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Grow Q&A: Insect Invasion

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From Weedless:
I have a problem with thrips and I don’t know what to do. Nothing I do seems to work. I’ve tried spraying with pesticides and they come back. I’ve tried insect bombs and they still come back. What can I do to rid myself of these crazy critters? – Weedless in Wyoming

Dear Weedless,
Thrips, the tiny cigar-shaped insect species from the order Thysanoptera, are a plague on cannabis plants second only to spider mites. They pierce the cell walls of leaves and drain them of their essential fluids needed to maintain healthy growth. They leave behind a shiny trail on leaf tops as if they were tiny slugs. In addition to sucking out the valuable juices inside the plant, they also carry and transmit diseases known as Tospoviruses that cause necrotic spots and can eventually destroy a whole garden.

Thrips are very difficult to completely eradicate but it isn’t that hard to control their populations and keep them at a minimal level of damage.
There are predators you can use that work for thrips but I’d like to share a personal recipe. Put three drops of Einstein Oil into a quart of warm water plus two drops of dish soap. Shake it up and spray all over the leaves, top and bottom. Also be sure to dip a cotton swab into this formula and use it to get between leaf ribs and hard-to-reach spots where mature thrips will run to and hide such as where leaves meet the stem.

It wont kill right away, rather it makes the adults infertile and interrupts the breeding cycle. Spray this solution once a week to keep populations in check. Be patient and you won’t be Weedless much longer.

 

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