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Mealybugs on Cannabis

Many mealy bugs caught on the leaves.

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Mealybugs on cannabis are one of the most particularly pesky bugs on cannabis. Find our how to identify them and deal with the pests below.

How to identify mealybugs on cannabis plants

You’ll know you have bugs on cannabis plants when you see white, puffy clumps of something that looks like cotton. If your plants are infested with mealybugs, you will observe these clusters appearing on stems and in crevices.

A single infection on your cannabis plant will not do much damage, but if you see one, it’s best to take action. It’s easy for things to spiral out of control, and before you know it, the leaves of your cannabis plants will be withering.

Mealybugs have white scales and fluffy bodies, and their appearance is similar to that of mold or mildew. Male and female mealybugs appear the same; however, they have a few minor distinctions. Check to see if you notice white bugs on cannabis.

Because of their tiny size and wings, male bugs on cannabis plants can only live briefly and serve one purpose: reproduction.

Unlike male mealy bugs, which only survive one life cycle, female mealybugs breed several times, causing a rapid rise in the mealy insect population in your growing area. Always be on the lookout for minor white bugs on cannabis plants.

What causes mealybugs on cannabis?

Mealybugs are more active in warm weather since they dislike the cold. It is common to find them hidden in cracks around the plant’s stems and nodes, where little pockets of air form since they like moist environments.

The presence of ants may also bring on mealybugs. Honeydew attracts ants, while mealybugs are attracted to honeydew. It might signify that there is already a honeydew-excreting pest in the area. A white bug on cannabis is protected by ants, who establish a safe habitat to feed and reproduce. Mealybugs are unlikely to emerge if there are no ants in the area.

How to get rid of mealybugs on cannabis?

Remove as many as you can by hand or with a water sprayer before moving to other approaches

A powerful spray of water outdoors, aimed at blasting away the pests, maybe an excellent method to get their numbers considerably reduced before you begin any additional treatment.

Mealybugs on a leaf
Mealybugs on a leaf

Even if you are doing this consistently, it is best if you do it in conjunction with at least one of the other ways. Spray as many bugs as possible if you can.

Insecticidal soaps

You can control mealybugs with fatty acid salts or insecticide soaps. However, they weaken the outer shell of the plant, but they are safe to use on your plants and don’t leave much of an aftertaste. Soaps don’t last long on plants, so you may need to reapply if you don’t get full coverage. Avoid getting any on your buds, even if it’s deemed harmless.

Neem oil

When used to treat blooming plants, Neem Oil might leave a bad taste or smell in the buds; therefore, don’t use it! Neem oil has also been linked to adverse effects in people, so proceed with caution if using it. On the other hand, neem oil is a natural medicine that is very effective against various pests and fungi, including mealybugs. A mister (also known as a “One-Hand Pressure Sprayer”) is required to uniformly distribute neem oil and water over all the leaves since they might separate.

Alcohol

To get rid of bugs on cannabis, you may use various methods, including rubbing alcohol on them. For tiny plants, you may be able to kill each insect one by one using a swab soaked in rubbing alcohol, which will quickly eliminate most of the adults. If you have a few or use this in conjunction with another strategy, this is an alternative.

There are several ways to eliminate these white bugs on cannabis plants. For example, you might mix an alcohol-water solution and use a mister (also known as a “One-Hand Pressure Sprayer”).

Spray the plant once a week with a mix of 9 parts water to 1 part rubbing alcohol until the mealybugs are gone. Spraying small white bugs on cannabis plants with an alcohol-water combination is the intended method of killing them. Alcohol has no protective “coating” like soaps or oils since it evaporates so quickly into the air.

Beneficial insects

Ladybugs and lacewings are beneficial insects that may devour vast numbers of white mites on cannabis plants in the garden. Even though you may arrange for the release of ladybugs around your plants, they usually disappear after a day or two after being released. The natural enemies’ influence on mealybug populations may not be sufficient to maintain them at or below tolerable levels after an infestation has begun due to the pests’ high reproductive capacity. However, they are completely painless!

Diatomaceous earth

Apply food-grade diatomaceous earth to the soil that is exposed. It will aid in the eradication of mealybugs and prevent further infestations. The use of diatomaceous earth is a terrific way to speed up the process of getting rid of mealybugs and their offspring.

It is a natural insecticide created from fossilized diatoms. When used to empty insects of their bodily fluids, it is sharp on a microscopic level yet safe for people and pets to ingest and even be eaten.

Dealing with mealybugs outdoors 

Mealybugs are hard to get rid of since they are so challenging to deal with. We advise employing a variety of methods to deal with them. The initial step is to delete as many bugs as possible by hand. If they persist, try Neem oil, insecticidal soap, or 90 ml water mixed with 10 ml vodka to kill them.

Do not overuse any of these since they will harm your plant. You should try one approach at a time to find which one works best for you. Lastly, keep in mind that it will take a long time to get rid of them entirely, so plan on using the therapy often, even every day. Observe how mealy bugs respond to your plant’s warning indications.

Stop mealybugs before they become a problem

The effects of mealy bugs may be dire, even though they aren’t considered a significant concern. Check your plants frequently for signs of ants or other pests, which might be a sign of a mealybug infestation. Inspect your plants often and take action as soon as you see any problems.

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Ed Rushford
Ed Rushford
Ed Rushford’s impact on cannabis growing is undeniable. Though he tends to focus primarily on 2 areas, plant training techniques and dealing with disease, pests, and other problems, he has offered many insights into how cannabis plants live and grow. That’s not to say that Ed is unfamiliar with the complete life cycle of cannabis, from seed to harvest, but he uses his widespread knowledge to hone in on the minutia and niche areas of growing cannabis. Ed’s goal is to spread knowledge and allow for everyone to become better growers. While Ed has a particular penchant for the SCROG, Schwazzing and Mainlining techniques in his own garden, he has basically mastered every growing technique which has allowed him to choose the ones he personally favors. When it comes to pests and diseases, Ed draws on his own experiences as a novice grower way back in the day and builds upon his own learning curves to provide comprehensive guidance on dealing with plant problems in a pinch.
Ed Rushford
Ed Rushford
Ed Rushford’s impact on cannabis growing is undeniable. Though he tends to focus primarily on 2 areas, plant training techniques and dealing with disease, pests, and other problems, he has offered many insights into how cannabis plants live and grow. That’s not to say that Ed is unfamiliar with the complete life cycle of cannabis, from seed to harvest, but he uses his widespread knowledge to hone in on the minutia and niche areas of growing cannabis. Ed’s goal is to spread knowledge and allow for everyone to become better growers. While Ed has a particular penchant for the SCROG, Schwazzing and Mainlining techniques in his own garden, he has basically mastered every growing technique which has allowed him to choose the ones he personally favors. When it comes to pests and diseases, Ed draws on his own experiences as a novice grower way back in the day and builds upon his own learning curves to provide comprehensive guidance on dealing with plant problems in a pinch.

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