root aphids

Root aphids are a serious problem if you’re growing cannabis because these nasty cannabis bugs are buried deep down in your grow medium and not readily visible to the naked eye. That is why I always recommend using yellow sticky traps to monitor for root aphids and fungus gnats. Root aphids are narrow and long while fungus gnats are fat and short.




cannabis seedlings


In most cases, the first sign of a root aphid infestations is cannabis plants looking droopy. You’ll probably be wondering what went wrong until you see a few root aphids flying or several of them stuck on your yellow sticky traps. Then, you get that sick feeling in your gut because you know very well you already have a serious root aphid infestation!

A flying root aphid anywhere near cannabis plants is a clear indication that the root aphid population below ground has reached alarming proportions. In fact, 90% of the time flyers are a sign of overpopulation because root aphids are needing roots to infect. This simply means the infestation is so severe that waiting is no longer an option—YOU HAVE TO ACT IMMEDIATELY or risk losing your entire crop!


I know that sick feeling you get when you suspect a cannabis root aphids infestation. Root aphids are the worst cannabis pest to have. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place! At ANT & GARDEN ORGANIC PEST CONTROL, I can help you eradicate root aphids from your cannabis plants. It’s not easy work but you’ll get rid of them successfully with my clear and simply directions below.

I have eradicated cannabis root aphids using approved, minimum risk 25b insecticides multiple times without ever failing a lab test and I’m going to share with you some tips that will make a huge difference. There are a few things I know that I’m leaving out like nematodes because I can’t guarantee the quality of them along with other products I use with a short shelf life. I want to give clear and easy directions to save your garden from cannabis pests without having to use a 20-part solution like Advanced Nutrients. Let’s keep it simple with these 3 easy steps.


Go get BotaniGard 22WP to use on infected cannabis plantsI prefer the wettable powder form of this biological insecticide because it has a longer shelf life. It’s all I use but there’s also BotaniGard ES, an emulsifiable option containing an oil-soluble liquid, a petroleum-based solvent, and an emulsifier that enables it to easily mix with water. Downside is that it needs to be refrigerated once mixed and there’s absolutely no way of knowing how long it’s been sitting on a shelf before it’s sold to you.

Mix BotaniGard at max rate and spray 1x weekly till all infested plants have been harvested and clones have been taken and placed in brand new soil that’s sterile. Mosquito bits or BTI will be a helpful addition but I’m going to leave out everything else I use to keep it simple and prevent your plants from getting harmed from improper use of pesticides.


Buy landscaping fabric and tightly wrap bottom of your containers with gorilla tape. Fill top 1 inch of your soil with sand so that nothing enters and nothing leaves. The cuttings from your mother plants must be protected in same way but the only thing you’ll add to the new plants is Met-52.

This is the best product for prevention of root aphids but must first be established so you’ll want to mix well into your soil. In addition to that, water cuttings with 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses per gallon of water 1x per week.


Come harvest time, be kind and toss away all used containers. Be sure to include everything in them and dispose properly in strong garbage bags so these little devils do not damage anyone else’s garden. It’s just not cannabis that root aphids attack and legally, we can only control them and limit damage—there is no way to eradicate root aphids the white hat, lab-tested way.

By getting rid of root aphids conscientiously, you’ll reduce the root aphid population by 97%. The other methods I use raises it to above 99% and you will not even know you have them. But with this control method, you’ll save your plants for a healthy harvest, remove surviving root aphids from the grow, and eradicate them from your garden. They may get out at a landfill but you don’t need to feel bad because nothing grows in a landfill anyway.


Question: I harvested all my plants and clones I took from my mother plants and replaced my mother plants with new clones. Do I still need new containers, soil and sand for the next round?

Answer: Yes. For another six months after final plants are harvested, you will need to continue to use Met-52, new soil and containers topped off with one inch of sand. The reason for this is that root aphids leave eggs everywhere in your building and they can remain dormant for half of the year. So if you see a cannabis root aphid flyer three months after you took your last infected plant down, DO NOT WORRY—your plants are now in a non-penetrable fortress. Consider this a bad sign though, because it means there’s root aphids coming in from outside your building and you’ll always have to protect your plants with landscaping fabric and sand. However, BotaniGard will not be needed again if you just make sure nothing can fly into your propagation room.

Question: I just saw root aphids crawling around three months after last treatment. Will I always need to use landscaping fabric and sand?

Answer: No. These are from eggs that hatched from within your grow site and are looking for roots to attack. They will starve to death and cause no harm. If it’s been a year and you’re still seeing non-flying root aphids crawling around, then this is a problem and a full inspection is needed. Refer to my sanitation methods to prevent root aphids from entering your grow space to begin with.

Question: It’s been a year with no signs of root aphids. Am I in the clear?

If you’re following my sanitation protocols then yes, you have eradicated root aphids from your grow room and they are never coming back! Give yourself a pat on the back and use my sanitation guidelines so you’ll never have pests again!



cannabis pests

If you have a cannabis grow room and suddenly notice your plants looking a bit off and undernourished, the first thing you would do is check for all the common quick fixes. So you make sure they’re adequately watered and receiving the right nutrients according to your feeding schedule. You’ll also ascertain that pH is in the ideal range and there are no visible signs of marijuana bugs in the stems and leaves of your plants. Finally, you take a look at the roots and your worst fear is confirmed—you have root aphid infestation.





root aphids on cannabis

Root aphids can be a pain in the neck for cannabis growers in the NW Oregon area. These pervasive and obnoxious pests destroy cannabis crops by sucking on the roots and leaving an enzyme that causes lesions that are not able to heal. As a result, nutrients from the roots are leached, leaves wilt, and overall plant growth is stunted.

In order to identify, treat and prevent a root aphid infestation, you must first get to know about them better.


macro view root aphids

Root aphids have been around for more than a century. They’re among the worst enemies of commercial crop growers, first decimating vineyards in France and almost destroying the wine industry in a scourge known as the Great French Wine Blight in the mid 1800s.

Root aphids belong to the phylloxera family of bugs and are native to the eastern and southeastern United States. First discovered in California in the 1850s, they found their way to French vineyards a decade later when American grapevines were exported to France to help fight powdery mildew. This led to two-thirds of the destruction of Vitis vinifera vineyards in Europe by 1900.

Part of what makes root aphids so prevalent is their prolific life cycle. As soil temperature rises in the spring, nymphs begin to feed on root sap and mature into adults in just two to three weeks. These spring and summer feeding adults are strictly females that can reproduce without male fertilization. A single female can produce 100-150 eggs over a period of six weeks and new nymphs invade other root areas to feed and cause gall formations. As they mature, they begin producing the next generation of eggs. The cycle goes on and between five to nine overlapping generations of root aphids can take place in a single growing season. Newly hatched nymphs in September and October usually hibernate for the winter.

With such a diverse and fertile reproductive cycle, it’s no wonder why both growers and hobbyists have such a difficult time eradicating these cannabis pests. Now let’s take a look at how to find out if root aphids are attacking your cannabis plants.


Now that you’re equipped with information about root aphids, you need to know the telltale signs of a root aphid infestation in your cannabis grow space.

cannabis stems infected with pests

It wouldn’t be wise to immediately dig up a plant to inspect its roots—that’s why it’s important to first rule out other possible causes that are making your plants look unhealthy.

Cannabis plants afflicted with root aphids will look undernourished and their growth will be stunted. If they’re flowering, the flowers will be smaller than usual. The leaves exhibit signs similar to iron and magnesium deficiencies, so they’ll turn yellow because the root aphids are sucking out these nutrients from the roots.

After you’ve ruled out other probable causes in plain sight, it’s time to get to the bottom of things—examining the roots. Cannabis roots that are afflicted with root aphids will turn yellow, swollen and hard. You’ll need to keep your guard up at this time because damaged plants will also become susceptible to other issues like root rot and fungus.

ants and aphids

Root aphids are somewhat difficult to identify and often confused with other marijuana pests such as fungus gnats. These pear-shaped little nasties measure about 1 mm and range in color from white, yellow, orange, brown, and green. They have the ability to camouflage with particular roots they feed off, so in the case of cannabis you’ll find white, tan, brown or orange root aphids.

Root aphids begin to resemble fungus gnats when they start to grow wings. If you do get confused with the two, keep in mind that root aphids have shorter legs and are chunkier than the latter. Their wings are also longer and more slender. In contrast, fungus gnats have slimmer bodies, longer legs and rounder wings.


preventive pest control spray

As the old saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure.” This is the ideal scenario if you operate a cannabis grow room because root aphids are so difficult to get rid of. So it’s best never to have them to begin with. Outdoor growers don’t have this advantage because root aphids could be thriving on plants along the perimeter of their grow space. But with an indoor grow room, you can apply extra measures to seal your grow space completely and keep it clean. Regular sterilization is vital since root aphids can lay their eggs in walls and remain dormant during the winter.

You can also be more stringent when sourcing out soil and grow medium so you can ensure you don’t get material that has been infected with root aphids. Make sure not to overwater your cannabis plants, too, as root aphids seem to love extra moist soil. And if you do bring in fresh, new clones, be sure to give them a good root drench first with organic insecticides. Furthermore, if you have pets around, make sure they don’t get into your grow room as they can be unknowing carriers of these pesky little suckers.

But what if you already suspect a root aphid infestation in your cannabis grow space? Well, it’s time you get in touch with an organic pest control expert like Ryan at ANT & GARDEN ORGANIC PEST CONTROL in Beaverton Oregon.



infographic on aphid control

For decades, I’ve helped homeowners and commercial growers in Oregon treat, eliminate and control marijuana pests and diseases in their homes and grow spaces. When it comes to root aphids on your cannabis grow, I highly recommend catching these pests early on so I can keep their populations down and even eradicate them without injuring plant roots beyond repair.

I begin with a root drench using a citric acid-based pesticide which is organic, safe and non-toxic to humans but highly effective against root aphids. Depending on your infestation, I may also decide to apply organic foliar applications as a preventive measure. Then, I will use any or a combination of the following:


This naturally occurring soil bacterium is placed in your water reservoir to help kill root aphids at the larva stage when watering your cannabis plants. BTI also kills mosquito larvae and fungus gnats without causing harm to food crops and your water supply.


This entomopathogenic fungus acts as a parasite which kills or seriously disables root aphids. It occurs naturally in soil and can be found in commercial pesticides like BotaniGuard® 22WP.


These naturally occurring microscopic roundworms found in soil are a non-toxic, safe prevention method for cannabis crops.


They’ll eat any root aphids living on the surface of your cannabis plants. I usually seal them with sand and landscaping fabric on your pots so they cannot escape.


This is another effective plant-based pesticide that has demonstrated impressive success in treating and preventing root aphids in cannabis.


Both oils are organic, plant-based pesticides that are effective when treating light cases of root aphids and preventing recurrence.


Root aphids are among the worst cannabis pests you can have in your grow space. They will not go away on their own so you should never ignore them and take action quickly.

pest control beaverton

It’s best to have an expert like Ryan at ANT & GARDEN ORGANIC PEST CONTROL eradicate root aphids but if you’re too far away for next-day service, you can start with BotaniGuard® 22WP and BTI, followed by the beneficial nematodes. Make sure you seal your pots so your future harvest won’t be ruined by these pests. Then, we can schedule an onsite assessment so I can come up with an effective long-term organic pest control plan so root aphids and other common cannabis pests and diseases won’t be a problem in your grow room!

Give Ryan a call today to book a free consultation or to schedule an onsite assessment and put an end to your endless worries about broad mites and other cannabis pests!


Our Reviews

Ryan Smith of ANT & GARDEN ORGANIC PEST CONTROL in Beaverton is the most trusted and reliable pest control guy in Oregon, and for good reason! I care about helping my clients as though they’re members of my own family. Whether you’re in need of urgent treatment for an existing ant pest problem or are looking for the best prevention methods for your home or business, I am committed to bringing you only the best ant and pest control Beaverton for your complete peace of mind.

Emma Baker

Great company! I was about to kill all my plants and shut down because of frustration with two-spotted spider mites and broad mites. So happy Ryan verified this through a Dino lite microscope at 220 x magnification. Extremely satisfied in his service, my mites died, no eggs spared.

Paul Evans

Ant & Garden Organic Pest Control deserves 10 stars saved me from bankruptcy. I had root aphids in my indoor garden there’s nobody that knows how to kill them and has posted it on the internet. Ryan has dealt with them before and knew exactly which olcc approved products to buy and how to prevent reinfestation. I just harvested my first pest free crop in years! I am now going with his maintenance sprays 1 time a week Ryan has all the best lab grade equipment and knowledge. Easier to let him focus on my pests my time can be spent growing bumper crops of exceptional quality. This harvest I yielded 50% more than normal and sold everything I grew for 30% more than last time. Not only are my pests gone but Ryan’s service made me money.

Michael Wright

The commercial-grade soil baggage compost I used for my plants has root aphids. I had to reach out to Ryan of Ant & Garden Organic Pest Control for assistance. The last three months have been quite pleasing as the destructive aphids were gone. Ryan was reliable, providing a constant level of quality with strong results. You can’t beat the peace of mind he offers. I had my first harvest smoothly with his maintenance spraying. We yielded over 2 grams a watt, nearly double our personal best.




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