Spider Mites are small, eight-legged arthropods belonging to the Acari class of the phylum, Arachnida. They belong to the mite family and are often linked to spiders and ticks. Their name is derived from their ability to spin silk strands for protection, however, spider mites on weed pose a real problem for serious cultivators.
Spider mites are also one of the most common pests for cannabis plants. They are extremely small, ranging from 0.2 to 0.4 mm in body length (including legs). They are pale yellowish-green to reddish-brown and cannot be seen with the naked eye. Worried that your plants might be infested with spider mites? Keep on reading to learn everything you need to know to protect yourself and your plants from the infestation of spider mites.
Will Spider Mites Kill My Weed Plant?
Spider mites absorb sap from leaves through their mouths using piercing-like movements. They ingest the vital parts of cells in your plants so that only the cell wall remains intact, however, this leaves the purged cells with a silvery tinge to them. You might notice white traces of the web on the leaves which is a key sign that the infestation is at a severe stage.
Once they have sucked the sap out completely, the leaves shift to reveal yellow and bronze hues. The webbing on weed throughout the plant, which may cause the leaves to die prematurely spelling catastrophe for your plants and future harvest.
These tiny yet destructive creatures have a particular interest in consuming variations of ornamental herbs, tree-like plants, vegetables, fruit-yielding plants, broadleaved trees, and trees with cones. Spider mites on weed pose serious consequences and it’s important to know how to spot the signs early on to avoid a devastating harvest. This could also come in handy when purchasing weed from a dispensary or acquaintance to avert acquiring low-quality marijuana.
How Did Spider Mites Get on My Plants?
Spider mites can arrive in your indoor greenhouse or outdoor garden from outside sources like the new plants you bought from the store. You need to be careful to check for any signs of spider mites before you allow any new plants near your existing ones.
Another way for them to reach your area is through the wind. Spider mites are small and thus can easily be carried through the air and land on your plants especially if they are a house over. One way to avoid this way of spider mite infestation is to occasionally check for any signs of spider mites on your plants while also possibly even setting up some protective barriers to guard against the wind and accidental contamination.
How To Identify Spider Mites On Weed Plants?
Because of their microscopic stature, spider mites are difficult to identify. Spider mite eggs, while hard to identify with the naked eye, look like dust or white dots when viewed through a magnifying glass. It is important not to confuse spider mite eggs with other particulate matter that might be found on your plants, such as pollen or mineral deposits from water.
Early Signs of Spider Mites
- High levels of phosphorus and nitrogen in the soil
- Dry and dusty conditions
How To Detect Conditions That Attract Spider Mites On Weed?
Spider mites like hot, dry conditions. They thrive in places with soil rich in phosphorus and nitrogen. The best time to check for their presence is in the middle of the day, with lights on and off during vegetative and flowering stages. You might want to check the underside of leaves for any yellow or brown discoloration. Spider mites have a strong aversion to light exposure, so applying a flashlight when monitoring the growth of your plants could help you catch some undetected pests. Keep in mind, early detection should inform early intervention.
In most cases, spider mites come in with other plants from outside. To overcome this, place your clones and plants under quarantine for at least two weeks before cultivating them with your indoor cannabis plants.
The Life Cycle of Spider Mites
To better understand how to defend your plants from spider mites, you might want to understand how they grow to become weed-killers, at what stage they start to become menaces, and how long they live. It is a relief to say that spider mites don’t live long. Their life cycles are pretty short, however, this means they have to work faster, meaning that your plants could end up dead sooner than you would think.
Spider mites begin their lives as eggs. Their eggs are translucent and are shaped like cylinders. You will need a magnifying glass if you want to be able to identify eggs. When you notice that they’ve turned an off-white, this means they will hatch around 20 days after they were laid.
Once they have come out of their eggs, the baby spider mites are called nymphs, harboring six little legs. In adulthood, they gain two more legs, which makes them the eight-legged creatures the spider half of their name alludes to.
Nymphs can commence with their devouring of leaves as soon as they hatch. Their females can live only up to four weeks maximum, however, they can leave behind over a hundred eggs in that short time.
Spider mites are not seasonal. They have only a few requirements to continue living: a semi-dry environment that has minimal sunlight where they can survive and multiply. They can hide under vegetation, wood, and other organic materials. After they kill a plant they rest, awaiting more green leaves to pop up or finding a new host to destroy.
How To Prevent or Kill Spider Mites On Weed?
You can easily get rid of a spider mite infestation by introducing ladybugs as they are their natural predators. Another simple way to naturally get rid of spider mites is to pass a vacuum cleaner over your weed plant leaves. Make sure to be gentle with this method so that you do not destroy or aggravate the cannabis plants.
These methods target all lifecycle stages of spider mites, from egg to nymph to adult. You can also use sprays, insecticidal soaps, or homemade concoctions to kill the spider mites.
If you would like concrete steps to kill spider mites, here are a few ways:
- Keep your plants hydrated since spider mites would rather live in dry, hot places.
- Dust your plants off at a regular schedule. You can check if there are any spider mites or signs of spider mites while dusting off your plants.
- Wipe your plant’s leaves. If ever you have any plants that look like they could have spider mites, wipe the leaves off with a cloth. This can prevent any more spider mites from thriving in the area and reveal whether or not you have an infestation.
What Do Spider Mites Look Like On Weed Plants?
Spider mites appear as tiny spots on weeds that can be mistaken for plant nutrient deficiency. They have sharp mouths which pierce the plant cells and siphon their contents. This then leads to the micro-sized yellow, orange and white speckles on the leaves of your plants. If you detect this from the plants, it might be a sign that your plants are infested with spider mites and must be treated immediately.
There Are Spider Mites On My Plants, Now What?
You noticed the first few yellowish-brown leaves in your garden. You don’t want to believe it but after grabbing a magnifying glass it turns out you have some unwanted guests on your plants. What do you do first?
- Quarantine the plants that are already infected and replant them somewhere else until they are free from spider mites.
- Water your plants. The pests hate getting wet and can die from coming into contact with water.
- Clean your area. Spider mites can grow under organic debris and other places in your garden. Water or wipe them regularly until the pests are gone.
Spider Mite Homemade Killers
Another way of eradicating spider mites on weed is by spraying tea tree oil or rosemary oil mixed with water. Alternatively, mixing Apple cider vinegar or white vinegar with one cup of water and a tablespoon of baking soda can also make an effective killer for spider mites. You can also treat spider mites with bleach, alcohol, pepper, or nicotine tea mixed with water.
Will Tea Tree Oil Kill Spider Mites On Weed?
Spider mites thrive in warm and humid environments on cannabis plants grown indoors or outdoors. These predatory mites feed off the juices of plant cells or stems, which causes yellowish spots on your leaves and leaf curling as well as the potential death of those parts of the plant. Tea tree oil can certainly help eliminate conditions that attract spider mites.
Can Weed Plants Recover From Spider Mites?
Spider mites can cause severe damage to your plants because they attach themselves to the plant’s leaves and suck out their juices and essential nutrients. Reports show that plant growth slows down when infested with spider mites and serious damage can occur to your plants if you do not pick up on the signs early on.
The later the detection the higher the probability that the infestation may result in the death of the leaves, however, for small-scale home gardens, you can prevent or get rid of them easily using sprays or home remedies before the plants dry up.
How Do You Get Rid Of Spider Mites On Indoor Weed?
The best way to treat spider mite infestation is to use an organic pesticide that won’t harm your plants or pets. One of the best-known homemade spider mite killers is neem oil. Spray your plants with products that use pyrethrum, neem oil, or horticultural oil. These products are made from plant extracts except for horticultural crude that can be either planet or petroleum-based. Don’t be too generous with applying nutrients as these can make your plants more vulnerable to spider mites.
How Do You Get Rid Of Spider Mites On Outdoor Weed?
If you notice any spider mites on your cannabis plants, you must treat them right away before they cause any more damage. Make sure to keep your garden clean and dry in an attempt to ward off any pests before they can damage your plants.
Spider mites are pests that, if left unchecked, could potentially lead to a weed massacre. With that in mind, it is essential to observe the early signs of spider mites in your weed. Look for yellowish brownish leaves or frosty white webs. These are often indicators that you will need to employ any of the spider mite killers in this article. Apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, pyrethrum, neem oil, or horticultural oil are just a few substances that you can use to ward off spider mites. Take back control and ensure that your plants stay protected against a spider mite infestation.