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I've got spider mites, now what do I do?

Spider mites are arguably the most common pest for indoor growers. There are several strategies for eliminating these pests, which typically fall into two categories: chemical or organic methods.

For effective pest control, when relying on pesticides—whether organic or synthetic—it's advisable to rotate among three different products. This practice not only yields better results; it also helps prevent the pests from developing resistance.

Chemical Control:​

A spray with pyrethrin as the active ingredient often proves quite effective. Opting for one that includes garlic can also act as a deterrent. However, it's worth noting that some spider mites have developed resistance to pyrethrin. The recommended application is one spray per week, but avoid exceeding two. Overconcentrating the pesticide won't expedite elimination and can harm the plants with chemical burn. Ensure thorough application by covering both the tops and bottoms of leaves.

For severe infestations, flea bombs from the local supermarket can be a last resort. These contain potent chemicals and should be avoided close to harvest time. The typical regimen is once a week until the problem is resolved, which is generally within a week. However, a second application may be necessary. During treatment, shut off all exhaust fans for two hours after deploying the bomb. Then air the room out well by turning the fans back on. Always perform this treatment with the lights off, as fumes in lit conditions pose a risk of ignition. Flea bombs disrupt the spider mite life cycle at every stage, hence their effectiveness.

A pesticide called Avid has shown promise recently, with some growers considering it the final solution to reinfestations. Completing the eradication process to avoid breeding resistant mites is crucial.

Organic Solutions:​

Neem oil or neem-based products have gained popularity for their effectiveness. The recommended treatment frequency with these is at most every three days, stopping in the final weeks before harvest to avoid influencing the taste of the flowers.

You can also raise the humidity in your grow room above 80-90% for up to three days, which causes the mites to absorb excessive moisture and burst. Be cautious, as prolonging high humidity levels could encourage mold growth.

Another non-chemical method is daily spraying of plants with plain water, targeting both the tops and undersides of the leaves. This physically dislodges the mites and disrupts their stationary behavior, as they can remain immobile for up to three days. However, this method also increases the risk of mold, so vigilance is necessary.

Whenever chemicals are part of the treatment plan, it's critical to follow instructions and adhere to safety protocols. Accidental inhalation of vapors can have negative health consequences, so handle with care.
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PFGrower89
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Liked the straight forward attitude and appreciate the recommendations! I'm in a full on war with the little devils right now. The severity of this situation with such an unusually small insect can have you so aggravated and exhausted within a day or even hours. I'm going to see if I can use this information and it can help me and my girls!
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