Garden pests are a pain and Cannabis certainly has no shortage of them. So for today’s pest profile we’re going to discuss whiteflies, a common pest you may find yourself dealing with in a Cannabis grow.
What are they?
Whiteflies look like their name suggest, are little white flies. They have also been described as looking like small white moths, though in truth they are more closely related to aphids and cicadas. They attack plants in much the same way as the spider mites we mentioned last time. They hide on the underside of leaves and use their piercing mo to suck nutrients, water, and sugar from the plant.
What to Look For
Whiteflies will typically be detected before you see any damage to the plant. Just giving the plant a slight shake can create of cloud of scattering whiteflies. Affected leaves will become spotted as a result of the whitefly feeding. Additional effects on the plant include leaf yellowing, leaf drying, and slowed growth.
How to Treat/Prevent
Like all of the pests we mentioned there are a variety of effective treatments. Your first line of defense is always vigilant monitoring. Additionally, whiteflies have developed a resistance to many synthetic pesticides which makes prevention even more important. Companion planting is recommended, specifically marigolds or zinnias which will attract natural whitefly predators such as hummingbirds and parasitic wasps.
Now you’re whitefly wise! Make sure to check out the rest of the articles in our Pest Spotlight 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.