How to prevent Pests this summer!
Warmer weather is something we all look forward to each summer, but this rise in temperature also results in a rise in pests – the one thing nobody wants in their grow room. You might be thinking, but I’m growing indoors, my plants will be fine! That’s not always the case. Pests can be so tiny; they can slip in through a variety of ways and that includes intake fans and being carried in accidentally by yourself after being outside.
Well, we’ve compiled a little guide to some of the most common pests, giving you an idea of what to look out for as the temperatures rise and helping you to prevent, control and eradicate them.
Here’s a list of common pests to give you an idea of what to look out for on both your plants and in your grow room:
Spider mites are arachnids, rather than insects. Spider mites belong to the family Tetranychidae. Some of these species spin silk and form webs within the plant, mostly to protect their eggs and young from predators. Some female spider mites have an average lifespan of 30 days and can produce 100 eggs on average during that time. In the case of the two-spotted spider mite, the young can complete their development in as few as five days, meaning that a new generation is now ready to reproduce. For this reason, two-spotted spider mite populations tend to go through the roof, especially under favourable climate conditions (hot and dry). Spider mites feed on the chlorophyll in plants. They puncture individual plant cell walls and suck out the vital fluids those cells contain. Initially, spider mite damage will show small yellow or brown spots on the leaves. If spider mites are allowed to continue feeding without being treated, these damaged leaves will likely turn fully brown and eventually drop off the plant. Over fertilized crops may be more attractive for female two-spotted spider mites as they contain more proteins and amino acids which are a food source for this pest.
*We also sell the direct predator for two-spotted spider mites which are called Phytoseiulus and we sell the following sizes: 200,1000,2000 which is the number of living predators in the test tube in which they are stored * ( please note all spider mite predators are subject to order and do take 7 days to arrive cut off time is 4 pm on any Wednesday to receive the following Wednesday)
Thrips are tiny insects about as fat as a sewing needle that dines on many plants worldwide. Thrips are sucking insects that can cause some damage to plants. However, their damage can be much worse when they transmit viruses to plants. Adult thrips are slender and tiny, their colours can be anywhere from yellow to brown or black, and if you try to get close to them, they will probably leap or fly away. They have narrow, fringed wings. The nymphs look like even smaller adults, though they tend to be light green or yellow rather than darker colours. Thrips damage includes streaks, silvery speckling, and small white patches. This happens because the thrips suck plant cells from many garden plants, flowers, fruits. If you have a major infestation of thrips, your plants might be stunted with damaged flowers and fruit. Thrips lay eggs in plant tissue, these eggs hatch after 3–5 days, and the nymphs then feed for 1–3 weeks before resting. Thrips can have up to 15 generations per year outdoors. Adult thrips live short lives of about one month.
*We also sell the direct predator for thrips which are called Amblyseius and we sell the following sizes: 25 sachet pack.* (Please note all thrip predators are subject to order and do take 7 days to arrive cut off time is 4 pm on any Wednesday to receive the following Wednesday)
Also known as sciarid fly are normally found in damp or wet compost or seed trays. Adults are small flies and can be a nuisance in grow rooms and can be a nightmare and cause damage especially to seedlings and cuttings. Adult fungus gnats are grey/ brown flies that are roughly about 3-4mm long. They can often be seen running over the surface of seed trays and pots or flying slowly around plants. A good little tip to see if these pesky bugs are in and around your plant is to tap the pot and you normally unsettle the pest and it will show itself and most likely have a fly around revealing itself. The larvae are slender whitish maggots with blackheads. Their bodies are semi-transparent and it is often possible to see the dark coloured gut contents. They live in the soil or potting compost. This insect thrives in damp composts containing high levels of organic matter. Adult fungus gnats do not damage plants but they can cause annoyance when they are flying around indoors. The larvae feed mainly on dead roots and other decaying plant material and associated fungal growth. Some species of fungus gnats may also feed on soft plant growth, such as seedling roots and the base of soft cuttings. Established plants are unlikely to be damaged by fungus gnat larvae. Be careful if you do have a bad infestation because you then should have damaged root tissue sat inside damp soil/compost so there then is a potential for rotting and fungus gnats can aid in black root rot (caused by Thielaviopsis basicola).
*We also sell the direct predator for fungus gnats which are called Hypoaspis miles and we sell the following size: 10,000 tubes.* (Please note all fungus gnat predators are subject to order and do take 7 days to arrive cut off time is 4 pm on any Wednesday to receive the following Wednesday)
The chilli growers nightmare….Aphids are sap-sucking true-bugs. Soft-bodied, pear-shaped insects that may be green, yellow, brown, red or black in colour depending on species and food source. Generally, adults are wingless, but some can grow wings, especially if populations are high, it is usually possible to see aphid infestations with the naked eye, and they tend to colonise shoot tips, flower buds and the underside of younger leaves. Aphids can cause stunted growth with curled or distorted leaves and can weaken the plant. Common names include greenfly and blackfly. A typical life cycle involves flightless females giving birth to female nymphs without the involvement of males. Maturing rapidly, females breed profusely so that the number of these insects multiplies quickly. Aphids are among the most destructive insect pests on cultivated plants in not hot but not freezing conditions so basically normal room temperature is an ideal environment for the sucking insects. In addition to weakening the plant by sucking sap, they act as vectors for plant viruses and disfigure ornamental plants with deposits of honeydew and the subsequent growth of sooty moulds. Control of aphids is not easy. Insecticides do not always produce reliable results, given resistance to several classes of insecticide and the fact that aphids often feed on the undersides of leaves.
*We also sell the direct predator for Aphids which are called Athidius and we sell them in the following sizes: 1 pack. (Please note all Aphid predators are subject to order and do take 7 days to arrive cut off time is 4 pm on any Wednesday to receive the following Wednesday)
*Please note the direct predator is a ladybird in which eats aphids but we do not sell or order ladybirds*
Whiteflies are tiny white-winged, moth-like insects, no more than 2mm long. They colonize in a wide range of vegetables, ornamental plants and trees and are quick to fly up into the air whenever their host plant is disturbed. They are sap-feeders that live on the underside of leaves, where females can lay up to 200 eggs at a time. When the eggs hatch, scale-like nymphs crawl around for a while before latching on to suck sap from the leaf until they pupate and finally emerge as adults. Both the adult whitefly and their nymphs are sap-feeders causing yellowing and leaf-disfigurement. They also excrete sugary honeydew that drops down onto on the leaves and stems below. This makes those areas of the plant sticky and the perfect host for black, sooty moulds to grow.
*We also sell the whitefly predators and we sell them in the following sizes: 750 pack. (Please note all whitefly predators are subject to order and do take 7 days to arrive cut off time is 4 pm on any Wednesday to receive the following Wednesday)
So, what’s the best way to prevent them or get rid of them? The products below will help you do just that!
Sticky Fly Traps are an easy way to keep an eye on how many bugs are getting into your grow room. The sticky traps are essential in the grow room to discover the insect pests so they can be destroyed before they do too much damage. Regular inspection of the plants themselves with a pocket microscope or a phone scope is also advisable for detecting non-flying pests.
Ed Rosenthal’s Zero Tolerance Herbal Pesticide, which offers advantages over other natural products, and poisonous pesticides. Zero Tolerance leaves no residue (unlike Neem oil) because the highest quality food grade oils of cinnamon, clove, rosemary, and thyme evaporate fully. It is safer for the garden than Pyrethrum, which is toxic to fish and reptiles.
4C-Field Is a Novel method for control of Spider mites, thrips and fungus gnats. The non-toxic natural product creates a static field that disrupts every part of the insect’s life cycle. The plant will be clear of infestation within 72 hours of application. 4C-Field Also eliminates Fungi, bacteria and viruses.
The Spray & Grow Spider Mite Protection Spray is a natural way to get rid of spider mites and infestations. The organic composition of this spray means the formula is safe to use throughout any stage of plant growth and can be used alongside natural spider mite enemies such as bees and predatory mites.
Guard'N'Aid for Spider Mite is an effective contact insecticide to use against spider mites on all plants. It acts quickly against eggs, larval stages and adult mites, helping to rid of them efficiently!
Guard’N’Aid for Thrips is a targeted contact insecticide made with Pyrethrum, specifically designed to use against Thrips throughout the egg, larval and adult stages. The oil-based formula, with added Canola oil, targets the respiratory organ and nervous systems of insects, working to stop them in their tracks.
Killer Mite is the latest product in the legendary Plant Vitality range, formulated to control western flower thrips, leaf miners and two-spotted spider mites. It tackles infestations quickly and effectively, helping to reduce stress and minimise any damage caused.
Controls a wide range of important pest species including Whitefly, Aphid, Spider Mite, Mealybug, Scale and Psyllid. Due to the physical mode of action, these pests will not become resistant to SBPI. For use on all edible and ornamental crops. The mode of action is non-chemical and non-biological.
We can also order live predators for the insect in which you are struggling to get rid of, all predators are carnivores and will eat all the pests and then each other so there is no chance of another infestation unless you don’t order enough to combat the problem.
CATCH – IDENTIFY - TREAT/EXTERMINATE – HAPPY HARVEST
If you need any further assistance with your pest control, feel free to get in contact with any of our stores and our experts are on hand to give you all the information you should need.