Red Spider Mites
What are Red Spider Mites?
One of the most common type of issue that growers tend to run into are insect infestations, which can ruin your entire grow. Tetranychus Utricae, known as red spider mites, are a type of mite that can appear in indoor and outdoor grows.
If you don’t detect them in time, these mites can cause serious damage in your cannabis plants due to the speed of their reproduction cycle.
How to Detect Red Spider Mites
This type of mite measures in at about 0.5 milimeters, so they can be hard to spot at first. The best way to detect an infestation like this is to frequently check your plants; you’ll need to be able to identify the first signs of attack in order to stop the infestation in time.
These insects go through three different stages, depending on the severity of the infestation:
- First stage: spider mites feed off of your plants, leaving small grey stains on the upper part of the leaves. During this stage they feed off of sap, leaving permanent stains on the plant. This stage is ideal for getting rid of them easily using insecticides; it gets a bit more complicated later on.
- Second stage: the leaves begin to fall off due to the damage caused, and you may even see small spider webs underneath the leaves. You can still get rid of the infestation at this stage, but you’ll have to be methodical and constant, making sure that new spiders don’t appear.
- Third stage: during this stage, the symptoms on your plant will be more than obvious; the red spider mites will have almost covered the buds in spider webs. It’s incredibly difficult to get rid of the infestation at this stage, and you may end up losing your plants.
How to Prevent Red Spider Mites
There are certain circumstances that can increase the chances of mites reproducing in your plants. Mites tend to reproduce faster in dry, warm climates. Under ideal growing temperatures (25°C), they can take a little under two weeks to create a new generation of mites, and under 30°C heat they take just one week.
A good way to fight them off is by increasing the humidity in your grow room by using sprayers or a humidifier. This should only be done during the growth period; cannabis flowers are highly susceptible to mould and fungi in high humidity conditions.
In order to prevent spider mites during the growth period you can also use organic and bio preventives such as Leaf Coat, Cannacure or Bio Protect. This should be done from the start of the growth period and, with care, during the flowering period (organic products have very short safety periods).
How to Get Rid of Red Spider Mites
If you’ve found a red spider mite infestation in your plants, you’ll need to act fast to get rid of it as soon as possible. We recommend using bio products in order to get rid of them, although you’ll need to be constant and methodical when it comes to their fast life cycle.
During the growth period you can use contact insecticides such as Sprizut by Neudorff, which contains pyrethrin and rapeseed oil used to get rid of infestations of all kinds, including eggs. Mobet by Prot-Eco is a product that contains insecticidal soap designed for spraying over your plants.
You won’t be able to use chemical products during the flowering stage due to their long safety period and the fact that they can alter the flavour and effect of cannabis flowers. One of the most effective bio insecticides for red spider mites during the flowering period is Plant Vitality Plus, or the previously mentioned Spruzit.
Another potent, multipurpose insecticide is Diatical by Trabe, a produce made using diatomaceous earth and calcium oxide which come in handy during the growth and flowering stages; it also fights off many types of insects, and increases your plants’ strength and overall yield.
If you want to know more about red spider mites and how to easily get rid of them, check out our post on how to prevent and get rid of red spider mites in cannabis plants.
If you’re still not sure which insecticide to choose for your plants, get in touch with our team of professionals and we’ll help you out.