Information posted here was taken from our most recent (free) grow class Propagation 101.

To see when this free grow class is available again check our class schedule.

Spider Mites (aka your worst enemy.)

In our blog post about  Preventative Measures in IPM we discuss why preventatives are so important. Spider mites are the best example. A few hours of preventative practices can save you from weeks of frustration dealing with an infestation. 

You may be asking yourself, why should I fear spider mites?

 

They are Tiny

I mean really tiny. So tiny that most people don’t know they are infested until they see webs….which is too late. When you see webs you can assume that there are a few million of them inside your grow environment hiding in any nook or cranny they can find. Take a look at the early identification picture below. No deficiencies or other pests will damage the plant in this way so if you see something like the image….get ready for war, and be happy you caught it in the early stage.

Zombie like Resistance

Spider mites are so hard to kill over the last 20-50 years all they have been doing is building up resistance to commonly used pesticides. There is one type of spider mite called the “borg mite.” You wanna see grow horror stories google what they do to a garden. Where normally mites can be mitigated within a month of tedious practice, borg mites will at least take 2-3 months of super tedious practice. Thankfully not many of these types are on the east coast yet.

Rapid Reproduction

A single female spider mite can produce 1 million mites in less than a month. And if the conditions are right (hot and dry) a female mites reproductive cycle is about 5 days. Let me break that down;

Day1: (1) Spider mite lays 20 eggs a day

Day 6: (120) Spider mites

Day 11: (2400) Spider mites 

Day 16: (48,000) Spider mites. * This is normally when a newbie will start to see the webbing *

To the left is the early indication.

Above with the webbing, is what your plants will look like when they are colonized and the spider mite population is thriving. This is when you need to act fast in order to stop complete crop devestation.

 

Now let’s discuss going to war with Spider Mites 

This “battle” strategy is how we suggest making war with any pest however with spider mites you really have to stay on top of your spray schedule, consistency is key.

Step 1: The Right Hook= Treat Entire Grow Area With Insecticide, Not Just the Plants! 

Environment, Tools, anything that can come into contact with the pests. Azamax is highly favored in the community. 

Step 2: The Left Jab= Follow up in 2-4 days with a different method to piss them off.

Follow up with something different that will also kill their eggs and any surviving adults. The adults at this point will already be more resistant to your original method so you’ll get the best results using something else for the second treatment. Greener Cleaner for the win.

Step 3: Repeat Steps 1 & 2 = Repeat till you are convinced they are gone. And then repeat for an extra couple of weeks after that.

 You may want to right hook, then jab twice, or vice versa. The major point to take away is not to spray them with one product over and over again. This will just build their immunity. Some species of spider mite can take days or weeks to mature and will reappear in the grow room stronger than ever. Keep them guessing by switching between the right hook and left jab at incrementally increasing rates.

Step 4:Prevention = Thoroughly inspect and prevent your grow area against future attacks

This is the most important step in our opinion and really should be part of everyone’s weekly routine. Now you’re done with all the hard work and have gotten rid of the mites in the grow environment. It is not the time to relax and stop inspecting or using preventative. Otheriwse in two weeks -BOOM- right back to where you started.

GrowFam Pro-Tip; Find Patient Zero First

Always look for patient zero especially in the beginning of an infestestation. Having a spare environment or “plant infirmary” is nice for this situation. But if not, getting rid of patient zero will save a lot struggle.

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If you would like to contribute to this #Learn2GROW blog post about germinating seeds with tried and trued methods (#Growfam Pro-tips) please contact doug@shoregrow.com or comment below (and thank you)