Professional Cannabis Cultivation

8) Pesticides


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Lesson Summary:

In this lesson, Cameron discusses some of the pesticide application procedures you’ll use in you Cannabis grow.


Lesson Transcript:

Hey Everyone, it’s Cameron here, and today we’re going to be talking about pesticide application.

So with regards to states and what they are tolerating and not tolerating with regard to pesticides overall states are becoming more restrictive, and I think the model to look at is a state like Maryland where right out the gate there were zero pesticides allowed. I think since them they have started to allow some pesticides, but it’s a very very small list and those are the states that you want to sort of base your IPM (integrated pest management) program on. If you can make it a success with no pesticides, that’s definitely the model because less is going to be more in the long run.

When it comes to state by state requirements, you definitely want to check with your specific state. Those lists that are allowed, those lists are updated frequently, so what is allowed today may not be allowed tomorrow. Generally, you can put your name onto an email update list and those either come out weekly and/or monthly, and definitely be sure to be checking that list because you do not want to fall out of compliance.

The first thing that I’d like to talk about with regard to a pesticide free IPM program would be the inclusion of sulfur. What makes sulfur such a neat way to go about eradicating pests is sulfur is one of the building blocks of plant life. I’ve found a lot of success using sulfur in treating one of the worst pests you can imagine and that’s the russet mite. We have used sulfur to not only eradicate an infestation, but we’ve also used it as a preventative treatment. Let’s talk about the eradication first.

With regard to eradication you can spray your garden with water, and then use a micronized wettable dusting sulfur to basically coat the surface area of the plants, and what this does is it basically makes the plant inedible to the russet mite, they’ll still go after the plan,t but they’ll consume the sulfur and it basically turns into sulfuric acid inside them, and it fries them from the inside out.

With regards to preventative maintenance I’ve used sulfur again, a sort of water soluble sulfur that can be used as a plant dip. So you can either invert the plant into a small bucket of this sulfur solution, or you can apply it using a negative sprayer. What’s cool about the negative ion sprayers is they create a charged particles, so when you spray the plant straight on you get particles that will bind to the underside of leaves, and so you get what is almost as effective as a whole plant dip. You get as close to 100% coverage as possible.

With regard to products that you can use either for the dusting and/or the water soluble, please refer to the course note and you will my recommendations there.

When it comes to using sulfur on your plants, it’s important to remember not to use sulfur during the flowering stage of production. You’ll end up with a finished product that tastes like sulfur, so this is something that’s imperative to remember. We use sulfur basically on the entire veg cycle.

As we move into the flower cycle we want to be thinking about using predatory insects, so hopefully we’ve built enough of a moat around our plants during the vegetative life cycle that once we get into the flower side we can start releasing predatory insects on a bi-weekly or monthly basis over the roughly eight week flower cycle, which will keep all of our possible pests at bay.

Another big problem in terms of potential pests for your plants are root aphids. Root aphids have become a real problem over the last couple of years. Lots of people are seeing it, and my guess is it’s going to be a problem that you’re going to face. If you want to refer to the course notes there are a couple products I recommend, but definitely root drenches on some sort of pre determined schedule, I’d say about once every 5-7 days for three, four, five repetitions to make sure that you’re not only getting the ones that are alive, but you’re re-drenching in order to get the ones that were dormant during that first drenching. Like everything else, the IPM protocol has got to be on a set timetable that fits your production schedule needs.

One of the last things I’d like talk about with regard to the IPM protocol is the use of chlorine dioxide to address molds and mildews that could be alive and in your environment, and escaping the filtration systems that you may have built into your facility. I’ve been using chlorine dioxide with a lot of success for a number of years. If you’d like to refer to the course notes, you can see some recommendations that I have but what this protocol does is addresses the sort of the short term as well as the long term needs during the cultivation life cycle. The chlorine dioxide protocol has three different parts. There’s a sterilization part that happens in between harvest or right before the room is repopulated. There’s a quick release bomb that you do the night before the room is repopulated, and then there’s a slow release that is left in the room during the flower cycle. Those slow release packets last for about 30 days. They are safe for plants, safe for humans, and they are effective during the nighttime cycle, so every twelve hours when the lights are off they are disinfecting the room so every night you’re getting your room sterilized. Chlorine dioxide is great for molds and mildews and should be an integral part of your IPM protocol.

The last piece that I want to discuss in terms of IPM is the compliance and signage posting and reentry interval for pesticides. All the things that we’ve talked about up to this point are not necessary requisite of a reentry interval. Depending on the state that you’re in and depending on the pesticides that state allows, you may have to post signage to let your staff and visitors know that they can’t go into a room for some certain period of time after a pesticide has been applied. These signs they are usually magnet, you put them on the door and the reentry interval is stated specifically and explicitly on the pesticide bottle itself.

So that’s what I’ve got for you on IPM today. If you like what you heard please refer to the course notes for any recommendations that I’ve made during this talk, and certainly if you like what you heard please stay tuned for our next video.


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Course Notes:

Recommended Reading:
A Natural Solution to Your Cannabis Pest Problems
The Wrong Way to Use Chemical Pesticides
How to Grow Cannabis 143: Pest and Disease Management
How to Grow Cannabis 219: Integrated Pest Management
Using Climate Control to Prevent Disease
How to Grow Cannabis 113 – Beneficial Mites
Growers Network’s Beneficials Profile: Ladybugs


Suggested Products

Enter code GNU-Student for 10% at Growershouse.
(Excludes “Killer Deal” items)
Guard ‘n Spray Natural Insecticide
Ecoworks EC (OMRI Listed)
Soil Sulfur
ProKure Chlorine Dioxide products
AzaMax Organic Insecticide


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