Garden pests can really bug you and Cannabis certainly has no shortage of pests. While the old saying goes that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, that adage doesn’t do much when you’re dealing with an infestation.
So for today’s pest profile, we’re going to talk about aphids, a pest you may find yourself dealing with in a cannabis grow. We’ll include info on treatment, and yes, we’ll throw in that ounce of prevention.
What are they?
Aphids are the small, sap-sucking insects that you can see in the image above. In addition to damaging the plant by sucking nutrients, water, and sugar from the leaves and stems, they leave behind a sticky secretion called “honeydew” that can facilitate growth of mold. They can also spread disease as they feed on new plants.
What to Look For
Aphids prefer to be out of the light so they are most prevalent on the undersides of leaves and on stems and stalks. Honeydew can also attract ants, which can be another sign of aphid infestation. Additionally, aphid leaf damage shows as yellowing or curling.
How to Treat/Prevent
There are a variety of treatments available for aphids including predatory organisms such as ladybugs and predatory mites, organic pesticides, and oils. Commercial pesticides are also available but many growers prefer an organic approach before resorting to using these chemicals. If the infestation is not too widespread, pruning the plant and removing the aphids by hand is another effective option.
Now you know your aphid basics. Make sure to check out the rest of the articles in our Pest Profile series.
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About the Author
Chris DeWildt is a graduate of Grand Valley State University and Western Kentucky University. He worked in education and publishing for ten years before joining the team at Growers Network.