Cool weather is among us and while this means hot chocolate, warm fires, and sweaters, it can also mean trouble for your precious harvest. Cool weather spider mites are in full force right now and for those landscapers, gardeners, winery owners, and organic growers, we suggest you start paying attention. In addition, those cannabis growers must understand that spider mites, when left unattended, have the ability to completely destroy your crops. For marijuana growers, this means lost profits and a lot of extra work to do. The most successful way to circumvent a spider mite invasion is to recognize the onset of an attack before it begins.
Many growers stay true to a false conception that spider mite infestations are easily detectable. Surely you have heard things such as “use a magnifying glass” or “just search for webbing on your plant leaves”. While these are certainly indicators of a spider mite attack, they are not the only cases where spider mites are present. In some cases, growers simply cannot see the problem and this can lead to intense infestations where spider mites completely destroy your harvests. The problem is that most growers wait until they can see the infestation, indicating they have waited too long. In these cases, the leaves may appear “burned”. At this point in time there are probably millions of spider mites running around your crops.
The most important signs to note early to stop a spider mite invasion include:
- Slowed growth
- Plant stress
- Damaged leaves
The damaged leaves will at first only affect a couple of leaves. This is the time that action must be taken in order to prevent the loss of harvest. Spider mites lay eggs within a week upon entrance into your crops and will produce about 10 to 20 eggs per day. In addition, a spider mite duplicates itself 10 times a day, rapidly growing into massive populations. At this rate, it is clear why infestations arise so quickly. Therefore, it is ideal to treat a spider mite attack immediately. Using a spider mite killer that attacks the eggs is optimal. In doing so, the spider mites will die off and new eggs will be prevented from hatching.