There are numerous organisms that are associated with different types of cannabis, some of which can be very beneficial while others are extremely harmful. Those that are considered harmful to cannabis grown indoors are pests such as aphids, fungus gnats, spider mites, and thrips. The following information will help you identify these pests and the grow room environmental conditions that are conducive to their rapid breeding and spreading.
Although they are quite small, aphids are visible to the naked eye. They may be black, brown, or yellow in color and while adults typically have wings, their young don’t. This pest sucks the leaf tissue and secretes a sticky, sugary substance that attracts ants. Most species of aphids multiply at temperatures from 68° F to 82° F (20° C to 28° C) and relative humidity ranging from 50% to 80%.
Fungus gnats look like small flies and, just like aphids, are visible to the naked eye. These pests are attracted to cannabis crops and initially breed in the when humidity levels are high. Although they don’t eat the plant, their larvae may eat the root hairs. When a plant is infected with fungus gnats, the leaves turn yellow and wilt. Their ideal breeding and growing environment is warm and wet with higher-than-normal humidity levels. So don’t overwater your plants.
Spider MitesAs one of the more common pests found on cannabis crops, spider mites are small arachnids with a population comprised of nearly 1,200 different species. Furthermore, these pests often require the use of a magnifying glass to spot them. They are less than 1 mm or 0.04 inches in size and are typically brown, green, or red in color. They breed and multiply quickly when temperatures reach 80° F (27° C) and humidity levels are 60% or lower.
ThripsThese small sap-sucking insects feed on cannabis plants while living inside them. Most thrips have elongated bodies that range from 0.6 to 3 mm or 0.02 to 0.12 inches in length. They often appear like small dots moving on the leaves of the plant. Early warning signs of thrips are shiny silvery and white that looks similar to rice grains on the plant’s leaves. When temperatures are high – 77°F to 80° F (25° C to 27° C) – and humidity levels are between 60% and 85%, thrips tend to reproduce quickly.
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