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Learn | 03.16.2022

What are Weed Bugs & How Do They Effect Marijuana Plants?

How to deal with one of the most common 'weed bugs,' spider mites.

Your cannabis plant was fine and healthy until you noticed maybe a few spider webs on it, and underneath that were some creepy crawlers feasting on your ganja. No need to worry, there are a few ways to get rid of your unwanted pests on your weed plant, but it’s important that you act fast, as the results can be anything but in your favor.

Most Common Pests On Marijuana Plants

Thrips

Photo by Alexey Protasov / Adobe Stock Photo

Thrips are probably worst-case scenario bugs because once they’ve settled on your plant, there’s no stopping those teenie eggs from hatching. Most growers often make the mistake of killing the adult thrips, usually around 1-1.5mm, instead of attacking the source and preventing eggs from hatching.

You can identify thrips by their dark wings or nymphs, as well as irregularly-shaped bites taken out of your cannabis leaves. For more information on preventing and killing thrips, check out our other guide here.

Spider Mites

Photo by Jopstock / Adobe Stock Photo

Probably the second most common weed plant pest is the dreaded spider mite. These red or black tiny bugs are about 1mm in size and thrive underneath the leaves of your cannabis plant. A clear indicator that your plant is infested with spider mites is if webs around the plant look too small to have been made by spiders.

You want to act fast when dealing with spider mites, as they can quickly damage plant cells and result in leaves turning yellow, wilting, or dying altogether. It’s also worth noting that spider mites can hinder the growth of your marijuana plant, thus making for an unsuccessful harvest. Your supposedly tall weed plant will not grow to its full length, nor with the buds and leaves flourish to their best abilities.

How To Eliminate Spider Mites From Marijuana Plants

You might think grabbing a pesticide or chemical solution might do the trick, but unfortunately, spider mites have shown to be somewhat resistant to these chemicals. Lucky for you, there are a few organic ways to eliminate your unwanted spider mite infestation. The best thing you can do is start by pruning your cannabis plant to remove damaged areas or unwanted leaves. During this process, you can also carefully remove the spider mite webs.

Grab your hose and spray it down after pruning to ensure you’re getting most bugs off before you go in with your homemade solution. Mix water and rubbing alcohol in a 9:1 ratio and place the solution in a spray bottle. Don’t go easy on the spritzers, as this solution is key to making sure your plants continuously prevent pests from moving in. Be sure to spray underneath each leaf, too, as that’s where most spider mites will rest. Repeat this process for 2-3 days or until your infestation is gone.

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