I need help - time is of the essence

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bobj

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Good morning. I just recently got into the hobby of growing marijuana, and I've got some 'pest' issues, I think.

My seedlings are 15 days old today, sprouted on May 23rd. I germinated in a cup of distilled water before planting them in 4.00 round pots, PROMIX organic seed starting mix. I have not added anything to the pots besides water. I'm growing in my closet area, it's CLEAN, walls were scrubbed down, floor was vacuumed. The pots are sitting on a plastic saucer, on top of a box, about 30 inches from my grow light, set at 50% intensity, 18/6 every day.

The other day I noticed little black specks on the leaves, I originally thought this was dirt from me misting the top of the soil with my spray bottle. But yesterday I began to notice one of my plants had red stems, and the leaves looked sort of droopy. I'm thinking this might be spider mites. But I'm unsure, there isn't any 'webbing' usually associated with such an infestation. I do not have a microscope to further look at these specks to see what they look like, and if I order one off of Amazon, this 'infestation' might get out of hand (if it's not already out of hand).

How do I correctly go about identifying what these little black specks are, and how do I resolve this issue?
 
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Buzzzz

Buzzzz

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Good morning. I just recently got into the hobby of growing marijuana, and I've got some 'pest' issues, I think.

My seedlings are 15 days old today, sprouted on May 23rd. I germinated in a cup of distilled water before planting them in 4.00 round pots, PROMIX organic seed starting mix. I have not added anything to the pots besides water. I'm growing in my closet area, it's CLEAN, walls were scrubbed down, floor was vacuumed. The pots are sitting on a plastic saucer, on top of a box, about 30 inches from my grow light, set at 50% intensity, 18/6 every day.

The other day I noticed little black specks on the leaves, I originally thought this was dirt from me misting the top of the soil with my spray bottle. But yesterday I began to notice one of my plants had red stems, and the leaves looked sort of droopy. I'm thinking this might be spider mites. But I'm unsure, there isn't any 'webbing' usually associated with such an infestation. I do not have a microscope to further look at these specks to see what they look like, and if I order one off of Amazon, this 'infestation' might get out of hand (if it's not already out of hand).

How do I correctly go about identifying what these little black specks are, and how do I resolve this issue?
If you have mites take a pin or an old leaf etc and agitate and they will move to confirm.
 
mysticepipedon

mysticepipedon

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I suspect it's dirt. I'm not seeing any damage.

You can start feeding about now. Don't worry about red petioles (petioles = "leaf stems"). This seems to be more related to bright LEDs than anything else.
 
B

bobj

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Push them around, if those are mites you would probably have some speckled leaves as well
I pushed them around, they don't move. Not that I can see anyway. I'm also noticing some VERY tiny white specks appearing on the leaf, almost look like tiny bleach stains or some
I suspect it's dirt. I'm not seeing any damage.

You can start feeding about now. Don't worry about red petioles (petioles = "leaf stems"). This seems to be more related to bright LEDs than anything else.
Feeding? What do you mean?
 
mysticepipedon

mysticepipedon

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I pushed them around, they don't move. Not that I can see anyway. I'm also noticing some VERY tiny white specks appearing on the leaf, almost look like tiny bleach stains or some

Feeding? What do you mean?
Fertilizer, nutrients, N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn, Mn, Mo, Si...
 
unknowntheknown

unknowntheknown

21
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Look at a single spot on your leaf for a few minutes straight. If you see movement from these specks then it is alive and will need to be identified. If the specks remain in the same spot then it's probably dirt. Or as Buzzzz stated you can agitate the leaf and poke the specks with a pin to see if they move as a result to see if they are alive.

You can acquire one of those small 30x metal jeweler loupes for like five dollars which you can then use to stare at suspected pests with in the future. I have one and have used it more than I thought I would. Edit: now that I think about it you may also be able to buy a phone camera magnifier too zoom in and use your phone as a magnifying glass.
 
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B

bobj

6
1
Look at a single spot on your leaf for a few minutes straight. If you see movement from these specks then it is alive and will need to be identified. If the specks remain in the same spot then it's probably dirt. Or as Buzzzz stated you can agitate the leaf and poke the specks with a pin to see if they move as a result to see if they are alive.

You can acquire one of those small 30x metal jeweler loupes for like five dollars which you can then use to stare at suspected pests with in the future. I have one and have used it more than I thought I would. Edit: now that I think about it you may also be able to buy a phone camera magnifier too zoom in and use your phone as a magnifying glass.
I have beetles in and around my soil. I was told they're there because they're feeding on other bugs. Could the black specks be due to beetle frass?
 
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unknowntheknown

unknowntheknown

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Are the beetles on your leaves or just in the soil? If the beetles are on your leaves then yes they could be pooping on them or laying eggs and leaving those specks but if they aren't on your leaves then I'd say they are unrelated. I don't know what type of beetle that is and if it would be considered a pest or a benefit.
 
B

bobj

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Are the beetles on your leaves or just in the soil? If the beetles are on your leaves then yes they could be pooping on them or laying eggs and leaving those specks but if they aren't on your leaves then I'd say they are unrelated. I don't know what type of beetle that is and if it would be considered a pest or a benefit.
I only found 3, but they've been scurrying around the bottom of the pots. I didn't find any on the soil, but I assume that's where they came from. Or so I thought, someone else floated the idea that they were there due to dirty growing conditions (which isn't true), and that they were predators, feasting on other bugs.

I'm getting mixed messages, some say they're beneficial and eat other bugs, some say they're a problem and will not only eat other bugs, but my plants too. What Im most concerned with is if they ARE there because of other bugs...
 
unknowntheknown

unknowntheknown

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I'm getting mixed messages
Welcome to grow forums lol. There are lots of newbies that flock to grow forums while all the old heads that have grown for over a decade get bored answering the same "I'm new what is wrong with my plant" posts. Look at every post and you'll see someone chiming in that really is not qualified and then the poster will take that persons advice, which was bad, and implement it and then have even more issues. I'm not saying I'm an old head it just is how it is. Scrutinize people's posts and see if it makes sense in your situation.

An example would be I recently posted a problem with a clone. Someone said "over watered and salt buildup" when I was in reality under watering and underfeeding. Even though to my gut it contradicted my assumptions, had I taken that persons advice and watered even less and fed even less my clone would be dead today.
 

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