January 1, 2017

How To Kill Spider Mites On Your Marijuana Plants

January 1, 2017
How do I keep spider mites off my pot plants?

When growing either medical or recreational marijuana, it is inevitable for first-time cannabis cultivators to experience some problems. This is very common when it comes to gardening and should not be looked at as a fault of the gardener. There are many variables that can create unexpected disruptions. In this article, we will provide information regarding how to get rid of spider mites on plants, the best spider mite killer options, and how to make homemade spider mite killer.

What are and What Causes Spider Mites?/Can Plants Recover From Spider Mites?

Spider mites: these nasty little critters are just as bad as they sound. Also known as, cannabis mites, they are perhaps the most damaging invaders to marijuana plants. It’s extremely important to know how to handle these pests so you don’t end up with damaged goods, or even scarier, no flower yield at all. In order to know how to treat/get rid of spider mites on weed plants, you must know how to properly identify them, as well as an infected plant. 

These arachnids have eight legs and no antennae. They are extremely hard to see with the naked eye, but if you notice a thin white line growing along your cannabis leaves you might want to get your hands on a microscope. Spider mites typically make their homes on the underside of leaves and will spin a silky web as a means of protecting their colony and eggs from predators.

Spider mites puncture the plant cells of whichever marijuana strain is growing (they aren’t picky eaters) and extract the chlorophyll, which is required for plants to make their “food.” Spider mite eggs hatch within three days, becoming sexually mature in a mere five days. A mature female can produce literally millions of offspring within a month’s time. This rapid reproduction can cause major damage to your crop, especially if you are unaware of the infestation.

However, if you spot the problem early on and are able to rid your cannabis leaves of these nasty bugs,  your plants have the chance of recovering to full capacity. By following the planting practices mentioned below, you can prevent disastrous spider mite problems. 

How to Get Rid of Spider Mites on Plants Naturally:

The Spray Way: How to Get Rid of Spider Mites

If you’ve found an infestation on your plants, you’re probably wondering “What kills spider mites?” There are several ways to effectively treat spider mites. Be sure to address these pest problems as soon as you detect them as well; once an infestation reaches a significant level, it’s extremely difficult to eradicate the multitude of insects, and your cannabis plants may not recover.

This spider mite remedy is a home recipe that works wonders and is the best homemade spider mite killer around. Keep in mind that you should stay away from treating your plants with toxic pesticides, as you are going to be smoking this cannabis after all! So we’ve put together a handy, DIY spray that is good for treating mild infestations. 

Mix 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (you can use white vinegar too), 1 cup of water, 1 tablespoon of baking soda, and a few drops of mild dish soap. Then, shake up the concoction in a spray bottle to equally mix the ingredients. 

It is very important to spray the undersides of your marijuana plant’s leaves as this is where the spider mites like to hide. Be sure to treat your plants for around two weeks to fully ensure the last generation of spider mites is destroyed. You don’t want a 7th son of a 7th son to wreak havoc on your crops.

Rubbing Alcohol: Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Spider Mite Eggs?

Isopropyl rubbing alcohol is the best homemade spider mite killer! Simply pour a little of the rubbing alcohol onto a cloth to wipe the underside of the plant’s leaves. While this is very safe to use and effective for killing the spider mites on plants, it will not rid the plant of the spider mite eggs.

This poses a significant problem because within days the spider mites can be back on your weed, devouring your golden plants. This is why we encourage you to use both the spray method and the cloth with rubbing alcohol. 

The Ladybug Way: Will Ladybugs Kill Spider Mites?

Spiderman look out! There’s ladybug man and he’s here to destroy you! Another way to get rid of spider mites on weed plants is with our fun little friend, the ladybug. Ladybugs feed on spider mites and are mother nature’s way of protecting your plants. Adult ladybugs have a lifespan of about 75 days and can eat around 350 mites during this time. What a dope lifestyle.

They can be purchased online or collected outside if you aren’t interested in buying them. This won’t eliminate all of the spider mites on the weed plants, but it can be helpful for large infestations, especially if done in tandem with the spray method.  

The Temperature Question: What Temperature Kills Spider Mites?

Spider mites are the worst kind of pest to get while growing because they thrive in the same temperature as your marijuana plants. They are most active between 48 °F and 111 °F, so if you don’t want to kill your plants we don’t have a recommended way to combat these pests with temperature. Instead, look into the ladybug or spray bottle method mentioned above. 

If you’re bored and have a copious amount of free time, take a hand-held vacuum and suck the spider mites off the leaves. This is a long and tedious process which can be difficult because of how hard it is to see the mites, but it works! When finished, empty the contents of the vacuum into a plastic bag and discard them. 

How Do I Keep Spider Mites Off my Plants? Preventative Measures you can Take: 

Adding organic compost and mulch to the planting site deters these microscopic warriors from invading the marijuana plants by encouraging the presence of other predatory mites (the good) which feed on these destructive spider mites (the bad, and also the ugly). If you’re buying plants that are already flowering, be sure to check under the leaves to avoid bringing back an infestation waiting to happen. 

Spider Mites FAQs:

How Long Does it Take to Kill Spider Mites?

The process for ridding plants of the spider mites (for GOOD) takes around two weeks. This is if you use the home remedy spray we discussed. There are, of course, other solutions, but the time frame to fully eradicate the spider mites is around two weeks.

What Plants are Spider Mites Attracted to?

Marijuana plants are not the first meal of choice for the spider mite. They prefer bean plants instead. These mites love small, thin, leafy plants as well, and plants from which they can suck juices out. If you want to grow something that repels spider mites, consider planting chives, dill, chrysanthemums, garlic, and onion throughout your garden.

Will Vinegar Kill Spider Mites?

White vinegar is acidic in its makeup and will kill spider mites. However, it is not recommended as its acidic nature is harmful to your marijuana plants as well. This is why it must also be diluted with water, baking soda, and dish soap.

Additional Readings on Cannabis Cultivation:

The Weed Blog is a great place to find reviews of certain top strains of cannabis and online news resources regarding the legalization of marijuana. We are committed to helping you find valuable information about cannabis on our website. With the laws of marijuana constantly changing, learn about the latest updates to related legislation on our website and what you can do to help promote cannabis activism! Otherwise, consider these other top tier articles regarding marijuana cultivation:

How To Grow Gigantic Marijuana Buds

7 Tips to Pruning Marijuana Plants

Cannabis Cultivation Compliance And Management


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