Growing cannabis is a fun and rewarding experience. Imagine being able to harvest your own crop after spending an ample amount of time taking care of them. As a cannabis cultivator, you always look forward to the time where you harvest the fruit of your labor.
But wait, growing cannabis may be a great experience but what happens when cannabis pests get in the way? Pest infestation is one of a grower’s worst nightmare. If not taken care of, it can cause damage to your crop. Worst, these pests can completely destroy your cannabis plant.
Cannabis pest control is something that every grower has to deal with whether you are growing indoors or outdoors, especially on outdoor growing. These pests could be insects, birds, or other animals that may hamper your plant’s growth or in the worst-case scenario, the infestation can damage them. Pests are attracted to cannabis plants for the obvious reason that they like the taste of the plant.
Are cannabis pests starting to infest your garden?
Here are simple ways to avoid pest infestation:
- Choose the right environment. A clean environment will keep pests away. This easy if you are growing your plants indoors. For outdoor cultivation, you have to make sure that you have a clean area where you can protect your plants from insects. Keep your area clean and sanitized always to keep pests away.
- Make sure that the medium that you are using is clean and sterilized. If you are using soil as your medium, make sure that it is sterilized and clean. You see, unsterilized soil can host the eggs or larvae of common cannabis pests and insects. Some growers prefer to grow their plants via hydroponics because the materials have no way to host these insects
- Choosing soil as a medium may entail require extra efforts and make sure that the soil is clean and sanitized before using it. How to sterilize your soil? The process is easy. You need to get the soil that you will be using and cook in the oven to reach a temperature of about 160-180 degrees Fahrenheit. This process will get rid of any eggs, weeds, pests, and other unwanted materials. It would tale about 30-45 minutes and make sure that you do not exceed 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Use fertilizers after sterilizing your soil.
- Grow your cannabis alongside some companion plants that can get rid of pests. Obviously, these plants do not attract pests and insects and they repeal them. Most of these plants have pungent odors that repeal other bugs and insects. You can plant some marigolds and geraniums which will keep leaf eating cannabis pests and insects away. Garlic and basils have also strong scents that will keep away flies, beetles, thrips, and aphids away. Garlic can also protect your plants from harmful diseases as it is a natural fungicide.
- Insects are not just the pests who can cause damage to your crops. Animals such as deer, rabbits, and mice for example can also damage your plants. Make sure that your area is secured so that they won’t have any access to your plants. You can plant chili peppers to keep them away. This plant has an amazing root system that emits a certain chemical that will protect your plants from rot. Peppers are especially helpful if your area has poor drainage. Mints have a wonderful odor but pests hate it so it is also a good companion plant.
- Get help from natural predators. Not all insects are bad for your crop. Ladybugs are very helpful for pest predators. They prey on larvae as well as other harmful pests. For outdoor growing, birds can help you get rid of unwanted insects so it can be helpful if you set up a bird feeder or birdhouses for them to come around.
- Use repellants or insecticides. This is probably the easiest way of getting rid of any pests but you have to be careful as well as it should not contain any harmful chemicals that may affect our plants as well. You can use repellants or insecticide by spraying them on your plants. There are many kinds of repellants but most cannabis growers would recommend the organic ones. An example of an organic repellant is an oil spray that is made of vegetable oil and soap. It can get rid of insects such as aphids, thrips, beetles, and mites. Soap spray is also effective and it is made up of water and soap. Other organic insecticides that you can effectively use are Garlic-based insecticide and Neem Oil insecticide among others.
What are the common cannabis pests?
Many pests can attack your plants and it is just very important to know what are they and how to keep them away. Here are a few of the common cannabis pests that can cause damage to your plant.
- Aphids. These are tiny, soft-bodied insects that can damage your plant by feeding on the plant’s nutrient-rich liquid. You can get rid of them by spraying your plant with garlic-based insecticide or mixture.
- Spider Mites. Well, they are not considered insects as they very much belong to the arachnid family. Even so, they can damage your plant. The best way to get rid of them is by applying organic methods. Also, make sure to get rid of the webs.
- Fungus Gnats. These small flies usually infest the topsoil. They exist in the most part of the topsoil so to get rid of them, make sure to keep the topsoil dry.
- Whiteflies. These small, winged insects host on dead leaves so pruning and removing dead leaves can help eliminate them. Planting companion plants like marigolds can also be very helpful if you need to eliminate them.
The above-mentioned cannabis pests are just a few of several pests that can attack your plants and cause damage to them. Thus, it is best to know what to do on how to prevent them and treat them in case of infestation. You don’t have to worry about them if you know what to do.