How to prevent and eliminate aphids on cannabis
Among the wide range of insects, fungi and viruses that can attack our marijuana plants, there is a very common and destructive insect called aphid. This is a pest that can in large colonies destroy marijuana plants.
Having a plague of aphids is not the end, we have at our disposal the necessary means to stop the pest and eradicate it completely. Although as we always say … the best way to avoid these problems is through prevention.
We will explain what the aphid is, and how to prevent and eliminate them with home remedies and products made for this purpose.
What are Aphids?
Aphid is an insect whose scientific name is Aphididae (group of the insect family to which it belongs), although Castilian is best known as aphid. Although his name is similar to the typical “flea” affecting humans and animals, it ha nothing to do with them.
they are small insects mainly green, yellow or mottled but may also have other colors. Their size ranges from one millimetre to three millimetres, but despite its size are clearly identifiable as they live in large groups.
They feed on plant sap, so a colony of these insects can affect very negatively any type of plant, and specifically marijuana. They not only hurt the plants by extracting its sap, but also transmit viruses and disease, and facilitate the transmission of fungi.
As if this were not enough, when communities are extensive, aphids repeatedly pierce the stems of plants seeking refuge there, laying eggs, etc …. They breed more easily in hot weather, so indoor crops are more likely to develop large communities of aphids.
Conversely in cold climates they appear to disappear, something that can make us believe that we no longer have a problem but unfortunately nothing could be further from the truth . Their eggs can overwinter and hatch during months when temperatures rise again … starting to recolonise the plant.
They have a special predilection for the young shoots (new leaves and branches), although we can find them anywhere on the plant.
How to detect and prevent aphids on Marijuana plants
Luckily for us they are very easy to detect with a simple visual inspection of our plant, observing stems and leaves (especially on the underside – bottom of the leaf), we can detect the right away. They live in colonies ever expanding, so on close inspection we see a large infestation of, white, yellow or brown insects will give us the final clue to determine we have an aphid infestation.
When the number of these insects is high, we will see how the leaves are dried and new branches wither .. sign that they are absorbing a lot of the lifeblood of our plant which is the sap.
Removing aphid pests on Marijuana
There are several ways to eliminate this annoying and destructive plague of our growing marijuana, which they recommend are clean alternatives (using natural products 100% BIO), even if the pest is widespread and we have not started the flowering period …. We can also use chemicals.
The best way to prevent this plague in our cannabis plants is by using a natural preventive, 100% biological method of pest control that does not adversely affect the plant or affect the environment. Ladybirds and their lave are veracious hunters of aphids and are to be encouraged in our gardens.
Failing the natural predator rout we can use neem oil as a natural preventive, diluting it in water and spraying our plant every day in the veg cycle until the pest has been eliminated.
Snuff diluted with water and the water and sprayed plants is another home made remedy. Nicotine is a strong poison used in many chemical insecticides, but be advised that this preparation leaves a particularly unpleasant smell in our plants.
Within natural alternatives it is advisable to perform periodic treatments with neem oil and potassium soap diluted in water. With the help of a sponge and careful wiping of the leaves it will remove aphids taking care not to damage the plant. We repeat this every ten days until the infestation completely disappears.
We may also use pyrethrins (extract of chrysanthemum) an organic product that acts as a natural insecticide and repellent. Some people use home-made preparations such as nettles slurry which also acts as a natural insecticide.
Another remedy which others have had great success with is to simply dilute a few drops of dish washing soap in a litre of water and spray the solution onto the insects, this has the effect of drying the insects out