When it comes to growing cannabis, you need to keep in mind the various types of common insects that can pop up. One of them are aphids, an insect capable of causing serious damage if not found in time.
What are Aphids?
Aphids are teeny parasites that feed off of your plants’ sap. They belong to the Aphidoidea family, of which there are over 3500 species, 500 of which feed off of crops.
They’re incredibly common in cannabis plants, both outdoors and indoors, and they can also carry sickness and illness. They can also appear in many different colours (black, green, white etc.) and with or without wings.
If you don’t find them in time, aphids can take over your entire plant, which is when females can create winged specimens in order to take over the next plant.
How to Detect Aphids
These annoying insects can measure from 1 to 4mm and are oval in shape. As we said before, they can be found in many colours. If they’re still in the first stages, they’ll group up on the underside of the lower leaves and on new stems and leaves; they’re easy to identify. If you’re having trouble identifying them you can use a microscope of magnifying glass to look for “horns” which are attached to the abdomen.
You’ll also note an amber-coloured molasses on your plants. This causes the leaves to become stuck together and it also attracts bugs such as ants; if you see ants, there’s a good chance your plants have aphids. It can also be used as protection against other predator insects.
With regular observation on both sides of your plants' leaves, you should be able to identify aphids and other insects. Keep in mind that the most obvious signs of aphids are:
- Oval-shaped insects between 1 – 4mm which can be black, green, white etc.
- Bunched up under the leaves and on new stems and sprouts.
- Thick sticky secretions that attract ants.
- They feed off of the sap in your plants, making for dried up, wrinkled leaves.
How to Prevent Aphids
There are certain things that can be done in order to prevent an aphid infestation; they’re easy to prevent and get rid of, especially if they’re still in their first stages.
The most important thing to do is to keep an eye on your plants periodically to make sure that they’re healthy; you’ll need to check both sides of the leaves in order to find signs of insects, sticky substances or abandoned exoskeletons.
There are also certain things you can do and use to keep your plants safe:
- Excess nitrogen can attract aphids as well as other insects. Try and avoid using more nutrients than your plants need.
- Use yellow sticky traps in order to avoid winged females from getting to your plants, while also letting you know that there’s an infestation on the way.
- If you’re growing indoors, change clothes before entering.
- We recommend using organic preventive products such as Leaf Coat, increasing your plants’ stress resistance and covering their leaves with a protective layer.
- Bio Defense 1 and 2 by Atami is another organic preventive product that comes highly recommended.
- Urtimax by Terra Aquatica is an organic additive that’s designed to increase your plants’ resistance to issues such as aphids and other insect infestations.
How to Get Rid of Aphids
If you find an aphid infestation in your cannabis plants, you’ll need to act as soon as possible if you find them on your plants and they try to move to the rest of them; this can drastically affect the quality of your crop. Plus, their secretions can cause dangerous fungi to appear.
A great way to get rid of aphids during any growth stage is by using natural predators. If you’d like to defend your plants and get rid of this parasite in an eco-friendly manner, get in touch with our team.
If your plants are in the growth phase when you detect the infestation it’ll be much easier to get rid of.
- We recommend using products that contain pyrethrin and rapeseed oil such as Spruzit; make sure to spray both sides of the leaves.
- You can also use chemical products if you find an intense infestation. You can even use Solfac in grow rooms or tents, although make sure that your plants are not in the room; it’s designed to be used between grows.
- You can also use insecticidal soap products such as Mobet by Prot-Eco to clean out any sticky substances left behind.
During the flowering stage, we recommend using organic products only due to the long safety period of chemical insecticides.
- During this stage, it can be quite hard to get rid of; you’ll need to be quite constant when treating your plants.
- We recommend using products that can get rid of eggs such as Spruzit and cleaning carefully with insecticidal soap.
- You’ll need to take care when using products during the flowering stage; if you get the flowers too humid you may end up with mould.
If you have any questions regarding how to get rid of aphid infestations or how to use these products, get in touch with our team of professionals.