Feb 092016
 February 9, 2016

spider mites cannabisI don’t currently grow marijuana, but I did for a handful of years. I always tell people that there are three plagues that should be dealt with swiftly and completely when growing marijuana – bugs, heat, and mildew. There are a lot of battles that will be fought while growing marijuana, but those three were the toughest to deal with. Powdery mildew is especially harsh in the Pacific Northwest where I live because of so much rain. We don’t deal with heat all that often, but it does happen during the summer during some stretches.

Bugs for the most part are a universal problem that plagues every geographical area. Spider mites seem to be the most common nuisance, but there are of course others that like to feed on marijuana plants. The best thing to do is avoid getting bugs to begin with, but that’s easier said than done, especially for newbie growers. Once bugs are discovered, they need to be taken care of immediately. Growers don’t (or shouldn’t!) want to use harmful chemicals when battling pests, so they usually look for an organic way to deal with the problem.

A very popular product for battling bugs is a product called Guardian, which a lot of organic growers that I know have used for quite awhile. There’s one problem with that product though – it contains abamectin, which is not on the label at all. The labeling problem was discovered by a Eugene, Oregon testing labratory called OG Analytical, which brought it to the attention of state regulators. Since then Oregon has halted all sales of the product due to various alleged violations, and it sounds like the product has been pulled off store shelves wherever it’s sold. Per OregonLive:

The Oregon Department of Agriculture said the pesticide, Guardian, should be removed from store shelves and asked growers who bought the product not to use it. The manufacturer is All In Enterprises of Machesney Park, Illinois.

A statewide stop sale order is unusual and typically does not involve labeling problems, said Bruce Pokarney, a spokesman for the agency.

Tommy McCathron, listed as president of All in Enterprises in Illinois Secretary of State records, said Monday that he didn’t want to discuss Guardian.

The company that makes the product is making it sound like they weren’t intentionally doing anything wrong. I can’t say with the limited facts available that anything nefarious was going on or not, but the fact remains that abamectin was in Guardian, yet it wasn’t on the label. That’s very concerning for growers that want to battle bugs, but in a way that is organic. There has been a mad scramble to find a similar product, but that has correct labeling and is organic. Expert marijuana grower Ed Rosenthal recently posted the following info on his Facebook page. I haven’t tried his product, but I will attest that he is a marijuana growing genius, so I’d imagine the product is very legit:

Have you been using Guardian Mite Spray? My Pesticide and Fungicide products are a great alternative to this product….

Posted by Ed Rosenthal on Monday, February 1, 2016

You can check out Ed’s product at this link here.

About Johnny Green

Dissenting opinions are welcome, insults and personal attacks are discouraged and hate speech will not be tolerated. Spammers and people trying to buy or sell cannabis or any drugs will be banned. Read our comment policy and FAQ for more information
  • Dave Jensen

    So now there are only 199 State allowed chemicals to be used on State approved (sic) cannabis,be still my heart! Joy abounds! “Outgrow the bastards”.

    • Bongstar420

      Most of them are worthless due to lack of needed efficacy. I looked at the list. For mites, there are a couple worth using. Thats it. You can get better control just spraying weak soap all the time vs some of these chems.

      The pest standards for Cannabis are exceptionally high…Fortunately for me ;)

      • EddyMelv

        I agree —– if one is in a pinch, I would get out the dish liquid, dilute it with water, and wash your girls and ladies with a passion (but one pint of neem will last an inordinately long time).

        Obviously, the focus should be “under the hood” where they set up camp (unless it’s so crowded, they expand their neighborhood to the top of the leaves. In ANY case, totally soak the plant. Follow up again in a few days.
        IF you’re using neem oil at a greater frequency due to the amount of (or repeated) infestation, periodically wash the plants with dish soap and water, get back to the topical surface of the leaves (neem will leave a layer of itself), and start over with the neem.
        Do NOT give up. It’s like trying to keep your hard-earned income from being taken by the government so they can waste it as they see fit —- fight like hell to give it up. This is YOUR battle — fight it like your life depended on it —- hah !

  • f.g.s.

    “VOTE”

    • Been around

      GO BERNIE ! I got “shut out” from being able to vote in the Primary due to my “Independent” registration status. THAT WILL BE CHANGED AS SOON AS THIS MESS IS OVER WITH. Crooked system being fed by crooked people get you, well, more crookedness …
      WE’RE WITH YA, BERNIE. THE REVOLUTION IS WELL UNDERWAY ! We’ll all carry this torch until we have a major change in how the People are REPRESENTED.

  • EddyMelv

    I’m quite versed in this area of cultivation and I have never used anything but neem oil —- period. People are just too quick at the trigger in attempting to resolve issues without performing due diligence. What kind of critters are these people dealing with, anyway ?
    The quick-fix approach is indicative of today’s society — just gotta have it NOW. I’m glad I stay at home —- it’s an ugly, poisonous world out there folks —- time to pull in the reins and act more responsibly toward others AND one’s self…
    Peace.

    • moldy

      I use neem oil too and I’m wondering if this is one of the banned substances listed. I don’t grow in OR but would like to know if neem is still considered organic and/or safe. It works great so I’m thinking it’ll be banned also.

      • EddyMelv

        Pure, cold-pressed neem oil is organic. It’s been used for thousands of years by different cultures for everything from treating health issues to, well, keeping critters off their food crops. The plants actually benefit from periodic neem oil treatments over-and-above its insect and egg devastation properties.

        • Whyiowa4medical

          Yes, Neem Oil is one of the safest (if you read the fine print) along with Rotenone. It would take an entire package of either one to do a small child any appreciable harm which MIGHT include vomiting. I have experience with Rotenone, but depending on price, Neem may slightly edge out Rotenone were it not for my experience with it’s use.

          • moldy

            Thanks for your repy(s).

          • Bongstar420

            No. Rotenone isn’t that safe.

            http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/pyrethrins-ziram/rotenone-ext.html

            It was removed from the market. Its more toxic than Avid which is a Caution label not a Danger label. Abamectin is extracted from soil bacteria btw and is probably less of a long term toxicity threat than Actinovate (which will probably cause antibiotic resistant pathogens to be more frequent in your soil- its under consideration as a real threat now)

            It used to my secret 3 chemical which always nuked the two spotted mites.

            I never see those anymore and now am dealin with broads…a whole different way as many effective mite treatments will do nothing to broads

          • freewheelinfranklin543

            Once you have mites on your plants the crop is lost. Double that, if you spray them with anything, especially in the bud stage. Unless you like smokin or vapin mites and mite droppings and fungus and pesticide.

          • Been around

            “Once you have mites on your plants the crop is lost.”
            ————————-
            THIS COULDN’T BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH !
            Spider mites are NOT the toughest to control, nor are they the easiest, however; they CAN be controlled, then eradicated very effectively. I haven’t seen a “colony” of spider mites (at its eggs) survive a couple of washings with a neem oil solution.
            Where are you getting your (mis)information from ? I’ve got forty (40) — yes, forty years under my belt and I will GUARANTEE you, there are NO SPIDERMITES hiding under that belt …
            Peace.

        • Bongstar420

          Look at that…I’m redundant

          LOL

          Good work Eddy

          And yes, Neem does have some systemic activity which includes a mild growth increase.

          • EddyMelv

            I’d much rather see redundancy than inaccurate information …

      • Bongstar420

        It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks

        Its extract of seeds

        People have consumed it orally for various purposes but mainly to kill parasites for thousands of years.

        If it were banned, you could just buy it from a healthfood store at outrageously higher prices. We are talkin whole neem oil here

        • Been around

          Hmmmmmm. Where’d I hear these statements before ?????
          Discussions and dialogue are the mother of learning. They once said, “Learn by your mistakes… ” , and I totally agree, BUT, I certainly have an “addendum” to that old adage:
          “Learn by your mistakes, BUT if you can learn from someone else’s, then you’re one step ahead of the game already…. ”
          Here’s another one, philosophically-speaking, that can also be applied to the art of growing. This is also an old adage that I placed an addendum to:
          “Patience is a virtue.” Indeed it is, however; this addendum takes that old adage “to the next level:
          “Patience is a virtue —— and a little bit more will get you there…”
          —————-
          Sharing of knowledge has so much more value to mankind that the sharing of hate ….. 4/29/16
          Now, I’m not the sharpest pencil in the box, but take both of these amended adages and not only apply them to your passion for growing, but look how much they apply to life and life experiences.
          They truly can be a guide for one as they approach (or are confronted with) situations that call for attentive care and sound decision-making.
          Peace to all who deserve it …

    • Bongstar420

      Then your not well versed.

      If you were, you would have been forced to try dozens of different methods all leading you to the evil stuff the pot community is demonizing but secretly dependent on.

      Keep buying cuts from people that are slinging buds. You will see what I mean eventually as the super borg eat your work.

      • EddyMelv

        1) I’ve probably been cultivating longer than you have been living.
        2) There is ALWAYS a natural way to eradicate Mother Nature’s “anomalies” by utilizing something else she has provided the Earth to mitigate those very circumstances.
        3) Preventative maintenance is the key, as in ANYTHING else in life, but when that is not in place, then there’s ALWAYS a way to get through a situation WITHOUT poisons.
        4) I couldn’t care less about your “super borgs” —- I don’t have to deal with them because my learning curve was over four decades ago.

        • freewheelinfranklin543

          You and Bongstar know everything! I’m still learning!

  • Whyiowa4medical

    I have always used the guaranteed organic Rotenone when I bring in new soil or mixes. When one grows year around and are very careful the likely cause of any infestation usually comes from one’s composting and soil blends. I commonly use one 30 ml. measurer and place it strategically around the soil container. When I discovered that some Garden Centers carry a Rotenone that is blended with non-organic poisons, I discovered that you must always read the “fine print” and definitely do not buy any old Rotenone, or you could live to regret it. Alone, Rotenone is so safe that if your dog gets fleas they can be generally dusted and the fleas are gone, but it can cause a minor skin irritation.

  • https://www.cobgrowlights.com www.COBGROWLIGHTS.com

    Mites and aphids can be dealt with by adding ladybugs – its organic !

    • Bongstar420

      Lady bugs are inefficient predatory insects.

      Just ask any competent IPM adviser

  • Find DankWeed

    Sulphur burners have worked well for me.

    • Bongstar420

      Your but tastes great I bet.

      I’d use sulfur if you didn’t have to apply far far more than the plant will ever use. It contributes to harshness

  • Bongstar420

    I wouldn’t buy it even if it were accurately labeled with or without the abamectin

    Its likely just some rich person paying poor people to mix things to gather for them..I can formulate my own pesticides which out perform shelf products in any case. Heck, I had to invent one to beat abamectin resistant broad mite I got from the dispensaries.

  • Jodi

    We use GardenSafe house&garden insecticide killer. Have used for 16 years. It’s made with Botanical insecticides. Does not taint flavor. It’s safe on your vegetables. Good luck and what ever you use! Be Safe.

    One thing. I agree. Just because you have your own opinion; please be nice to others opinion. We all have our ways. But just try to stay nutural in voicing your opinion. Your opinion counts. But everyone has a choice to either use it or not. Or use what they might find even in some of your opinion. Good luck and Best wishes on a great crop no matter what you grow.

  • garth van pelt

    Our company carries two types of pest control. Both are okayed for use on the herb. Using nanotechnology, the essential oils are milled to 1-4 nanometers,The mites basically are suffocated and therefore cannot become immune to the pest control. Pure Ag Pest Control and Trifecta are also useful on combating mold and mildew. Pure Ag has also been okayed for use on the herb by Certified Kind (an Oregon based organic marijuana grow certifier). we have been able to salvage grows that had terrible infestations of broad and russet mites. groit.co is our website