Marijuana Plant

Unfortunately, you sometimes get uninvited guests to your marijuana growing party like spider mites. These uninvited little buggers aren't just annoying, they can completely ruin your cannabis fiesta by killing off your crop.

Let's get to know these critters a bit better so you can hopefully prevent them from ever showing up. Spider mites are a disaster wrapped up in a tiny (they're a mere 1/50th inch) package with eight legs. They're not actually considered an insect, instead, they're considered arachnids like spiders and they're related to ticks and mites. They're oval bodies can be green, yellowish orange. The two-spotted spider mite will have, obviously, two dark spots on it's back. It's body is slightly transparent. They get the name "spider mite" from the web that they spin on your plants.Spider mites have ninja-like qualities as they creep up on you unnoticed until suddenly you see thousands devouring your plant.

Magic trick

This appearing act is no magic trick either. Their "magic" trick is their life cycle that allows them to reproduce at a bunny-high rate to quickly populate and dominate plants.In just 3 days spider mite eggs hatch. Only 5 days later they have already reached sexual maturity and they are reproducing fast. Millions of eggs are laid within a month and this cycle continues and worsens unless you step in to take control.


Females lay their eggs on the underside of leaves. When the eggs hatch it becomes a larva. These larvae have round bodies and at that point only have 3 pairs of legs. After feeding for a couple days they find a good spot to molt into the first nymphal stage. At this stage of their life they say no to a drivers license but celebrate with a fourth pair of legs.After feeding for another couple of days, they go and molt into the second nymph. Then lastly, after feeding again and resting, they molt into the adult stage. After reaching this stage they can live 2 to 4 more weeks.Because of their life cycles, it's easy to believe that you killed off all the adult spider mites and fixed your infestation. However, the unmatured spider mites might still be feeding on your cannabis plant awaiting their next stage of life.

Organic matter

Although spider mites can be found in any growing setup, they are most common in soil due to the dead organic matter. Your best setup against spider mites is a hydroponic system.To be successful in eradicating a spider mite infestation, you need to catch the problem early on. They can be difficult to notice at first because they're so small and it may not be until your plants are covered in webs that you notice what's happening.

Routine inspections

Do routine leaf inspections, especially on the underside of the leaf. When they start making colonies you will see fine "spider webs" between your precious leaves.Look for small specks, sometimes yellow or white, on the leaves; these are the bite marks of the mite. If the infestation is bad then the entire plant will appear sickly and discolored.It will be worth it for you to take all necessary precautions to avoid spider mites altogether.


If you are going to bring new plants into your grow area then quarantine them for at least 2 weeks. Check them regularly, a handheld microscope comes in handy here.Keep your grow area clean; never have old leaves laying around. let me repeat -keep it clean!

Fresh air

It's good to have fresh air circulating, but if the air is coming from outside then you should use a filter to keep bugs out. Your room temperature also plays a part. Mites like it toasty warm, so keep your room on the cooler side.

Beneficial mites

Organic compost mulch provides beneficial mites that eat spider mites. Ladybugs also eat spider mites. You can buy them if you already have an infestation, but they're useless in terms of prevention.

Treatment options

There are some treatment options available if you need to go into battle with these mites. One fun thing to do is to vacuum those suckers right off the plant. Put the used vacuum bag in your freezer to kill them, then toss them out with the garbage. You can also spray a mix of water and alcohol (rubbing alcohol, duh!) onto the plants. Use at least 40% water in the mix. A mix of 1 tablespoon bleach in a gallon of water sprayed onto the affected areas also work. Do one of these methods for a few days, and switch to another method if you had a bad infestation. Even when you think you've killed them all off, do it again a few times to kill the ones that may have just hatched, yes you really need to get medieval on their asses! Spider mites are a nightmare, but if you take the necessary precautions and check regularly you can save your plants and enjoy the crop you work so hard for...

Unfortunately, sometimes uninvited guests like spider mites show up at your marijuana growing party. These tiny pests are not only annoying but can also completely ruin your cannabis crop. Let's delve into the world of spider mites to better understand them and hopefully prevent their infestation.

Spider mites are part of the Tetranychidae family, which includes over 1,200 known species. They are known to infest a wide range of plants, including vegetables, fruits, ornamental plants, and, of course, cannabis. These tiny pests thrive in warm and dry conditions, making them a common problem in indoor and outdoor gardens.

Prevention is key when it comes to managing spider mites. Here are some strategies to help you avoid an infestation:

  1. Maintain a Clean Growing Environment: Spider mites are attracted to dusty and cluttered areas. Regularly clean your grow space, remove debris, and dispose of dead plant material promptly. This reduces the potential hiding spots and breeding grounds for mites.

  2. Monitor Plant Health: Regularly inspect your plants for any signs of stress or infestation. Healthy and vigorous plants are less susceptible to spider mite attacks. Look for yellowing or stippling of leaves, fine webbing on the undersides of leaves, and tiny moving dots that indicate the presence of spider mites.

  3. Quarantine New Plants: Before introducing new plants into your garden, isolate them for a period of two weeks. This quarantine period allows you to closely monitor the plants for any signs of pest infestations before they spread to your established garden.

  4. Provide Optimal Growing Conditions: Spider mites thrive in dry and warm environments. To make your plants less attractive to mites, maintain proper humidity levels and ensure adequate air circulation. Avoid overcrowding plants, as this can create conditions conducive to mite infestations.

  5. Implement Companion Planting: Some plants naturally repel spider mites or attract beneficial insects that feed on them. Consider incorporating companion plants like marigolds, garlic, chives, or coriander into your garden to deter mites.

  6. Use Reflective Mulches: Applying reflective mulches, such as aluminum foil or reflective plastic, around the base of plants can deter spider mites. The reflective surface disorients the mites and makes it harder for them to find suitable host plants.

  7. Biological Control: Introducing natural predators and beneficial insects can help control spider mite populations. Predatory mites, such as Phytoseiulus persimilis or Neoseiulus californicus, feed on spider mites and can be purchased for release in infested areas. Ladybugs, lacewings, and predatory thrips are also effective in controlling mites.

  8. Neem Oil and Insecticidal Soaps: Organic insecticides like neem oil and insecticidal soaps can be used to manage spider mites. These products work by suffocating the mites and disrupting their life cycle. Follow the instructions carefully and avoid using these products during the flowering stage of cannabis plants.

If preventive measures fail and you find yourself dealing with a spider mite infestation, prompt action is necessary to prevent further damage. Here are some additional control methods:

  1. Water Spray: Regularly spraying plants with a strong jet of water can dislodge and wash away spider mites. Focus on the undersides of leaves where the mites often reside. This method is most effective in the early stages of infestation.

  2. Biological Insecticides: There are commercially available insecticides that specifically target spider mites while being safe for beneficial insects and the environment. These products contain natural compounds, such as pyrethrins or insecticidal oils, that disrupt the mites' nervous system.

  3. Acaricides: In severe infestations where other methods fail, acaricides can be used as a last resort. These chemical pesticides are designed specifically to kill mites. However, exercise caution when using acaricides, as they can also harm beneficial insects and have the potential for residue on harvested plants.

  4. Integrated Pest Management (IPM): Implementing an IPM approach involves combining multiple control methods to manage spider mites effectively. This includes a combination of preventive measures, cultural practices, biological controls, and selective use of pesticides. By using a holistic approach, you can minimize the use of chemicals and maintain a healthier garden ecosystem.

Regular monitoring and early intervention are crucial in managing spider mites effectively. By implementing preventive measures, encouraging beneficial insects, and taking swift action when necessary, you can minimize the impact of spider mite infestations on your cannabis crop.

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