ORGANIC PEST CONTROL FOR BROAD MITES IN PORTLAND CANNABIS GROWS
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ORGANIC PEST CONTROL FOR BROAD MITES
While maintaining a sanitary grow space is key to keeping broad mites away from your cannabis plants, there’s always a chance you’ll run into an infestation during your grow cycles. Organic pest control methods against broad mites are your best options, considering that pest control and eradication procedures on cannabis are usually governed by safe standards and practices.
An organic pest control approach usually targets the disruption of the breeding and life cycle of broad mites. The most important thing to keep in mind is that organic pest control for cannabis differs across the various stages of cannabis plant life cycle. That means pest control during vegetative growth is entirely different from pest control during the flowering stage.
ORGANIC SPRAY TREATMENT FOR BROAD MITES IN CANNABIS
If you run into a broad mite infestation during the vegetative growth stage of cannabis, I personally recommend using an organic treatment spray every 4 days to get the best results. My top pick is AzaMax—I use it all the time to control and eradicate broad mites on cannabis during their growth stage. Work with a mix of 1 ounce Azamax per gallon of water and use this minimum ratio all throughout treatment.
After 4 spray treatments with Azamax (every 16 days), I also add on an organic pesticide spray like Pyrethrum. I love pyrethrum because it mixes well with oils but mites are quick to build up a resistance so use no more than once every 4 sprays. Others you may use include Ecovia,Trifecta Crop Control, IC3 and Organocide (all at a .5 ounce per gallon of water ratio). Trifecta seems to be everyone’s favorite but I’ve had just as good results with Organocide at 5% the cost per application.
All these minimum risk pesticides are so effective primarily because they are oil-based. Oil kills all life stages of cannabis bugs and in my experience the bugs don’t adapt so there seems to be no resistance. Even so, I highly suggest you rotate-use these pesticide sprays to prevent resistance buildup.
I also advise against the use of bioinsecticides because some of them like Grandevo, PFR-97 and Met-52 just don’t work. BotaniGard MAXX is one of the very few that’s great for mites so if you opt to use this, just make sure it’s fresh because it has a very short half-life. Also use BotaniGard at low rate after pest population are low.
IMPORTANT TIPS ON SPRAYING
Successful broad mite eradication in cannabis takes more than just having the proper spray treatments. They also need to be administered the right way. One very crucial thing to remember is NEVER SPRAY WITH THE LIGHTS ON. Liquid spray on the plant surface acts like a lens that amplifies heat from your light source and burn the leaves.
Cannabis growers should also be aware that mix rates for organic treatment sprays vary depending on the spray method you use. I don’t recommend traditional sprayers—if you’re growing cannabis, you should invest in an atomizer to begin with. At the very least, get a 2 to 3-gallon 1200-watt atomizer to do an efficient job for you. Opt for the backpack model for easier handling. Also remember to always use personal protective equipment (PPE) when doing organic treatment spraying. A complete PPE getup should include a Tyvek suit with gloves, full-face mask with replaceable filter cartridges, and total ear protection.
You can continue with organic treatment spraying until a little after cannabis plants begin to flower. No spraying should be done after the 3rd week of flowering. Instead, switch to heat treatment to kill any remaining broad mites in your grow. Heat treat your grow room at 120°F for 40 minutes once a week using propane heaters. Heat treatment kills all life stages of mites and your grown cannabis plants are already able to withstand these high temperatures.
BROAD MITES IN CANNABIS
Broad mites on cannabis plants are so tiny they are practically impossible to spot without magnification. Under a microscope, you’ll notice that young broad mites have six legs while adult mites have eight. Coloration can vary, but often they look like a pale yellow or clear dewdrop with tiny legs.
One of the biggest reasons broad mites can be so difficult to diagnose is you rarely see any signs of these cannabis bugs, and you don’t see bites on the leaves, unless you take a really close look. The main way to spot an infestation is the damage they leave behind because usually broad mites themselves are too small to see.
Broad mites don’t attack all parts of cannabis plants evenly so symptoms may be worse in certain spots where the infestation is concentrated.
The main way to spot an infestation is the damage they leave behind because usually broad mites themselves are too small to see. With a broad mite infestation, leaves turn up at the edges and may be blistered and wet-looking. New growth is usually twisted or drooping and if your cannabis plants are in the flowering stage, buds may turn brown and die.