Cultivation and Botanical Mercantile

Identifying Spider Mites on Cannabis

How do you know if you have a Spider Mite infestation? Good question! If you do a quick internet search on Spider Mites you will find all kinds of information - THAT'S WORTHLESS!

You will be told things like, "just use a magnifying glass and you can see them", or "just look for webbing on the plant leaves", this may be true in some cases, but not all! In many cases you can see the results but you cannot SEE the problem, not without a microscope.

To see if I can make this a bit clearer look at the photo of a plant that is infested with spider mites and showing signs of stress. But, there is NO webbing and you cannot "see" the spider mites with a magnifying glass. You cannot even see them with a microscope until you get to about 40x magnification! Once you get the microscope up to about 30x magnification you suddenly start seeing things move around. At 50x magnification you can clearly identify the spider mite. At about 70x magnification you can actually count the number of legs on the critters.

Image of cannabis leaf with spider mite damageIn the picture above the plant looks like it was "burned" by foliar feeding or it got too close to the lights. None of these are the case though, this is what spider mites do. If left untreated the plant will get to the point where you CAN actually see webbing. By the time the webbing becomes visible (to the human eye) you will have hundreds of millions of these creatures on your plant.

In the early stages of spider mite infestation the only signs of this pest are plant stress, slowed growth, and damaged leaves (see the picture on the left). There are just three or four leaves that look this way. The rest of the plant looks fine. If you don't treat for spider mites fast they will take over the entire garden.

Image of cannabis bud with spider mite damageIn the picture to the left the plant is in the 4th week of flowering. The leaves on this plant look normal for a flowering plant. The only noticeable issue is that the Calyx (where the white hairs sprout from) are unusually small for this stage, and they are void of the bounteous trichomes that we like to see. The Stigmas (the white hairs) look like they were "burned" off. These buds should look large and fuzzy with white hairs and be abundant with trichomes. Spider mites will start laying eggs within a week and produce 10 to 20 eggs a DAY from then on. With each spider mite duplicating itself 10 times a day it doesn't take long until you've got millions on the plant. The spider mites will then migrate from plant to plant riding on currents of air (from your fan) and infest the entire garden.

The ideal time to treat for spider mites is when they first appear. Most novice growers have no idea what to look for and if they do see something it is not likely that they will identify they issue as a spider mite problem. Look at the image of the leaf on the left. The only signs of a problem on this plant is the one blade of one leaf. This leaf is just starting to curl downwards and it has a rough texture to it. The leaf looks and feels dry like it needs some lotion on it. This is what happens when spider mites suck the liquid out of the leaf cells. They can curl and feel rough and leathery.

You need to be realistic with pests, they are a fact of life and if they found their way into your garden once they will find their way in again. Unless you are in a completely sealed environment pests will get in, period. The best plan when dealing with these pests involves reducing the exposure to risk, and preventative treatment. Anything that goes "INTO" the garden is a potential source of spider mite infestation. Anything, like people, pets, supplies, assistants, insects, air - anything that goes IN could be harboring a spider mite. Remember, the minute you opened the door, you just compromised the environment.

If you are producing your own medicine then you either have had or will have a problem with Spider Mites. We recommend treating with No Spider MItes every 30 days to prevent spider mites from taking hold of your garden, get No Spider MItes today.

Our product is completely safe, leaving no harmful residues, evaporates while suffocating and eliminating your pest infestations.

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