Hogarth's Pest Control specializes in all types of industries, residential and commercial.
With the recent recreational legalization of cannabis, we have extended our pest control services to an entirely new realm. Cannabis pests are one of the greatest threats to a healthy, profitable crop. Within the industry, there are quite a few pest-related issues growers face. These issues do not only affect the quality and yield of the plants— but improper treatment can also harm those who consume the flower. Two of the main pests that Michigan growers face are spider mites and thrips, but many also come in contact with an array of caterpillars and worms. We have the ability to treat and control these pests on a residential and commercial scale.
Spider mites are tiny, web-spinning insects that feed on sap from the bottom of leaves. They are a significant issue for indoor gardeners. Spider mites are particularly vicious because they cause severe injury to your plants in a short time. Female mites are only 1/50 of an inch long, and males are even smaller. They are but mere specks when seen crawling on the undersurface of leaves. Leaves that have been ransacked by spider mites will become dry, brittle and discolored. Even a minor infestation can have a significant impact on a plant’s productivity. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. The imbalance in moisture caused by spider mite feeding makes the leaves taste even better to the mites! Stressed leaves become sweeter as a result of higher levels of soluble nitrogen. Both sugar and nitrogen are delicacies on the spider mite’s menu.
Spider mites are so small that they have been known to be blown in by the wind, literally! Their size makes it so that they can migrate from other plants that you may have in your house to your indoor garden very easily. They can also hitch a ride on your shoes, clothes and/or your pets. Experienced growers know to cover all air intakes with an insect screen.
Another of the most common pests you may deal with when growing are thrips. Thrips can impact your cannabis plants the most when growing outdoors but can be a nuisance indoors as well. They come from flowers, vegetables, and plants that appear in the springtime. Thrips will usually hitch a ride on clothing or shoes that have been outside. In warmer climates, growers can find thrips year-round living on many different species of plants.
The lifecycle of a thrip at 70-degrees Fahrenheit consists of egg → larvae → adult in a total of nineteen days. If you increase the temperature by five or more degrees, they become adults in just thirteen days!
Signs of Thrips on Cannabis
Metallic (usually silver/gold) spots or patches on leaves/stems
Flying around by soil
Crawling on leaves and stems
Leaves turning yellow, brown and breaking off
Lower leaves a common location for thrips
Caterpillars / Worms / Cabbage Loopers
A tell-tale sign of caterpillars/worms/ cabbage loopers is just seeing chunks of your leaves missing. In most cases, you may also see clumps of black/brown dirt-like on your leaves, which are their droppings. Lastly, you may physically catch a caterpillar munching on your leaves. In time, you’ll begin to notice chunks of your leaves missing, as the caterpillars devour your leaves.
Before you self-treat, it is important to note that many methods are harmful not only to the plants but to those who consume them as well. The dangers of self-treating for any of these pests include selling a product that is not genuinely organic, and people consume pesticides (pesticide gets into the root system). This can not only affect your yield but also puts the health of the consumer in jeopardy.
Looking to established agricultural integrated pest management (IPM) practices can provide proven solutions for cannabis growers. As the term suggests, IPM uses a combination of methods to keep pests in check.
These methods include:
Monitoring plants for the presence of pests
Treating pest problems
Evaluating the efficacy of pest treatments
Continued prevention of pest problems
IPM programs focus on the on-going prevention of pests and their damage. We do this through a combination of techniques that includes biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and the use of resistant varieties. The use of pesticides only comes after close monitoring indicates that they are necessary according to the established guidelines, and treatments are conducted with the goal of removing/controlling the target organism only. Pest control materials are selected and applied in a way that minimizes risks to humans, beneficial and non-target organisms, and the environment. We cater to the needs of each specific client— if an entirely organic program is what you’re looking for, then we will create an IPM accordingly.
Initial inspection and a sitemap of the structure(s) is required. We will provide all IPM accounts with an IPM book.
Hogarth’s already works with an array of clients and their cannabis plants, offering professional and discreet service. We have experience in this industry and look forward to helping grow operations across Michigan cultivate healthy, bountiful crops.