During the last few weeks I’ve been getting quite a few letters about pests. As outdoor season for most latitudes are just beginning, it’s more important than ever to be on top of bug control. A few pesky bugs can easily (and quickly!) turn into an unwanted swarm that devours your plants.
Here is Europe one of the worst pests are spider mites. These tiny spiders love to eat cannabis leaves and spin webs all over your buds. The mites work fast, which is why it’s important to identify them quickly and prevent them from spreading. One of the best pest control products available for these is a natural remedy called neem oil. This oil is vegetable-based, made from the fruit and seeds of the neem tree. It has a very intense smell and is widely used in organic farming as it’s great pest control for anything from spider mites to aphids to cabbage worms. It doesn’t effect some predator mites like lady bugs, so it’s perfect for organic buds.
When spraying, make sure to really soak the underside of the leaves as well as the top layer of the soil. Spider mites tend to live on the under side and lay their eggs there. It’s best to spray at night and let the leaves dry before exposing them to light, otherwise you run the risk of burning. Because neem is an oil, it’s best to first pour a little bit into a small amount of lukewarm water, then to combine it with some dishwasher soap (10 ml of oil and 5ml of soap per 1 liter of water).
Lady bugs can also be an excellent first line of defense when it comes to protecting your crop from encroaching insects. Spider mite-specific predator mites can be hugely effective: species like phytoseiulus persimilis work best in mild-to-low humidity situations. As for homemade pest control, a mixture of garlic, peppermint, onion and dishwasher soap make an effective spider mite killer. The dishwasher soap is a great wetting agent, meaning it helps spread the solution evenly across the leaves.
Hope this helps you get out of a tricky situation.
Keep on growing!