The polyphagotarsonemus, or broad mite, invading cannabis gardens across the country has just introduced itself onto the list of common pests. The mite itself is smaller than a grain of salt, and therefore invisible to the human eye. In fact, it can only be seen when at 60 times magnification, and you’ll also need to view your trichomes up close if you want to harvest without worrying about these little critters.
The broad mite lays its eggs on the underside of cannabis leaves, where they then live in various crevices in the plant structure. They prefer to feed on new leaves, but they have toxic saliva which can hinder the growth of your younger plants. The effects of toxic broad mite infestations can look very similar to a pH imbalance or a nutrition deficiency so you should always keep a mini microscope handy if you want to pinpoint the exact cause of your plant deterioration.
If you want to avoid these critters, then make sure that you keep your grow room closed and dust it with diatomaceous earth. This works for both indoor and outdoor plants. You could also spray your plants with essential oils, but make sure that they contain eucalyptus and rosemary. This will help to stop the pests from invading and it can also help to cover up some of the smell.
If you think that your plants are infested but you’re still in the vegetative phase then you might want to consider using a miticide. Your miticide needs to contain abamectin, which is relatively safe to use but you should use it with caution and it shouldn’t be used outdoors. It breaks down quickly in soil and it is very toxic to aquatic life. It has also been known to kill bees as well, so think twice before applying it to your outdoor plants.