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Russet Mites on Cannabis

Russet mites cannabis

What’s the deal with russet mites on cannabis? Find out more about these nasty bugs on cannabis below.

How to identify russet mites on cannabis plant

Russet mites are tiny insects that feed on cannabis plants. They are so little that you can only see them with a magnifying glass unless you have hundreds of them infesting your plant. They reside in the cracks of leaves, stems, or buds, and the symptoms are mild at first. Many farmers may be unaware that they have a bug infestation, and it is typical for producers to misdiagnose symptoms as mold, pollen, tobacco mosaic virus or heat damage. Unfortunately, signs of russet mites will also be present in other places. Here are some of the more obvious russet mite symptoms.

  • Changes in leaf texture – Leaves may appear moist, burnt, or blistered. This includes leaf margins that curve upward.
  • Funky new growth – New growth may begin drooping or growing in a twisted manner.
  • Concentrated locations – If you notice that particular places are more clearly impacted than others, this is usually due to a mite concentration or infestation.
  • Buds dying – Russet mites can kill a bud as it is flowering entirely. While dying, you will see the cannabis turning brown.

Adding to the difficulty in identifying russet mites is that many of the symptoms match other frequent diseases such as overwatering, pH concerns, poor roots or heat stress. When you are looking into one of these difficulties, it is good to look for specific indicators of russet mites.

What causes russet mites on cannabis?

According to the majority of growers, Mites are comparable to weapons of mass destruction. Russet mite damage is negligible at first, but it quickly worsens. You will almost certainly lose your entire crop if you don’t treat it. The enormous eating habits of russet mites are what makes them so dangerous. Russet mites feed and attack the most in comparison to other mite kinds. Russet mites consume plants, fungus, a variety of predators, parasites, and even sap.

This eventually results in nutrient depletion, slowing the plant’s overall growth. Worse, russet mites are particularly drawn to the resin produced by cannabis flowers, so even buds are vulnerable to their ravenous appetite.

cannabis plant healthy

How to get rid of the russet mites on cannabis?

Neem oil

Neem oil is an excellent all-purpose treatment for various pests, including broad and russet mites. Most plant shops and gardening supply stores carry it. It is simple to use neem oil; mix it in a mister according to the package directions and apply it to the afflicted sections of your plant. Furthermore, while neem oil is an all-natural pesticide, it can be extremely harsh. As a result, you won’t want to use it for much longer than is required.

Essentria IC3

Essentria IC3 is a blend of horticultural oils used to control a wide range of garden pests. It can be misted straight onto the plants and should be sprayed every 8-12 hours until the mites are gone.

Insecticidal soaps

Insecticidal plant soaps are excellent for treating areas of your plants that have been infested with russet mites. As a result, they are appropriate for small infestations and flowering plants. Just be careful not to get the soap on your buds. For optimal results, use them many times.

Mighty Wash

The mighty wash may help cleanse your grow space of russet mites. Spray your plants 15 minutes before turning off the lights. Make sure to wet the foliage beneath the leaves and the top of the soil. You should use a spray bottle or a mister. Use a fan to blow on your leaves to speed up the drying process. Even if you think the russet mites are gone, treat your room more than once.

Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring food supplement formed from fossilized plankton. It can also be utilized in the soil when growing to keep hemp russet mites away from your plants. It also has silica in it. This is simply a precautionary procedure to keep mites from infesting your plant.


Forbid miticide is similar to Avid in that it is built of strong materials with harsh chemicals and is similarly costly. This is a systemic pesticide, which means it kills pests by penetrating the inside of plant tissue. As a result, it should be avoided throughout the blossoming stage (you don’t want this gunk within your buds). Many growers, however, indicate that this is the only thing that regularly works for them. Use Forbid only as recommended and as a last resort!


Avid miticide is a potent remedy containing harsh components that are quite costly, yet it can often do the purpose when nothing else will. This is a systemic pesticide, which means it kills pests by penetrating the inside of plant tissue. As a result, it should be avoided throughout the blossoming stage (you don’t want this gunk within your buds). Many growers, however, claim that this is the only thing that consistently works for them. Use Avid only as prescribed and as a last resort! To evenly spray all of the leaves, you’ll need a mister.


Heat is not a favorite of russet mites. Some gardeners will eliminate them by immersing tiny plants or cuts in hot water (40°C) for 15-20 minutes. Some growers attempt to minimize their number by heating the grow room to 46°C for nearly an hour. Be cautious because this can be deadly if you don’t take precautions, and any heating method powerful enough to kill the mites will most certainly harm your plants.

Predator mites

Mites vs. mites are the most organic choice, and it adds an extra layer of eradication. Any Neoseiulus-type mite will attack russet mite populations.

Dealing with russet mites outdoors

Outdoor farmers (as well as those grown in greenhouses) are more vulnerable to this infestation than indoor growers. So the first step is to ensure that you are using high-quality potting soil that is free of mites and has been treated to guarantee no pre-existing pests (or their eggs) in it. One typical mistake that growers make is that in their zeal (especially novice growers), they sometimes offer too many nutrients – and too much nitrogen can lead to foliage developing on the soil, which attracts these mites.

Stop russet mites before they become a problem

When treating your mite infestation, it is recommended to work your way up from the bottom of the cannabis plant.

  • Start utilizing beneficial nematodes.
  •  Remove old and diseased leaves.
  •  Before the lights go dark, spray your IPM (never spray when your lights are going to be on for hours at a time)
  • Treat daily and with vigilance; they are challenging to eradicate and, like spider mites, reappear.
  • If possible, continue for another month after noticing improvement before the flowering phase.
Picture of 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. About this Author

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