What are thrips on marijuana plants? In this article, we will discuss how these insects pose a threat to marijuana plants and how we can easily eliminate them. The large plant damage done by insects is caused by thrips directly feeding on the plant’s upper and lower ground portions. Thrips that commonly affect cannabis belong to the Frankliniella Occidentalis species, and are widely known as tobacco thrips. There may be relief if the harm is detected early enough and this won’t last a long time. The thrips target several plants, not just cannabis. If you are fond of growing plants, you have to be well-informed about thrips on marijuana plants.
What are the Thrips Insects?
Thrips (Thripidae), also known as Thysanoptera or thunder flies, are small, fat-like insects belonging to the Thysanoptera class that measure between 1-1.5 mm in length. Thrips are one of the most common pests infesting and damaging in the marijuana plant. The common thrips that normally target and attack marijuana plants belong to the Frankliniella occidentalis, a tiny yellowish-white invader insect. When the thrips reach their adult stage/phase, their shape and flying form will develop into a more elongated form and can migrate from one plant to another. This infestation is most widespread in indoor cannabis crops and greenhouses. Thrips on marijuana plants are tiny insects that move fast and puncture plants to suck the plant sap contents out of them, so they inflict certain harmful effects on the plant.
How Can Thrips be Detected?
Thrips on marijuana plants can be quickly detected by the naked eye, depending on the point of their development cycle. Fully grown thrips can weigh about 1-2 mm in length and. Although thrips on marijuana plants can seem tiny and negligible, and are not one of the deadliest pests, if left untreated, infestation may trigger severe complications, which prove to be especially harmful during the early stages of cannabis plant growth. Thrips on marijuana plants can also fly, making it possible for them to switch and travel from one plant to another, either from a tobacco plant to a hemp plant, or a fruit or vegetable plant to a cannabis plant. They can quickly move from one place to another. Thrips regenerate or reproduce their offspring up to twelve times a year, with a life span ranging between one month to one year. While thrips on marijuana plants are not one of the most rotting problems, it’s necessary to battle it at the outset. Once the infestation is mounted, the thrips on marijuana plants can turn out to be pretty strong.
What do Thrips on Marijuana Plants Look Like?
Adult thrips are slender and thin, and they measure an average of 1/50-to 1/25-inch length tall. Their shades and colors will be anything from yellow to brown or black. Thrips on marijuana plants are quick and fast to move, so if there are any attempts to catch them, they will probably leap or fly away. The thrips on marijuana plants have undeveloped wings, and they have red eyes. They may appear to be tiny dark splashes on your plants. It’s hard to see their bodies clearly without a magnifying glass, but they look a bit like a lobster up close. To better spot and see them well, shake the plant onto a white background.
How to Trace Thrips
The symptoms of the infestation of thrips on marijuana plants would be thin silvery traces drawn over the leaves of the marijuana plant leaves. The thrips scratch leaf tissue to extract the plant sap or, in the case of females, inject eggs (which are imperceptible to the human eye). Observe and look out for the marks on the grass’s top, with a faint silvery shimmer. If the pest is widespread, these stains will become more evident, and some small dots are actually thrip feces.
Imprint of the Thrips
Compared to the imprint left behind by a snail, the marks are followed by yellowing or browning the plants’ margins. Thrips on marijuana plants damage the outer layer of the plant’s structure by scratching the leaf and sucking out the sap. Left unchecked, the leaves will become deformed and may continue and lead to the marijuana plant dying. If the thrips have achieved their completely mature stage, you may witness them creeping and crawling about on the plant itself. Careful inspection and observation are needed because they are inherently good at hiding and doing camouflage. Still, once they have reached the point that they are noticeable, the risks of incurring losses are strong.
How to Avoid and Get Rid of Thrips
The development cycle of thrips progresses through many phases and stages. When it reaches the larval stage, it will typically be located and found in the soil, where it is converted into a pre-pupa. Organic bio-pesticides can be used every 2-3 days, or until you can no longer see the signs of thrips infestation, and any signs of infestations should be removed immediately. Natural pyrethrins extracted from Chrysanthemum flowers are one of the toughest touch killers for thrips insects. Other useful products usually come in the formulation of rapeseed oil or other ingredients. Within a couple of minutes, they consume larvae and leave no traces if used correctly. Potassium soap or neem oil are the prime candidates, although you should avoid spraying directly on buds hanging from mature plants.
Always make sure that the rest of your plants receive a lot of coverage, and that you continue to carry on using organic pesticides until you are confident that thrips have been eliminated. If necessary, stop spraying early in the flowering process, spray only on the surface of the leaf and avoid buds. Another remedy for thrips is the use of Blue Sticky Traps, which draw thrips more than the yellow cards used by fungus gnats and other flying insects. There are two effective methods, which can be placed vertically over the canopy (about 30 cm) or horizontally over the soil level to trap young insects fleeing the field.
Thrips on Agricultural Communities
In several agricultural communities or commercial plantations with a large-scale thrip infestation, chemical control should be done. Some people do use it at home, but always remember to keep away from toxins as possible, as it may cause severe problems in the household’s health. Also, avoid using widespread acephate organophosphate. This chemical is one of the compounds that are particularly poisonous and highly toxic to beneficial insects. Dinotefuran, one of the most effective choices, requires a professional application to achieve a high level of success and effectiveness. In addition to the plant’s biological control against the infestation of thrips, it is also recommended to irrigate with an organic insecticide to eliminate any larvae present in the soil.
Preventive Measures Against Thrips
There are other precautions that growers may take to avoid the infestation of thrips on marijuana plants from emerging in the first place.
One advisable preventive measure against thrips on marijuana plants is to plant several flowers to lure beneficial insects that are natural pests to thrips. Many of the stronger pests include pirate bees, lacewings, and lady bees. Read more in drawing wolves. A good technique in responding to the possible thrip infestations is to clean the whole growing area around the marijuana plant. This should also cover all devices and tools used for trimming or planting. Ensure also that the substrate is refreshed between crops to reduce the possibility of residual pupa or teenage thrips.
This method also helps maintain a healthy growing atmosphere and eliminate any precursors of infestation. Generally, regular observation and monitoring with love and care the marijuana plant will keep the majority of marijuana plants healthy and safe. Also, using blue sticky traps can provide an early indication of any appearance of thrips. And for specialists among growers, thrip nets can be placed over any airflow intake or outlet and are especially useful if you’re developing a greenhouse. Lastly, remember not to over fertilize the marijuana plant, which can lead to more damage and destruction brought about by thrips.
Where Do Thrips Feed?
Most thrips feed themselves on the rotting trees, seeds, and dead tree bark. One of the most certain and best preventive measures is to maintain the plant’s cleanliness and its surroundings. Always keep the garden clear from clutter, which will help the possibility that thrips will thrive. If possible, and if the crops can survive, plant marijuana during the rainy season. This will greatly benefit them as the rain washes away thrips from the vines.
It is always better to prevent an infestation than to cure it. The following are helpful tips to prevent the infestation of insects into the marijuana plant. First is to avoid nitrogen over-fertilization as these insects love nitrogen overfed plants and thrive on them faster than when the diet of plants is balanced. The second is to avoid overwatering the surface of the soil. Thrips replicate partly in the soil, and it is well established that high water content encourages the reproduction of soil insects. Lastly, check your plants daily.