Aphids are one of the most destructive cannabis pests in the insect world, known to wreak havoc to indoor grow tents and large crops alike. These tiny insects, also known as garden lice, destroy the most tender parts of plants by boring into their fleshy parts, and sucking the plant sap as food, thus destroying the plant gradually. If this is not enough, aphids often carry deadly virus that can completely decimate crops, if left uncontrolled. It is therefore, essential to get rid of aphids at the earliest possible time of your weed grow, while ensuring least damage to the plants. Following is a list of methods to destroy aphids, especially on cannabis, while protecting the sanctity and health of your crops:
Advantage: Cost effective and simple, without harming the plant.
Disadvantage: Tedious, and cannot be used for large scale infestation.
2. Use of mild soap solution – Mild soap solution is an effective yet assuring way of killing aphids. Soap easily dehydrates and kills the aphids, thereby removing them for good. It is best to create the solution and spray them to all the infected parts of the plant. A repeat action over a couple of days ensures complete removal of aphids. Alternately, prepare a mixture of soap, water, vegetable oil and a pinch of pepper to make for a more potent spray on the plants.
Advantage: Cost effective and simple.
Disadvantage: May end up removing friendly insects such as ladybugs as well (which feed on aphids). if mild solution is not used, the plant may get affected as well.
3. Use of neem oil – Extracted from the bitter neem plant, neem oil is an excellent insect repellant – it may not kill the aphids but will definitely drive them away. Once again, a mild solution of neem oil with water needs to be prepared and sprayed all over the infected plant, removing the aphids pretty quickly.
Advantage: Long lasting solution, preventing repeated infestation of aphids.
Disadvantage: Neem oil may not be easily available everywhere. Secondly, neem oil keeps out all insects, including beneficial ones.
4. Use of other oils – There are many other solutions, predominantly inorganic, that are widely available to remove aphids. Essential oils, made by mixing clove, thyme and rosemary oils or other premixed insecticidal solutions can be easily used to remove aphids. Just be sure to use only products that are good for consumable fruits and vegetables or specifically marijuana plants.
Advantage: Ease of availability.
Disadvantage: May be expensive; if not used carefully and in the right doses, can be harmful to plants as well.
5. Grow other aphid repelling plants – Aphids by nature detest plants with slightly acidic taste such as onions, garlic, leek, shallot, chives and scallion. Growing these plants in the near vicinity of your garden plants will ensure that aphids stay away from your prized indoors.
Advantage: Completely proactive method of preventing aphid infestations in the first place.
Disadvantage: Tedious and expensive, with the need to cultivate other plants, that in turn needs care and nurturing.
We hope this mini grow guide on how to kill aphids on cannabis was helpful! We wish you all the best of luck in growing this magical plant!
Photo by Jared Belson