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Beneficial Bugs For Cannabis

Added 4 May 2021

Introduction

When it comes to a major factor that can determine the outcome of a good harvest, we can state that insects and bugs are crucial to keeping a close eye on! Not only because they can harm our flowers that we all love to grow, but to the surprise of some, there are more than a handful out there that can actually be very beneficial for us, the grower! Not only that, but this is also a great step to make for growers who want to work in a more eco-friendly way instead of using toxic and chemical pesticides. We hope this article will give you a better insight into this subject.

A Few Of The HarmfullA Few Of The Beneficial

Aphids

Ladybug / Ladybird

Whiteflies

Praying Mantis

Mealybugs

Green lacewings

Spider-mites

Predator Mites

Fungus-gnats

Rove Beetle

Ladybug/Ladybirds

One of my personal favorites when it comes to all bugs and insects out there, at the start of this list, this amazing little flying critter, the ladybug or also called a ladybird. They are part of the beetle family and their most known one is the 7 dotted one ( Coccinella septempunctata ). They live from plant material, fungus, and also small bugs and many types have their own specialization. It is most of all the aphid-eating ones that are most valuable to us, the grower.

Ladybugs their lifespan can go over 1.5 years in the right circumstances and can feed themselves with over 50 aphids per day! If you are an outdoor grower it is very good to plant some dill around your greenhouse because this plant attracts them! Indoors it is well advised to make sure you release them in the dark because they don't fly in darkness. As larvae, to support their rapid growth, the ladybug larvae can consume over 200 aphids per day, but once the eggs came out, they only stay for 2 - 10 days in this larvae state! Make sure to have wet soil when you release them in the larvae stage, they should come in a small package with food but no water!



Green lacewings

The green lacewing ( Chrysopela ), another one of those mesmerizing looking critters, especially in close up, can be easily recognized because of its appearance, they look like they have delicate wings made of lace, hence the name. In their adult stage, they feed on not only nectar and pollen but also on honeydew! If you want to attract them outdoors, just plant some dill and fennel around and they will come by themselves. But remember, they are actually most useful actually in their larvae state because during this time they are very active predators to all types of soft-bodied insect pests, and it is those that we want to get rid of.

After the eggs come out which takes 3 - 10 days in the correct soil conditions, the larvae roam around for around 2-3 weeks while feeding themselves with prey life pest eggs and nymphs. When they spin their cocoon, it takes around 10-14 days for the adult to emerge.

Praying Mantis

Another creature on this list that is not only fascinating to look at, but it is also one of those that has great capabilities very beneficial for us, it is called the praying mantis ( Stagmomantis )! These skilled creatures with great hunting capabilities feast on about anything they can kill, even prey bigger than themselves! If you were to have an aphid or whiteflies issue in your grow area, these should be able to handle it! They love feeding so much, they even act as cannibals among each other so if you keep several too close, for sure fatalities will come.

Their life cycle starts with an egg produced by the female. These eggs ( up to 400 ) are contained in a sack that has a liquid inside for protection. Most of the time laid on a stem, this is called the ootheca. These eggs overwinter and once the time is right, what were the eggs, are now little mantis, the nymphs, crawl out of their eggs and the sack they were in. They will shed their exoskeletons about 5 to 6 times before going into adulthood.
And do not worry, if you were worried if they were endangered, this is not the case, we checked!

Shine On - Praying Mantis, Protector of Cannabis :

Rove Beetle

These little critters have a long history with fossils of over 200 million years old found! The very beneficial rove beetle is capable of dealing with the pests of one plant, to then fly on to the next one and when feeding it handles cases such as trips, shore flies, but also fungus gnat larvae and very useful against soil-dwelling pests, and not only that, they are predatory in all stages of their life! Their appearance is very interesting because when approached or spooked, it raises its back-end up and makes it a "scorpion look-a-like", but in a harmless and almost cute way.

Their eggs take about 4 days to hatch and their lifecycle is about 17-21 days, so don't get too connected with them. These will be able to reproduce all year rond in the right soil and circumstances so they are a great choise as a precaution for an outdoor grower.

Predator Mites

Sometimes, a name can tell so much about something, and here we have one of those cases! Predatory mites are the number one organic fix to treat invasive spider mites such as the red spider mite. What pest spider mites do is, they feed on the bottom sides of the leaves which causes yellowing, starting in small spots and expanding over time over the leaves surface, if these are present in large numbers, you will see webbing that can cover the entire plant. Predator mites are different in appearance from others mostly because they have much longer legs which makes them more mobile and they have more of a shine to them also. Not only that, their eggs, coming from the predatory types, are shaped oval!

Their life is short, but the hatchlings coming from eggs have different stages of growth. Growing grom a minuscule larvae that develops into a nymphal form before going into adulthood. These predatory mites can consume many spider mites, their eggs, and their young ones in a slightly maniac way. They get this behaviour around 8 - 10 days after hatching and will live up to 36 days! When releasing, do it under dark circumstances and wet your leaves so they can get a drink once released and it will make it a bit easier for them to start crawling around!

Conclusion

When it comes to an efficiënt, cost-saving, and eco-friendly way to improve your growing I think we can all agree that going green is the best option. By eliminating the use of hazardous chemicals that can be toxic not only for your plant but also for you, in the long run, there can only be benefitted from that. We can only hope that one day all cannabis farms and others find the cure to going more and more green and maybe this article could be a little push forward for a few!

As a final tip, make sure to know what pest you are talking about before taking measures, to give you a hand we have an article about handheld microscopes!



If you have any experience or tips about this subject, feel free to drop a line below in the comments section!

References

The Best Insects to Benefit Your Cannabis Garden - Way Of Leaf ( 2020 )

Predators Over Pesticides: An Introduction to Chemical-Free Pest Control - Trevor Hennings ( 2018 )

What Is the Life Span of a Ladybug? - Kevin Lee ( 2018 )

The 4 Stages of the Ladybug Life Cycle - Debbie Hadley ( 2020 )

Green Lacewing - Arbico Organics

Praying Mantis Life Cycle – Facts, Diagram, Stages, Video - Praying Mantis.org

Predator Spotlight: Rove Beetle - Nathan Jackson ( 2018 )

Spider Mite Predators - Buglogical

Twospotted Spider Mite - Featured Creatures

LIFE HISTORY OF THE PREDATORY MITE PHYTOSEIUS PLUMIFER AND THE EFFECT OF NUTRITION ON ITS BIOLOGY - M. A. ZAHER | A. K. WAFA | K. K. SHEHATA ( 1969 )

This article was updated May 2021






Comments

Organic_LarF
Organic_LarF

Hi,

Had some predatory mites to overcome thrips. Its not sure how much it helped.
Last week I saw for the first time a Ichneumonidae or parasitic wasp. Got a pic in my on going diary chemdawg by WSE. Hope she dropt some eggs on there bcs i start to have a bit of thrips signs i think.

Is there a possibility to present more usefull bugs to recognize in the garden. There must be more, no?

:pray::herb::herb::herb::pray: