5 Ways To Keep Pests Off Your Cannabis
Pest control has become an increasingly common problem especially now that more states have legalized cannabis and its cultivation at home. Unfortunately, even though only few people seem to appreciate the benefits of eating raw cannabis, it seems that pests love its taste. Without the proper gardening strategies in place, a single pest can end up ruining your entire grow.
Don’t worry – there are natural and effective means of dealing with pests without resorting to harmful, toxic pesticides and fertilizers. Here are some of the most approachable and useful ways to keep these pests off your precious medicine:
- Grow companion plants: Adding some variety to your cannabis grow with companion plants that act as natural repellents is a healthy way of keeping predators at bay. The THC in cannabis may be repellent on its own, but in a limited manner: it’s usually not enough to repel all pests especially when your grow is in the early stages of its life. Marigolds, geraniums, and other pungent plants are useful in preventing leaf-insect pests, while onions can help ward off bigger pests like rabbit or deer, which can attack outdoor grows.
Other great companion plants your cannabis will love to have around include:
- Garlic is a natural fungicide that protects cannabis plants from fatal diseases. Garlic can be planted right next to the plants, but it can also be used in a spray for spot treatment.
- Basil has long been a favorite of gardeners not just for its scent and versatility but because it’s effective in repelling flies, aphids, beetles, and thrips. Some gardeners think that it can increase flavor and oil production in cannabis plants.
- Beans are a solution to nitrogen deficiencies. When beans grow, they absorb nitrogen in the air and deposit it as nitrites into the soil, resulting in a nitrogen-rich soil. Cannabis plants rely on nitrogen to grow strong, and beans are a great way of preventing death from nitrogen deficiencies.
- Chili peppers help prevent infestation and attacks from mice, deer, and rabbits. Chili plants have a unique root system that produces a chemical protection the cannabis grows from rot. Chili peppers are especially beneficial to grow as companion plants in areas that have excess rainfall or poor drainage.
- Use predatory insects: The first two months of cannabis growing can be daunting because of the maintenance and commitment involved. Your hands with be full with the watering schedule alone, not to mention nipping other potential problems in the bud which may inhibit cannabis plant growth such as pests. Thankfully you can turn to nature, in the form of predatory insects, to help with pest control for outdoor grows.
Lacewings, preying mantises, and ladybugs are some of the most effective predators that can help prevent pests outdoors. Each of these predators are used in all kinds of gardening and can even be purchased in stores. Lacewings and ladybugs in particular are actually bred for this purpose.
The smaller your grow, the less predatory pest-control you’re going to need. Both pests and predators equally need adequate food supply, and a small grow can’t do that.
- Use the urine of your pests’ predators and enemies: Mammals such as deer have a sharp sense of smell, and if they detect the scent of puma or bear urine, they will stay as far away from your cannabis grows as possible. They won’t want to go somewhere that a large predator may be lingering around. These scents can be purchased at outdoor shops and sporting goods stores.
- Build a fence: If your outdoor grow tends to be the target of bigger animals and other remedies aren’t enough to deter them, you can build a fence around the plants. However, this is a luxury that only people growing on a private site can do.
- Organic cannabis pesticides: If all else fails, you can also use organic pesticides which are just as effective but without the harmful toxins. One of the most popular choices for organic pesticides is pyrethrum, since it can effectively repel several different kinds of pests so you don’t have to worry about using one product for each pest. Pyrethrum can be purchased in gardening stores, but make sure to follow the correct dosage and water requirements. Failing to do so can kill your plant as well as other beneficial mammals and insects.
What are your time and tested ways of keeping pests at bay without using chemical pesticides?