchecked, these little guys will lay more eggs and feed voraciously until there is no leaf left for them to eat!
Spider Mites only need about 20 minutes between feeding sessions in order to grow their numbers exponentially.
How Do You Get Rid Of Spider Mites Completely?
Spider mites are very tiny and can be hard to see if they have made themselves comfortable. One thing you can do is make sure there are no leaves touching the ground, as this is a prime location for them to thrive.
Thoroughly inspect plants during wet weather, as these are typically when spider mites like to move around on the foliage. Althouh Spider mites, along with other pests, can really make a mess out of your garden and flowers.
The best way to get rid of them is to spray down plants with an insecticide such as soapy water that has been diluted with water or apply a plant-safe soap such as neem oil or insecticidal soap. You will want to follow the instructions on the label carefully, as too much soap can harm your plants.
If you don’t have any insecticidal soap around, use dish detergent instead. It won’t be as effective but it will do the job. You’ll need about two tablespoons for every gallon of water that you are using in your sprayer or watering can.
Remember not to over-water plants after spraying this product! Just give them enough so they don’t dry out. Be sure to shake up your solution before applying it so that all the soap has dissolved into the water.
When reapplying these products, wait until at least three days after first application before doing so again because they take time to work their magic.
Make sure you read and understand the directions before using any pesticide. Not only could you damage your plants, but it may also be illegal to apply pesticides without following the rules.
Make sure there are no children or pets nearby when spraying any type of pesticide in order to keep everyone safe or you can follow the method mentioned below
You may also like – How high can foxes jump
Pruning And Hand Picking
There are a few different methods you can use to try and clear your plants of these pesky critters. You can prune away the affected leaves, rub them off with your hands, or hit them off with a wet towel.
Each has its benefits and drawbacks, so make sure you know what you’re trying to accomplish before you start trying out new techniques. If your intent is just to remove the spiders and not save any infected leaves, then pruning is a great option. It’s very easy on the plant because it doesn’t involve taking off anything vital, so the plant will grow back fairly quickly.
Additionally, it may actually take care of the problem before there’s too much damage done! Picking spiders by hand is good if you’re after aesthetic as well as practical matters.
Spider mites prefer warm environments, so your goal should be getting the temperature below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Lowering the air temperature with a cold blast will not kill them, but it will give them enough discomfort that they are less likely to continue feeding on your plants.
You can also turn off all lights for 12 hours per day for about three days which should drop the temperature down to 60-65 degrees without harming your plants.
The most effective method is using cold water from a hose or from an outside source, running through ducts and spraying all leaves and buds (including the underside) once per day for at least two weeks straight.
If you don’t want to go through this process every day you can soak the plant in water for 20 minutes per day for two weeks straight.
Running an air conditioner at max cool can lower the ambient temperature by about 20 degrees, which is better than using a space heater or hot blast.
If you have central heating and running that all day long would be costly and ineffectual, then either set up a timer for cooler hours or use a floor cooler under plants (think of it as your own mini-greenhouse) every few hours when needed.
How To Get Rid of Spider Mites During Flowering?
Spider mites are sometimes difficult to see with the naked eye. The best way to check for them is by inspecting new clones or plants for signs of webbing and then watching for the appearance of webs on leaves and buds, along with feeding signs such as yellowing and dropping leaves.
Once you find a colony, it’s time to take action! To eliminate this pesky pest from your garden you’ll need: white latex paint; a mini-fan; paper towels; dust mask and gloves.
Step 1) Paint a thin layer of white latex paint over any plant surfaces where you suspect there may be spider mites.
Step 2) Use a fan to dry the paint, which will kill any spiders that come in contact with it.
Step 3) Put on a dust mask and gloves and remove all infested leaves while they’re still wet (usually done after step 2). Be sure not to crush or rub the leaves together so you don’t release more eggs onto other parts of the plant. Repeat steps 1-3 until all symptoms have disappeared.
And remember, if spider mites ever do return to your garden, always inspect new clippings for signs of webs before introducing them into your grow space.If you detect any evidence of an infestation, follow these steps to completely wipe out their colonies and stop them from spreading.
Finally, repeat these steps until you’ve eliminated every last symptom of an infestation—and remember to never introduce new plants without checking for webs first!
At the same time, it’s best if you apply diatomaceous earth around the perimeter as this will discourage the pests from entering and provide natural bug-repellent protection.
If you want to take a more proactive approach and make sure that everything is being done possible to keep them out, consider using barrier sprays like Temprid SC.
If there are a lot of webs present then white vinegar is an effective solution because it effectively disrupts their reproductive cycle by killing off all life stages.
How To Get Rid Of Spider Mites Using Beneficial Insects?
To get rid of these pesky creatures we’ve compiled some helpful tips on how you can use beneficial insects in your garden.
1) Most importantly: do not water or mist your plants with tap water! Tap water contains chlorine, fluoride and other substances that will harm any good bug. Instead, fill up a watering can with either boiled or bottled water to kill off any harmful bacteria before using it on your plants.
2) You can also introduce natural predators such as ladybugs into your garden so they will eat the spiders mites off of your plants naturally.
A lot of people might have an aversion to these bugs but they actually serve as an important part of our ecosystem! Just make sure not to introduce too many different types of bugs at once or else they might eat each other instead.
These beneficial insects are usually introduced into gardens by letting them lay eggs onto plants that already have spider mites.
3) Another great way to get rid of these pests is by introducing wasps called syrphid flies because they prey on the eggs left behind by spider mites.
It’s best to release one fly every day for about three weeks because if there aren’t enough food sources for the flies, then they will leave your garden and go elsewhere looking for food.
There are many types of solutions that can be used, depending on the severity. You will want to check on your plants regularly so that they don’t reach the critical stage where it’s too late.
When you first find them, you may choose to spray with an organic insecticide like neem oil or canola oil in dish soap and water solution.
You may also choose to use insecticidal soap mixed with water, which doesn’t kill the insects but does limit their mobility by coating their bodies and causing them to drown.
If your infestation is serious and beyond your ability, speak with a professional about more heavy-duty methods for removal.
Meet Tomas Clayton, a seasoned plant gardener who has been passionate about horticulture since he was a child. Tomas John developed a love for the natural world and a strong appreciation for the beauty of plants while growing up on a farm.