There are some simple practices and tools like will make your integrated pest management journey easier. Let's start with the tools/products.
A magnifying glass can be very useful in your indoor grow space. If you don't have one, zooming in on your cell phone can help with identification. There are also some really cool tech toys available now that have the ability to take magnified pictures and/or videos.
Sticky cards or rolls are exactly as they sound. These two types of products attract pest bugs because of their coloring and the sticky adhesive physically traps them. This helps by trapping and killing flying insects and allows the grower to estimate the level of infestation.
Some pest bugs are notoriously hard to get rid of, it seems like they are gone and then, wham, they pop up again. Here are few small practices that can make a big difference in the battle against the enemy.
1. Defoliating the plants before putting out any predator bugs. This lowers the pest count (make sure to toss the plucked leaves asap) and reduces leaf surface area for the predators to search out prey.
|2. Stop using hollow core stakes (like the popular bamboo ones) to support plants - spider mites love to hide in the interior. Using solid core stakes may cost a bit more up front but are stronger and last much longer than a bamboo stake making them more cost effective in the long run.|
3. Always remove prunings from your grow space as pests are attracted to decaying plant matter. Grow media from previous crops should be removed as well - pest eggs can stay dormant and then hatch when heat and humidity become ideal again.
|4. Always wear clean clothes into the grow space. Pest can easily be carried from one space to another on clothing. Don't forget about house plants that you interact with as well. It is common for a new house plant to come home from the local garden center with pest bugs. Sometimes growers are so focused on their cannabis grow spaces they don't think to treat their house plants that often and easily harbour pest insect fugitives.|
5. Treating grow spaces with predators regularly even if there are no signs of pests. Many spaces are treated weekly with or without pests. Preventative treatments such as Californicus sachets that last 4-6 weeks are popular.
Thank you for joining us for this 3 part mini series. If you didn't see the first two parts you can check them out here: