Cannabis 101: Ladybugs as a Natural Solution to Spider Mites
When it comes to dealing with pest problems, there is nothing worse than covering your hard grown cannabis is chemical pesticides. Here is a much more natural solution.
Spider Mites? You want to be part of the cannabis future so, you will be wanting to go organic for as many cannabis problems as you are likely to face.
Ladybugs, ladybeetles or ladybird bugs are the samurai raptors of the garden. They will naturally solve your spider mite and other bug problems.
You go to look at your cannabis and notice tiny white or yellow spots on your leaves. Upon closer inspection under a magnifying glass, you see a lot of the “meat” of the leaf is gone. Then this oddness is quickly followed by tiny gossamer webs that you can quite clearly be seen at the internodes of your plants, crippling new side branch growth. Perhaps some leaves are twisting and when you look on the underside of the leaf, there is a lattice of webs with microscopic black and dark red beasties scuttling about. We are sad to say you have entered the wonderful world of spider mites.
CHOOSING THE BEST WAY TO DEAL WITH SPIDER MITES
Controlling these microscopic terrors is a straightforward process, and can easily be done organically. There is no need to panic but you must be swift as these pests are prolific breeders, and although they can make for some interesting plant structures from their fimming and tipping, you will want to get rid of them before they turn your garden to web covered mush.
Although there are some chemical options you can take, no one wants to coat the bud they plan to use with a toxic medley of harmful substances. As such the best way to deal with these mites is with a natural and organic method – preserving the quality of the bud you manage to save.
Using organic solutions not only maintains the quality of your homegrown cannabis flowers, but also guarantees pure smells and helps you improve as a gardener (growing organically can be a lot more challenging, but produces better results).
BUST OUT THE LADYBUGS
Ladybugs, ladybeetles or ladybird bugs, depending on where in this wide cannabis loving world you are, are the samurai raptors of the garden. They are red, orange or yellow flying insects about the size of your pinky nail, with black spots on their wing covers.
Ladybugs are voracious killing machines designed by nature to clean your garden of over a dozen pests, especially aphids and spider mites.
They will also eat a broad range of soft bodied insects including beetle and moth larvae.
Since medieval times ladybugs have been revered by gardeners and their naming is steeped in deep tradition from many parts of the world.
European peasants in times of insect plagues believed they were sent by the Virgin Mary. In old Switzerland, children were told babies were brought by ladybugs and in Austria you would ask a ladybug for good weather. It seems rude not to take advantage of this good will!
In the modern cannabis garden, they are an indispensable WMD and can get into every nook and cranny of your plant without damaging flower or leaf - with each one eating up to 100 mites a day.
If you are growing outdoors, it is wise to encourage native ladybugs into your garden.
As well as hunting larvae and bugs, ladybugs love to eat pollen for their reproduction cycle. Surrounding your cannabis with pollen-heavy species, like sunflowers, passionfruit, and chamomile is a great way to boost the natural population of ladybugs into your garden.
If you are struggling to attract a native population into your garden, then it is possible to obtain ladybirds online (as crazy as it sounds). Breeders can send you shipments at certain times throughout the season, helping you boost numbers.
As an extra tip, other plants can be used to boost an outdoor grow, offering protection as well as soil improvement. A couple of dwarf beans under the canopy helps fix nitrogen by creating a broader range of mycorrhizal colonies. Some dandelions and nasturtiums aid as bad bug deterrents and make for an overall healthier soil.
OTHER ORGANIC METHODS
For an unknown reason, the cheeky little ladybugs lose interest after a while, and just seem to hang out using your buds as armchairs. As such, you should keep an organic backup spray to make sure your plants are inhospitable to re-infestation.
Neem is the great organic panacea in any garden, especially when diluted with soapy water. A good spray, paying special attention to under the leaves, will prevent any spreading of mites again. Don't worry neem won't hurt the ladybugs. Try not to get any on bud if you are in the flowering period; you don’t want a neem flavoured smoke!
There you have it, staying away from nasty chemicals is easy when you know how – you just need to be willing to make the effort. For the hobby grower, learning to take advantage of natural remedies will improve not only skill but also the quality of your bud. So bust out those ladybugs!