Cannabis root aphids are perhaps one of the worst challenges that marijuana growers face on a daily basis. When aphids invade your crops, you don’t just sit back and watch your sweat go down the spoil. You need to do something to salvage your marijuana. However, you may ask, are root aphids cannabis really dangerous? Is there a sure way of eliminating root aphids on cannabis? Finally, which is the best way how to get rid of root aphids? This guide will address those and other related concerns.
Before we look at the various proven ways how you can control root aphids from devastating your weed farm, it is prudent to understand the genetics of these harmful insects.
Understanding root aphids
Root aphids are medium-sized insects that stay in the soil. A majority of aphids however live just above the line of the soil. Aphids belong to the family of insects biologists call Phylloxera. This family does not necessarily refer to aphids but root aphids are closely related to aphids.
Aphids are a serious problem among marijuana growers, especially farmers that prefer the indoor weed cultivation method. These insects spread fast, especially in areas they have not infested before and they are hard to eliminate without proper mechanisms.
Unlike their counterparts, stem or leave aphids, root aphids are hard to identify. They usually hide in the soil and their color plays in their favor. Besides, they don’t usually walk in groups apart from a few instances when you will find a few root aphids feeding on a weed root.
Root aphids multiply extremely fast. Because it is not easy to spot them, aphids sap all the nutrients from a marijuana plant, leaving it to wilt and die.
How to identify root aphids
Do you think it is easy to spot root aphids? Hardly! Root aphids are tiny. In fact, they are as small as mites are. Because of their size, it is hard to know root aphids infest your weed. Besides, root aphids have a color that resembles their environment – the soil.
The first sign that root aphids have infested your crops would be their secretion. Root aphids secret a white waxy secretion, which they smear around the roots of your weed plants or close to the roots.
In addition, you are likely to spot a root aphid if the family that has infested your marijuana has a vivid color. For your information, root aphids come in three distinctive colors, namely white, pink, and brown. Of these, white are many.
If you are not keen, you might confuse the white root aphids for fungus gnats or mealy bugs. However, a closer look will reveal that root aphids have tailpipes or tiny cornicles, which are seen on the end of the insects’ bodies. These tailpipes distinguish the root aphids and the mealy bugs.
When they invade your outdoor marijuana, root aphids are usually not alone. Ants may accompany the root aphids, making it difficult to spot the latter. Essentially, whether you identify root aphids in your crops or not, it is not easy to eradicate them.
How to get rid of root aphids
As you have seen, root aphids cannabis is a big problem weed growers need to deal with if they want to secure a good yield. Applying modern methods to remove root aphids on cannabis is not only an important excise but also a means to save your business.
Here are a few proven ways to deal with root aphid weed:
1. Clean and disinfect your farm tools
I know this is not something most marijuana growers do often but it is one of the best ways to eliminate root aphids from your plants. When your garden tools are clean and disinfected, they will most likely send the root aphids away.
Dirty tools on the other hand will form a suitable haven for insects.
2. Rotate Your Crops
Crop rotation is an ancient practice. The practice has been with us for many years. Pro-crop rotation farmers do not necessarily link the practice with the removal of root aphids. However, come to think of it, what will root aphids do in a piece of land that is empty?
Besides, when you rotate your crops, chances are you will be planting crops whose roots are poisonous to root aphids.
3. Initiate proper irrigation techniques
Poor or incorrect soil irrigation techniques carry root aphids from one plant to another. Besides, irrigation, when done wrongly, can be a source of root aphids and other harmful insects from one area to another.
When irrigating, ensure you water individual crops. Do not allow water to carry nutrients from one crop to another for fear that the water will carry microorganisms as well as root aphids.
4. Use pesticides
Although it is not easy to ensure no root aphids at the bottom of each marijuana plant, it doesn’t mean you cannot try your best. Using a drench gun, pump a recommended pesticide to the area around the roots. You will be surprised by the results.
PS. As a rule, do not apply any chemicals to your marijuana plants when you are nearing harvest time.
5. Try predatory nematodes
This is a rare method to remove root aphid weeds. The only challenge with this method is root aphids tend to reproduce fast. As such, the technique will only work if the number of root aphids in your crops is smaller than that of predatory nematodes. However, no harm in trying which method works best for you.
Root aphids are destructive creatures. With modern elimination techniques, you can get them away from your crops. You don’t need to worry so much about them because even simple garden tool hygiene and consistent crop rotation can help minimize or even get rid of root aphids from your marijuana crops completely.