Grow Q&A: Ladybugs Vs. Spider Mites

Dear Dan, I’m reaching out with hopes to save my girls from spider mites. I used an organic soap during vegetative growth when I noticed little webs. It cleared up for a while and now I’m in week 7 and I’m starting to see little bitty webs on some of the buds. I ordered ladybugs today and would appreciate your advice on what to do. I don’t want to pull any of my ladies prematurely. Please help this loyal fan. – Al Green

Dear Al,

I never tire of answering this question because I know the “mite-mare” you’ve been having personally. Spider mites are the single-most dreaded plague as well as the most common. For some reason, they seem to love to suck the juice out of cannabis leaves. The tell-tale sign of mites, little yellow or white dots on the surface of the leaves, cause quite a panic among seasoned growers. That’s because mites spread so quickly and are so difficult to truly be rid of. Inaction for just a few days will lead to webbing and a full infestation.

You are wise to release ladybugs, but keep in mind they will feast for a while and then try to migrate away before finishing the job. An  organic soap is a perfect compliment and neem oil helps as well. Pull off any webs and be sure to hit the undersides of the leaves with your spray. Eternal vigilance is the only way to be sure you are rid of these pests, so you need to constantly check the undersides of your leaves in order to avoid another infestation.

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  1. Hey man, had this problem before,look into getting a ULV fogger for spreading your neem oil or your soapy water. They do a lot better job of dispensing the stuff and take about 1/10th the time per application. Also a great way to foliar feed.

  2. I just had a nightmare infestation that exploded exponentially when it turned warm during the spring. I bought 4,000 phytoseiulus persimilis and about 100 stethorus punctillum. Then I reordered them weekly for 12 weeks and voila! Mites are gone.

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