You’ve started seeing the tell tale signs of spider mites in your grow room and you need to solve this quickly. Fear not, Hydrobuilder has the solutions to get you back on track.
Small white spots on the tops of leaves is one of the first signs of a spider mite infestation. Spider mites are small, but can be easily seen on the underside of leaves of an infested plant. If the infestation is severe webs can be seen around flowers and leaves. It's important to identify a spider mite infestation early, by the time you see webs the infestation has developed for far too long.
One of the first steps is to determine what type of mite you are dealing with and how it got in. This helps you decide on the most effective tools to kill them. Most common spider mites that might be tracked in from outside can be killed with a general purpose insecticide. We recommend AzaMax as a great general purpose insecticide. Azatrol is another effective product.
When spraying a product like AzaMax your goal is to completely coat the leaves on all sides. This means spraying up under the plant canopy thoroughly on all infested plants. You want to spray only in the evening or when the lights are off as the intense light of mid-day sun or grow lights can magnify with the sprayed insecticide and harm your plants. You also want to be conscious of your surroundings and avoid spraying when pets or other people are near where you are spraying. Always wear a breathing mask and eye protection when spraying insecticides.
If you have small plants that are infested but are easy to handle, you may consider using the dipping method. Essentially you mix a diluted solution of insecticide and fully submerse the plant leaves and stems into it. This is an effective way of ensuring the insecticide coats all surfaces of the plant, but it is not essential if you are confident in your spraying technique.
If you are dealing with a spider mite that you think may have been transported in from another grow area you could be dealing with a hardened variety of spider mite. These may already be resistant to general purpose insecticides and may require a more specialized treatment such as Doktor Doom.
Another great secondary spider mite fogger would be Mighty Bomb.
“When your enemy goes to ground, leave him no ground to go to.” - Sun Tzu
After 2-3 days, reapply a second insecticide in order to continue to kill the mites. It can be useful to vary the type or brand of spray used as the remaining mites will be more resistant to the original spray. Repeat these steps even after you stop seeing mites. Treat the grow area at least one more time after you think all mites are dead.
The best method is always prevention. Thoroughly inspect any new plants that are brought into a grow area and keep them isolated for a short period to insure that you are not bringing mites in with them. Keep grow areas clean and free of decaying plant matter. Sterilize all materials in between grow cycles. Maintain good airflow in grow areas as spider mites thrive in stale air. Keep a comfortable room temperature in grow areas and moderate humidity.
Another product that helps with prevention is neem oil. It is a little less harsh on plants and can be very effective against small infestations. It is a natural pest preventative that will not harm your plant and makes the leaves less inviting for pests. It can be used more often than insecticides and is a great way to prevent pests before an infestation occurs.
Don’t kill all insects indiscriminately. Ladybugs are a natural predator of the spider mite and really useful to have around. The Western Predatory Mite is another great spider mite defense. Try to target your spray to just the bugs you are having trouble with and let the friendly bugs live to help you fight the bad bugs.
“The enemy of my enemy is my friend”