Like any other crop, cannabis plants are vulnerable to pests’ infestation. When cannabis strains are healthy, they have a better way of defense mechanisms from different pests and plant issues. Fighting pests infestations is one of the most challenging situations for growers and cultivators because they need to ensure that they don’t use any chemical treatments that may also have a negative impact on the indoor cannabis plants but with through extensive research, there are a lot of home remedies if the problem occurs.
- Spider Mites
These pests love to feed on the chlorophyll of the leaves without the need of magnifying glass because it can be seen y the naked eye. Like spiders, they also produce webs that is why if you cannot see spider mites but see webs there is a possibility that there is a mite infestation. This is considered as the most destructive pest because of its fast reproductive rate and its extreme resiliency.
- Fungus Gnats
These pests feed on the roots of your cannabis crop. It is the larvae of the fungus gnats that feed on the roots and the adult gnats are the ones who spread the diseases to neighboring plants. You need to have a good way of getting rid of this pest because there are some instances wherein after treatment it would still come back.
- White Flies
You can easily detect if there are whiteflies infestations. They brush up at any part of the crop intake on the nutrients. You can detect that your cannabis plant is infested with whiteflies if the leaves have a lot of mottled spots.
These pests are harder to see by naked eyes because it is smaller compared to some flying pest such as whiteflies. If your crop has been infested with this pest, that part of the cannabis crop will surely become brittle. It will leave silver markings on the cannabis crop often noted as dots. You may need to have a repetitive treatment to totally get rid of this pest.
- Snails and Slugs
These pests can be usually seen on the leaves and often leaves a slimy, and mucous-like trail making their stay easy to detect. You can easily get rid of this pest if you are able to locate where they hide during the day, they can stay in the soil or under the leaves.
This is known to be a camouflage pest that can easily blend to the color of the leaves so that they can feed on the leaves. They are a voracious eater especially for agricultural plants that is why expect that they can finish all the available leaves in your plants be sure to check early signs.
- Root Maggots
These are larvae that feed on the roots. The damage caused by these pests can’t be detected right away unless your cannabis plant is already weak having nutrient and water deficiency.
- Leaf miners
As the name implies, these pests are like miners that make tunnels on the leaves and stems. If your cannabis plant is totally infested with leaf miners, it may be hard to treat it because most of the damage is in the insides of the cannabis plat mainly in the tissues. The leaves may have brown and white streaks on the leaf tops.
Environment-Friendly Ways To Control Pest Infestations in indoor cannabis plants
- The use of Foliar Sprays
There are different foliar sprays that are organic, convenient, and easy to make. These are the salt spray, onion and garlic spray, and detergent or soap-based spray. These are a cheap and easy remedy to effectively repel different sucking insects and chewing insects. When these sprays are directly in contact with the skin of these pests it can be a great repellent to ensure that there will be no further damaged that may take. Another reason why these organic sprays are effective because these sprays contain compounds that greatly irritates the pest.
These sprays are harmful to the pest but it is for sure safe for the health of the indoor cannabis plants. You’ll just need to spray the parts of the plant that are usually infested. If you prefer to use stronger sprays that will not also cause harm to your cannabis plant there are available essential oils such as peppermint oil, peppermint oil, and clove oil that is also highly effective in peppermint oil.
- Companion planting
This is a better way to protect your cannabis plant from different pests without putting any stress on your crop. This is the main idea of a dynamic ecosystem within your garden wherein you plant different plant varieties to protect your plant from harm where you are creating an extra layer of defense against harmful species.
The effective companion plant that can be used is those that emit strong odors that can cause irritations to the pests. These plants are rosemary, basil, and sage. These plants are not only beneficial for companion planting but these plants are healthy herbs that can be used in cooking dishes. Companion planting can be done indoors if you have a big space.
- Predatory insects for controlling other pests
When the pests are quite tough you may use predatory insects to help you get those damaging pests just make sure to be careful when using it indoors because it may multiply and cause other harms in your house when incorrectly used. It is also important to make sure that the predatory insect that you will use will not feed on your plant.
There are specific types of insects that can be used to control pest infestations. You can purchase these predatory insects in a gardening shop to ensure that you will buy the right insect to help you get rid of harmful pests.
- Check the cannabis plant regularly
Regular inspection of the plants will help you determine early signs of the pest in infestations. You may use magnifying glass so that you can easily check some pests that can be hard to be seen by the naked eye. When you see even a small kind of pest, make sure to remove it and take preventive measures to ensure that it will not come back.
If you see some parts that have been infested, it is important to pull this part so that the other parts of the plant will not be infested. If you see weak or dying parts, remove it as well because these are the most attractive area where pests can multiply.
When it comes to dealing with pests that harm indoor cannabis plants, prevention is better than cure. The best way to prevent different kinds of pests that may ruin our yields is to conduct monitoring on a regular basis. As much as possible inspect the parts of the plant so if in case you see some signs, it would be easier for you to identify it and find an effective treatment.