There are certain types of cannabis infestations that are more damaging than others; they can be incredibly hard to detect and easily spread. An example of this is the broad mite, a severely damaging, rare arachnid that can occur in cannabis plants.
It’s incredibly important to treat your plants for broad mites and to act as soon as possible if you detect possible symptoms: this infestation can grow so fast that it really doesn’t give much time to fight it.
What are Broad Mites
Broad mites are arachnids that don’t have heads or jaws; they tend to arrive with the wind, stuck to insects or even stuck to your clothes, meaning they can show up either outdoors or indoors and at any time.
The most dangerous thing about this infestation is that these insects only measure 0.2mm, making them almost impossible to see. Plus, they’re a yellow, almost translucid colour, which makes it even harder. They feed off of sap, although their toxins are the most dangerous part. These toxins can stop growth and flowering in your plants and stop them from producing resin; if not found and eradicated in time, it can end up destroying your plants.
How to Detect Broad Mites
As we said before, broad mites are incredibly hard to see with the naked eye, although you will be able to see the damage they cause. In order to be 100% sure that you’re dealing with broad mites you’ll need to use a microscope or magnifying glass.
Broad mite symptoms can vary, although they are quite obvious:
- During the growth stage, broad mites cause damage in the form of bent, burnt or deformed leaves. You’ll also notice that your plants aren’t growing like they should, with toxins stopping their growth.
- During the flowering period this becomes even more obvious, stopping the growth of buds and resin formation, causing pistils to fall off the plants. If this starts at the beginning of the flowering period it may even prevent the flowers from growing in the first place.
- You can use a microscope along the underside of the leaves to detect them; we recommend checking your plants when they’re young and before the flowering stage starts, which is when broad mite attacks are most dangerous.
How to Prevent Broad Mites
Preventive treatments are incredibly important when it comes to avoiding the appearance of this nasty infestation that terrorizes growers all over the world. The best preventive models are the following:
- Keep your grow room incredibly clean; broad mites can hide away for long periods of time until they have the ideal conditions to reproduce in.
- Change your clothes before going inside if you have an indoor grow; this insect can easily stick to your clothes.
- If you’ve received clones, make sure to clean them using Spruzit or Bio Neem (pyrethrin or neem oil) in order to avoid accidentally bringing insects into your grow.
- Make sure to check your cannabis plants frequently in search of the previously mentioned symptoms.
- It’s highly recommended to use preventive products such as Spruzit and Bio Neem, guaranteeing a healthy, infestation-free grow.
How to Get Rid of Broad Mites
We always recommend using organic or bio products in order to get rid of this infestation, as they produce much less residue than chemical products and they’re more environmentally friendly.
During the growth period you can use products designed for eco-friendly growing such as Probelte Belprón, an insecticide and acaricide that contains sulphur and is highly efficient; this product should be sprayed on the top and bottom of leaves for maximum efficiency.
- If you want to opt for an intensive treatment at the start of the growth period you can use Belproil A by Probelte, and eco acaricide made using paraffins which axphyxiates broad mites.
- You can accompany this by Skunk Probelte, a chemical acaricide that kills eggs and larvae, although you should only ever use this product during the growth period and in extreme cases; this product has a residual action of up to 70 – 85 days, and it’s also dangerous for aquatic life. If you use Skunk, do not use products that contain pyrethrin due to possible incompatibilities.
During the flowering period you’ll need to use organic acaricides, as chemical products last much too long and they can alter the effect and flavour produced by your buds negatively, which can also be bad for your health.
If you discover an infestation of broad mites during the flowering period, you’ll need to keep them at bay; getting rid of them is quite hard. You can combine organic products that contain insecticidal soap and pyrethrin such as Mobet and Spruzit, alternating them for better results. You can also use CinnaProt by Prot-Eco, an acaricide that also activates your plants’ natural defences.
There are also certain natural predators which can help you to get rid of broad mites, although we recommend having them around before you start growing; this infestation is incredibly fast, and natural predators can take a while to ship and may not always take to your grow. However, if you want to know more about this method, check out our post regarding how to prevent and get rid of broad mites in cannabis plants or get in touch with our team.
If you have any questions when it comes to dealing with this annoying infestation, get in touch with our team – At La Huerta Grow Shop we’re just as invested in your plants as you are!