Broad Mites or Russet Mites are two types of similar bugs that are especially common when growing cannabis. Are you experiencing dead, brown buds? We know the horror. While it is physically impossible to see these two types of mites without intense magnification, thankfully it is possible to get them out of your grow space! Keep reading to discover everything we know about russet and broad mites and the best ways to prevent these pests or handle an infestation.
Dealing with a Russet and Broad Mites Problem
As mentioned, it is impossible for the human eye to actually see a russet or broad mite. Nevertheless, identification is always the most important first step when hoping to solve any problem in the garden or grow house. After all, it is of no use to treat a plant for suspected mites if in fact the plant is actually lacking nutrients or suffering from another disease.
To determine if your plant has russet or broad mites, look for “wet”-looking new growth. Oftentimes, it is also twisted or misshapen. Blisters may also be present on the leaves and stems. Signs of mites looks very similar to overwatering and/or heat damage. Leaves may begin to yellow and die.
Russet and broad mites are a difficult pest to diagnose because they do not leave bite marks on leaves, or other typical or noticeable signs of insect infestations. Sometimes leaves may droop, but again, often the real culprit is unsuspected. Many plants are treated for other problems before the grower realizes that mites have been causing their issues all along.
Getting Rid of Russets and Broad Mites
Unfortunately, many typical or standard “mite sprays” will not treat russet or broad mites. They are known to be one of the most difficult pests for the cannabis grower to eradicate. That said, this too can be done!
Your russet and broad mite remedy follows:
- When your cannabis plant is in vegetation, treat with a micronized spray (or dip) of wettable sulphur. Use this treatment with caution around any other foliage and never while the plant is flowering. Additionally, do not use within two weeks of treating with neem or any essential oils.
- After the infestation has passed, treat once a week with a treatment designed to prevent the return of the bugs, such as neem oil, insecticidal soaps, diatomaceous earth, heat or predatory mites.
Expect to treat your plants multiple times a week before you get the problem under control. This is one pest that takes commitment and patience. However, have faith that your plants can come back healthy and vibrant. Keep in mind that you will need to treat your plants for a full five weeks after the infestation has gone away, in order to prevent its return.