Right now, cannabis is having a moment. As more and more people are starting to partake in its numerous benefits (both medical and otherwise), growers are becoming much more prolific. However, growing marijuana is not like any other crop. For many growers, organic methods are the preferred option since they deliver a much better plant overall.
Unfortunately, pests will take every opportunity to munch on your plants, which means that you have to have a strategy to deal with them. Being an organic grower means that you can’t use synthetic pesticides on your cannabis. They could damage the plant itself, as well as anyone using them after harvesting.
So, with that in mind, we want to talk about natural pest control solutions you can use on your marijuana garden.
Common Cannabis Pests
To understand the best methods of pest control, you need to know which insects are going to cause the most problems. Typically speaking, these three bugs are going to ruin your cannabis crops if left untreated.
- Spider Mites – these tiny red bugs like to suck out the juices of your marijuana plant. Because they are so small, they are hard to spot at first. However, once an infestation takes hold, your crops are in immediate danger.
- Fungus Gnats – The larvae of this gnat chew on the root system and extract nutrients from your crops, causing them to die off quickly.
- Root Aphids – much like the larvae of fungus gnats, root aphids like to feed on the roots of your cannabis plants. They are also hard to notice until your plant stems start rotting away.
Using Predatory Bugs
Although you can use organic pesticides and foliar sprays to control pest populations, predatory bugs are going to be one of your best defenses. Here are some of the top choices.
- Ladybugs – these helpful critters love to feed on aphids and other small insects that will otherwise chew up your plants
- Predatory Nematodes – these bugs live in the soil, making them ideal for picking off fungus gnat larvae and root aphids
- Predator Mites – not all mites are dangerous for your marijuana. Some species, like the Stethorus Punctillum, feed on spider mites to control populations
Things to Keep in Mind
While these bugs will help your crops stay intact, you need to be aware of potential downsides, such as:
- Not for Indoor Use – If you do, you’ll be overrun with insects in no time.
- Know Your Species – Before dropping any new bugs into your crop, you need to identify the problem first (i.e., spider mites). Otherwise, your actions may have no effect.