Spider mites, thrips, and other pests are a grower’s worst nightmare. these nearly microscopic pests can feed off your plant and ruin your crop. Luckily, there are proven ways to prevent an infestation and kill them if they pop up.
Prevention Is Best
Preventive pest management is the best way to save yourself time, money, and headaches. For the best prevention against spider mites and thrips, let their natural predators do the heavy lifting.
Predatory mites like Californicus mites naturally feed off of spider mites, thrips, and other mites. Think of them as your own little standing army ready to fight back and infestation of spider mites, thrips, and other plant-eating pests.
Invest in pest management systems from reputable brands such as Biobest. Bottle or sachet containers allow you to easily apply these predatory mites to your plants and let the Californicus mites do the rest.
Here is how you can make the most out of Californicus mites to prevent, control, and manage pest infestations.
- If applying from a bottle of bulk Californicus, position the bottle horizontally. Rotate it a couple of times to ensure everything inside is evenly distributed. No shaking necessary.
- Gently shake the open bottle over the foliage to sprinkle the Californicus mites onto the crop. It’s okay if your indoor fan blows the Californicus a bit.
- When they’re on the plants, they run around the leaves and up and down the stems constantly on the hunt for food.
Generally, you’ll have to reapply your mites 3 to 4 times throughout the crop cycle. Re-application of the Californicus ensures that every generation of spider mites and thrips never matures. Other beneficial pests that can feed on spider mites and their eggs include:
Amblyseius cucumeris is a predatory mite against thrips. A tritrophic system, such as one made by Biobest, offers growers a complete food web of bran, a mold that grows on that bran, a mite that feeds on that mold, and the cucumeris that feeds on that mite.
The constant cycling of food inside the container guarantees your predatory mite’s survival for the long haul. Simply sprinkle onto your plant and you’ll get a good release and reproduction for 5 to 6 weeks.
Signs of Damage & Infestation
Before you know it, spider mites and thrips are all over your plants. An infestation can seemingly come out of nowhere. That’s because these plant-eating pests are barely visible to the human eye. For instance, adult female spider mites are about 0.4 mm long.
If you notice tiny discolored specks over your leaves, you might have an infestation on your hands. Their sharp mouths break through the plant’s tissue and suck out its juices. In the event of an infestation, they can kill off your leaves.
Spider mites can leave behind tiny yellowish-orange or white speckles. Thrips leave behind shiny slimy and silver or bronze spots. Bites from a thrip are generally bigger than those from a spider mite.
Generally, spider mites can be found under the leaves. If left unchecked, spider mites can leave behind a webbing over leaves and buds and tiny orb-like eggs.
Killing Spider Mites & Thrips
If it’s too late for any proper preventive techniques, it’s time to bring out the big guns. Along with your predatory mites, you may use a range of pest management tools such as insecticidal soap, Azamax, Spinosad products, Essentria IC3, and diatomaceous earth.
Since mites can develop immunity to many common insecticidal products, you may need to rotate out methods to keep them on their toes. Since these critters can reproduce at a blazing fast speed, it’s important to keep reapplying you are sprays for maximum effect.
For a detailed rundown of how to kill spider mites, how to use insecticidal sprays, and how to keep your plants healthy, check out our Cannabis Doctor tool to diagnose any pest, disease, nutrient deficiency in your plant.