Feb 222014
 February 22, 2014

mealy bugs marijuana plants

Male and female mealy bugs have distinct functions in the bug world.  Adult males’ sole purpose is to fertilize the female.  Males are winged, whereas females may have legs but no wings.  Both grow to be no bigger then the tip of a human fingernail.

Female mealy bugs attach themselves to crevices in the plant and form a waxy coating over their bodies as protection while they suck the juices from the host plant.  They prefer the company of ants because they act as little soldiers protecting the mealy bug from predators and parasites.  If you have no ants, you probably do not have a mealy bug problem.

The presence of mealy bugs in your marijuana plants is indicated by groups of puffy white cottony looking clumps appearing on stems or in crevices.  Small infestations will not do much harm, however they should be controlled in order to avoid leaf drop in your cannabis plants. Want to know more about growing marijuana? Get a free guide about growing marijuana at this link here.

Mother Nature’s answer to controlling mealy bugs is the ladybug.  If you don’t have ladybugs present, you can spray the plants with a hard stream of water.  This will dislodge the puffy bugs but won’t eliminate them.  You can also rub them off with a cloth; be sure to crush them in the cloth so they can’t find a new home.  If you are feeling rather sadistic and have some time, dip a Q-tip in rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover and swab them off the plant.

In addition to the aforementioned physical controls, there some organic treatments you can use to get rid of the pests, in the form of soaps and oils.  Spraying with neem oil, cinnamon oil or garlic oil will help to control the population.  (Refer to the sections on caterpillars, aphids and whiteflies for the recipes.)  Spray the plant thoroughly, especially underneath the leaves.  Apply on overcast days or after the sun has started setting in order to achieve the full effect.

To make your own batch of insecticidal soap, add five tablespoons pure castile soap and two tablespoons olive oil to one gallon water.  Adding the oil helps the solution stick to the plant a while longer.  If you have hard water, use bottled water to avoid ugly water spots from forming on your plants.  You can also add a teaspoon of garlic or ground red pepper to further repel these chewing bugs.  Fill a spray bottle and go to town on your marijuana plants. Want to know more about growing marijuana? More information in my free guide about growing marijuana at this link here..

That pretty much covers the itty bitty critters that can damage your marijuana crop.  However, that’s not all folks.  Let’s move up the food chain a bit and see what other culprits may be lurking about in hopes of dining with Mary Jane in the next article.

If you buy marijuana seeds from my webshop and you get problems with pests or diseases, I’m here to help you. There are guides about plant care where all pests/diseases are discussed and you can contact me by mail.

Source: ILoveGrowingMarijuana.Com

About Robert Bergman

Robert Bergman is a master marijuana grower. Robert Bergman is the author of 'Marijuana Plant Care' and 'The Marijuana Grow Bible'.
  • Keith Ritman

    Oil, soap, eeeeeeeeew!. You want to smoke that. Jabanero pepper spray. All natural, only harmful if you get it in eyes during application (suggest using extreme care but that’s easy.) The chemicals do not harm your plant, yet the little buggers run run run.

    Buy 5 really fresh Jabanero peppers. Put on gloves and Chop them up seeds and all. Place into large enough pot (cooking type) to hold 1qt water and the chopped peppers. Place over medium heat and simmer. You will know its done when you can’t stick your face in the steam you wave from the cooking pot. Don’t boil.. Let cool, place into a good quality spray bottle. And wear gloves, mask and goggles. Spray undersides of plant leaves and soil generously. Try not to get any in the new growth as water there can slow growth. After spraying leave area and ventilate. Watch anything with even something close to a mucous membrane run like wildfire. Lol I do not grow cannabis, but it works like the dickens for my tomatoes which are quite similar.

    • Bic

      Nice! I grow tomatoes and Habaneros every year. I will try this for sure! Thanks Keith

  • mlc

    Need oil it’s organic pesticides

    • nug

      You mean Neem oil!

      • mlc

        Thanks I do mean neem oil

  • Raymond

    There is a great iPhone app called GrassGlass and it will help identify and eradicate pests and molds.