Unfortunately I some times find myself breeding more bugs than cultivating cannabis. I call it the challenge of "large scale" or "commercial" growing. But when I get a handle on things it makes me feel good. My first real challenge in this field was root aphids, and with the help and ingenuity of a fellow grower in Colorado, I was able to overcome them with Met 52 and this product is now being discovered, sought out, and used by many farmers here in this community. To all of you I say please share your experience with this product and I hope its as good as mine. Now I battle russet mites on a large scale. Met 52 led me to another "fungal" type product called hirsutella thompsonii Fisher. This has been used against eriophyid mites in coconut industry countries and I stumbled across this article and thought I'd share it... Sci Tech Strategies to manage eriophyid mite By Our Agriculture Correspondent The coconuts affected by eriophyid mite show warts and longitudinal fissures on the skin.— Pic: S.Thanthoni ERIOPHYID MITE (Aceria guerreronis) a serious pest of coconut, has ravaged the crop in the last few years. Scientists have come out with eco-friendly strategies to effectively manage this scourge. The project directorate of biological control of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) at Bangalore has identified an effective fungus to counter the mite menace. The directorate, with funding from the Coconut Development Board, has isolated the mite-infecting fungus, Hirsutella thompsonii and found that it could be used as bio-control agent to combat the mites. Scientists at the Kerala Agricultural University have hit upon a neem seed oil-garlic-soap emulsion to keep the mites at bay. About 200 ml of neem seed oil and a 500 ml water extract containing 200 g of garlic paste are mixed well and diluted with water to make up a 10-litre spray fluid. To this ordinary soap flakes (50 g) dissolved in 300 ml of lukewarm water should be added. This botanical insecticide forms the neem seed oil-garlic-soap emulsion 2 per cent. About 1.5 litres of this emulsion should be sprayed on the coconut bunches of each palm. The spray should focus on the middle portion of the bunches where the mites tend to concentrate. The spraying should be taken up only in the afternoons so that the pollinating bees are not affected. Care should also be taken to avoid spraying the unfertilized inflorescence. A number of commercial neem formulations have been prescribed to control the eriophyid mites. However, many of them cannot be fed through the roots or injected into the trunks. Moreover, only those formulations with an azadirachtin content of 300 to 1500 ppm can at best act as an insect repellent or an anti-feedant when sprayed. In this context, a neem formulation `Econeem Plus' from a Bangalore-based firm comes in handy for growers managing the mites. It is also, an eco-friendly insecticide containing 10,000 ppm azadirachtin, and it is effective in controlling the mites and preventing the insect-resistance and accumulation of residues in the nuts, according to the company. This product has been tried, evaluated and recommended by scientists of University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Bangalore, for control of eriophyid mites on coconut. It has multiple modes of action. When root-fed or stem injected it gets translocated and acts as a stomach poison on sucking pests like mites. It also acts as an insect growth regulator (IGR) affecting the moulting process in mites, which prevents them entering the next phase of its life cycle, according to the scientists. The botanical insecticide has been effectively used as stem injection at 10 ml per tree. However, for best results it should be root- fed at 10 ml mixed with equal quantity of water per tree. It should be used twice before the onset of monsoon (April-May) at an interval of 25 days, and twice after the monsoon (in October-November) at the same interval, according to the scientists. -So a lot of you already know about azadirachtin. In the U.S. it comes in the form of Azatrol: Biological Insecticide, Repellent, Antifeedant and Insect Growth Regulator Botanical Product for Control of Insects on Indoor and Outdoor Vegetables, Ornamental Flowers, Trees, Shrubs, and Plants. Azatrol is a broad spectrum botanical product for control of insects and mites on indoor and outdoor ornamental plants, shrubs, flowers, garden vegetables, fruit and nut trees. Azatrol offers an array of effects by acting as a repellent, anti-feedant, insect growth regulator and ovipositioning deterrent. As a molting inhibitor, it prevents insect larvae from developing into adults. Insects will feed less or not at all on treated foliage, ultimately starving to death, they will also fail to mature and reproduce. This complexity also makes it impossible for an insect's resistance to develop - Low odor and OMRI listed. Azatrol is OMRI listed and poses no harm to the environment or us. It contains the main ingredient Azadirachtin A and B. It also contains over 300 different Liminoids which also have insecticidal properties. It all comes from the Neem kernel. They use a cold water extraction process to isolate the Azadirachtin. The left over Neem fats and oils are sold off to other companies to make other products. Azatrol contains no neem oil, fats, or bitters. It won't affect taste, color, or aroma and can be used to the day of harvest. Unlike neem oil it completely dissolves in water. Once they have extracted the Azadirachtin it is collected in a powder form that is imported to the US and turned into a concentrated liquid. It has a two year shelf life in the concentrated form. It is almost impossible for an insect to form a resistance to the product. It is not an instant knock down killer. The bugs have to eat it for it to work. It will not harm beneficial insects since they don't eat plant tissue. It can be used as a foliar spray as well as in the res. Plants will take it up into their tissue and it will last there for a few weeks in most cases. The slower a plant grows the longer it stays in the tissue. Usage recommendations Use it on plants used for cuttings consistently (water it in and spray at least once every two weeks. If pest pressure is high use it more often) The rate for the res is 1 ounce per 10 Gallons of water. Fill the res and add nutrients. Take a clean bucket and mix all the Azatrol you need for the res to a gallon or two of water. Mix well and add that solution to the res. pH and you are good to grow. Note Azatrol may add 100 to 200 ppm to the total. Only add it to a res when you change out the tank. Never top off with it. For soil or run to waste water with Azatrol once per week. Begin treating plants as soon as they are well rooted. It can be used up until flush. As a foliar at 7 to 10 ml per QT for light pest pressure. Spray every 7-14 days pH at 6.0 with a wetting agent. For heavy pest pressure 15 ml per QT and spray every 3 to 4 days pH at 6.0 with a wetting agent. You can mix it stronger with caution. Test a plant before you treat the whole crop on higher usage rates. Spray everything you mix within 24 hours. It is organic and will begin to become less potent once mixed (if you try to store it mixed). Not recommend spraying with anything past the 4th week of a 12/12 cycle due to the possibility of mold. Other than that it would be fine. How it works Azatrol keeps an insect from generating a growth hormone in its brain. This affects its ability to grow, to molt, or to create cocoon, even if an insect reaches that point in its life. It is an anti-feedant. You can tell this is happening if you look at a spider mite abdomen. It will begin to turn dark brown or black if you look at it under a 30X microscope. Any easy way to view mites is with scotch tape. Catch them on scotch tape and they can't run away. It will be easy to tell when the Azatrol starts to work. Shortly after you'll notice that the bugs aren't moving around anymore. You may still see them on plants, but they will be paralyzed. Then they simply fall off the plants. Azatrol disrupts insects ability to lay eggs. It works on everything from fungus gnats, whiteflies, caterpillars, spider mites, aphids, thrips, and the list goes on and on. It takes 3 to 4 weeks to rid you garden of pests. After that a normal maintenance regimen will be all that is required. -So anyway, russet mites are my new root aphid. I would like like to beat them and do it in a safe way. I know Azatrol is well known and widely used. We'll see how OMRI listed Azatrol does against these little bastards in my garden. If anyone has any input on hemp russet mites and Azatrol, I'd love to know if it worked for you. I assume its ok to water it in to flowering plants based on this product description, but its always helpful learning from other's experiences. Cheers.