Growing a successful harvest of cannabis from seed requires careful planning and precision. There’s a calculated process involved from the moment the cannabis seeds are selected to the time they start to flower. But what happens when something outside of the plan interferes with the growing process? One common setback is the appearance of small bugs called aphids. Identifying these pesky critters early and knowing how to deal with them can mean the difference between successful crop growth and total failure.
What Are Aphids and Why Do They Suck?
Aphids are small insects that can come in various colors: black, red, brown, green, and yellow and some species have wings. Aphids in small quantities usually don’t cause much harm; but a large infestation can result in your leaves changing color, wilting and even viruses that get transmitted when they feed, causing plant disease. Aphids feed on the juices found inside cannabis leaves and a result of this is they leave behind a sweet substance known as “honeydew”. This substance causes sooty mold to grow on the leaves which makes them dangerous to smoke.
How to Address an Aphid Infestation
It’s important to check your plants regularly to make sure you don’t have aphids collecting on your leaves. If you do find an infestation, refrain from using powerful insecticides as they are not specifically designed for cannabis plants, but rather trees and other plants. Instead of insecticides, use the methods:
Spray Them Off
One easy way to remove aphids is by spraying them off with water. You may need to move your plants outside to do this. If you have a particular leaf that is heavily infested, you may want to remove that leaf altogether.
Clean Them Off (With Insecticidal Soap)
Special insecticidal soaps are totally safe for cannabis plants but work well to remove and weaken the outer shells found on aphids. It’s important not to get any of the soap on your buds so as not to affect the taste or smell of your final product.
Like Insecticidal soap, it is recommended that you don’t get any of this item on your buds so you don’t alter the taste and smell. Using a One-Hand pressure sprayer, mix some neem oil with water and spray your leaves evenly. You don’t need to overdo it with the neem oil since it is very effective at resisting against certain insects and mold.
If you’re looking for an organic product that’s safe for children, pets, and plants, spinosad is the way to go. It will kill aphids the moment it makes contact and should be sprayed plentifully on infected areas. Keep in mind that you only need to mix the amount you’ll be using per spray because its effects last for a period of 24 hours. If you have any unused mixture it will go to waste.
However you decide to treat aphids, it is important for you to do it quickly and efficiently so you can get rid of these pesky sap sucking insects as soon as possible so they do not grow out of control into an infestation.