Definition - What does Spider Mite mean?
Spider mites belong to the mite family of insects. They are a common pest on marijuana plants and can be difficult to control.
The spider mite feeds on the cannabis plant’s sap. It uses its razor sharp mouth to cut into the plant’s delicate fibers and suck the sap from the plant's vascular system. Growers will often notice grey specks on the marijuana leaves and fine webbing. The specks are areas where the spider mites have been feeding.
Oftentimes, a magnifying glass or scope is used to detect spider mites, as they are sometimes too tiny to detect. Once they are large enough to see, they become difficult to eradicate.
Hydrolife explains Spider Mite
The spider mites tend to gather on the underside of the plant’s leaves. Often a large infestation of the pests will occur before a grower notices the problem. The leaves of the infected marijuana plant will start to turn yellow or bronze. The afflicted plant suffers a slow decline. The buds of the plant may also become covered in the spider mites fine webbing.
Spider mites have a rapid reproduction rate, which helps them create a large population in a marijuana grow room or greenhouse. Often a grower will think the infestation has been controlled or eradicated but another generation of spider mites will emerge.
Spider mites thrive in the heat of a grow room or greenhouse but they do not like air circulation. Often creating ventilation and putting fans near the cannabis plants help control the pests. A wide array of commercial sprays and insecticidal soaps have also been designed to control and eradicate spider mites.
If left unchecked, a spider mite population can burgeon and cause wide-scale damage to a marijuana plant crop. Other common pests a grower needs to worry about are aphids, fungus gnats, and whitefly.