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SO YOU HAVE MITES EH?

 

Mites happen for few well defined reasons. First of all I want to say that mites are everywhere so the question of "WHO BROUGHT the mites to my garden" is not relevant.

 

There are different mites for different plants, animals and places..... as example, we sleep on mites every day.... whether your bed has 1 mite or a few billion is irrelevant because they are there. It is the conditions of their environment that decides HOW MANY mites you will have....... it is not necessarily that mites are everywhere but their eggs are...... when the temperature or the humidity reaches certain levels the eggs hatch and proliferate...... when you wash you sheets or spray your plants, you may remove the live mites but the eggs will always remain... waiting for the next appropriate environment to hatch and start the process again......

 

These are the things that make mites procreate on a large scale.

 

1. Temperature over 30C (85F) on a continuous basis. When your temperatures vary between 25C and 32C the mites may slow down reproducing when the temperature is low but increase again when you get to 32C.

 

2. Humidity over 60%. Usually when you get high humidity your temperatures increase as well. I would suggest that you should worry more about the temperatures then about humidity. When you (for example) increase the power of your oscillating fan or the outtake fan you decrease temperatures as well as humidity. In a way, fighting humidity without fighting high temperatures makes no sense.

 

3. DIRTINESS. Being a dirty person is a big problem. You will have continues problems with mites. Mite eggs can be anywhere and the more dirty you are the more eggs there is. You should be sweeping the area on a daily basis and have no green matter, soil or water accumulating on the floor. The cleanest growers, hand clean the floor or vacuum the floor each and every time they make the smallest mess. This also applies to your living area as mite eggs could be hiding on the soles of your dirty shoes that you never clean (EVER)... or the carper that's never vacuumed...etc. The point is BE CLEAN

 

Spider Mites, Pump Sprayer  and Bloom Stage ...... and other things

The most frequently occurring plague in cannabis cultivation is spider mite. A spider mite isn't an insect, as many people think, but actually a tiny spider. A spider mite is small, and difficult to discover for the inexperienced eye. But the damage caused is certainly visible. The mite feeds on the sap of the plant, mostly underneath leaves. White specks appear on the upper side of the leaf. After that, you can find spider mites on the undersides of the leaves, and on the stem of the plant. Spider mites make small webs, which you can detect by spraying with water. If there aren't to many spider mites, you can try to get rid of them by removing them by hand. A tedious job

It is not an easy task but Spider Mites affecting your plants in Bloom can be removed and they should be attached as if this was the worst thing that could happen to you, because it is. Spider Mites leave buds empty if left unchecked.

 

It is always better to destroy mites when your plants are in the vegetative stage because you can use pesticides and/or Neem Oil (for $20 for 250 ml). In Bloom stage pesticides could not be used but mites can be killed or at worst controlled with a simply formula (recipe included at the end). The can also be kept at bay with commercial product called BANG! (organic formula sold for $25).

 

1st step is to completely clean your grow space, mite could be anywhere

2nd step is to get a proper sprayer to apply water at high pressure

3rd step is to spray and turn off the lights (for 6 hours when in Veg and 12 hours when in Bloom)

see more about applying Neem Oil

 

Pictured sprayer is the best because of the available water pressure which is used to blast mites off of the plants and provide even application of whatever mite-killer you want. Sprayers cost $30 to $100 at Home Depot or Cnd. Tire. Happy Girl only stocks heavy duty metal sprayer for $159 on request.

 

if you choose not to apply any pesticides or even organic mite formulas (because your plants are too close too the end or you are worried that Bang! or Neem Oil will ruin their taste.... and they will) you can always use the following method.

 

Mites hate cold temperatures and cold water. Spray your plants once a day with cold water at really high pressure. Add Ice cubes to the sprayer and spray leafs especially from below. This is the only way to keep them under control without using pesticides or sprays. The downside of this is that water may cause Bud-rot.. however having mites is worst then Bud-rot (its a fungus that grows in high humidity) so the priority is to control the mites and worry about other things later.

 

When plants are in bloom, whatever commercial spray you use will stick to the Trichromes and alter the taste and smell. For medical patients this is a big issue. You can use a product called BANG! sold for $25-, all organic formula to fight mites even in bloom or the method described above. I tried it and I find either method is ok. You buds will still loose weight so try to stay clean and not get Spider Mites in the first place.

 

 

Trichromes are plant structures found on and around the leaves surrounding the flower. You can see them with the naked eye, but they only appear as "white crystals". In order to tell if the plant is ready for harvest, You need a 10x or 30x loop or magnifying glass. This is the best way to describe them. With your 10x or 30x loop , On an immature plant, the trichomes will appear as clear or translucent structures . Some of the trichomes will appear as a ball, some appear as a stalk, and some appear as a stalk with a ball on top. (see attached pictures, click them to enlarge) It is time to harvest when the trichromes lose their transparency and become cloudy or opaque.

 

About Neem Oil

DETAILED INSTRUCTION ON NEEM APPLICATION

 

When your plants are in Vegetative stage it is easier to fight mites so you can chose to apply pesticides and there is plenty available in Hydroponics Stores (like Dr.Doom), follow whatever instructions sprays have.

 

When plants are in Vegetating stage the pesticides do not hurt the taste or the flavor. ONLY in bloom spraying pesticides would have an adverse effect on final taste (and health)

 

Or you can use Neem Oil.

 

I love Neem oil but you have to be very careful when using it. The biggest problem is when beginners use Neem they tend to do it when the lights are ON and the temperatures are over 25 C (or 80F). When this happens the leafs shrink and slowly die off. High temperatures and oil does not mix. Properly done however Neem is the best natural way to fight mites.

 

NOTE: Neem OIL is OIL so you have to make sure that your temperatures are below 24 or 25C when spraying. You will have to turn off the lights and cool down the room. Spray the plants and LEAVE THE LIGHT OFF for the next 6 hours minimum.... after 6 hours you can turn it ON however keep it far away from the plants for a while (like the next 6 hours)..... All this to make sure that the OIL does not suffocate the leafs when higher temperatures hit......

 

To properly mix Neem Oil... any brand since Einstein Oil is just Neem Oil

 

Add

30 ml of Neem per 1 Gallon (or 4 Liters) of tap water

5 ml of regular dish soap (do not use the anti-bacterial type) per 1 gallon (or 4 liters) of tap water

shake and spray

This is my formula for Spider Mite control.

 

Mix. 30ml of "3% H2O2-Hydrogen Peroxide" per 1L of tap water ("3% Peroxide can be bought at a Pharmacy or buy you can buy "35% Hydrogen Peroxide" from a Hydroponics Store, BUT the application changes to 2-3ml/L), 20ml/L of 99% Rubbing Alcohol (Pharmacy for $4) and a 5 ml of regular liquid dish soap (basic dish soap, NOT anti-bacterial). Mix and spray EVERYTHING. This formula kills mites and should be repeated within 3 days. Best time to spray is when they are about to go to sleep (i.e. turn off the lights).

 

Please remember that this formula will kill the mites, but there is also a chance that if you have a REALLY bad infestation you will kill the leafs which are covered with more then 50% of white spots created by mites...... This is unavoidable since IF the leafs die off, that means that they were useless to the plant anyways. The entire point of using this formula is to spot the mites EARLY and kill them. IF you saw a small colony of mites (lets say on ONE leaf) that means that within 3 to 4 days there will be 10 times more mites and 100 times more in the next few days. ...... In a small closet you should always check each and every plant for mite damage, at least once a week. The sooner you spot the problem the better it is.

 

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