The sight of predatory insects such as spider mites, fungus gnats, and plant lice on your cannabis crops can be quite terrifying when you spend weeks tendering your homegrown plants. Pest insects can damage crops which results in stressed plants and poor yields.
But if you have more information about the best Insects to benefit your cannabis garden. In addition, you no longer have to use chemical pesticides for pest control.
Let us learn how to protect cannabis plants with beneficial insects to improve the harvest quality by growing your cannabis organically.
Beneficial Insects for Your Cannabis Plants
Beneficial insects for cannabis plants consume the pests that live off the cannabis plant’s roots, leaves, and buds. Therefore, controlling pests by using this natural alternative to chemical pesticides reduces the pest populations and prevents future crop degradation.
Besides eliminating common cannabis pests, beneficial insects also nurture the cannabis plants.
The following insects are suitable for indoor and outdoor cannabis plants as they successfully limit pest populations and prevent the spread of disease in your crops.
Assassin bugs are small, flat insects that have a moveable snout. They can fold the snout underneath their body. These bugs have a characteristic feature; their red eyes.
These bugs are called assassins because they pierce their prey, such as caterpillars and butterflies, with the help of their long mouthpieces. The most important species of assassin bugs for a cannabis plant is Orius.
Oruis specie is sensitive to chemical plant protection agents, but these are highly beneficial insects for your cannabis garden. They add an extra layer of organic defense when your pesticides fail to control the pest population.
Green lacewings are elongated, slender insects. They look similar to mosquitoes, but their wings are larger and rounder. Green lacewings can fold away their wings on the back like a canopy, but these insects have a pearly sheen in a flight response.
Green lacewings are beneficial insects to control pests attacking your cannabis plants. These are natural predators that eat aphids in their larvae stage.
Green lacewing larvae are the most beneficial to your cannabis plants, but you must release them immediately. Otherwise, the lacewing larvae become cannibalistic.
An adult lacewing feeds on the secretions of aphids and pollen. The female green lacewings also eat odd aphids that are pregnant with eggs.
Lacewings do not exactly eat the aphids, but they suck the aphid dry. In addition, other common cannabis pests such as whitefly and spider mites are also sucked dry by lacewings.
Therefore, introducing beneficial insects or lacewing eggs can help clean the aphid infestations without using toxic pesticides.
The ladybirds are brightly colored red or yellow beetles, marked with black spots. They have oval and round shapes. The large part of the head and thorax forms a neck shield, while the posterior has two wing cases.
The ladybird is popularly a beneficial insect in horticulture because they eat aphids. Many cannabis growers introduce ladybirds to their cannabis garden because adult ladybugs can eat 500 aphids per day.
Cannabis growers use other plants to attract beneficial insects. These are called companion plants. They are extremely useful for your outdoor grow.
Some common companion plants such as cilantro, calendula, marigold, dill, chives, and yarrow can attract ladybugs.
Predatory Mites (Stratiolaelaps)
Predator mites include amblysius and hypoaspis miles that live in the soil. These predatory mites live on the larvae of thrips and fungus gnats.
They keep the roots of your plants safe by minimizing underground infestation. Thus, predator mites work as beneficial insects for growing organic cannabis.
Red spider mites can severely damage your crops as these merciless pest infestations damage indoor and outdoor grow.
The spider mite population rapidly grows, which harms your crop yield during hot and dry weather. Therefore, introducing predatory mites can help combat these harmful infestations without using toxic pesticides and chemicals.
Predatory mites are better suited to moisture, so you must water your cannabis garden before adding these mites for better results.
Getting rid of unwanted insects from your marijuana plants is a challenging task. But if you introduce beneficial insects such as the praying mantis, they will efficiently protect your plants from any other invading pests.
Praying mantis are vicious, brutal insects that happily protect cannabis plants from invading pests like plant aphids, lice, grasshoppers, beetles, caterpillars, spider mites, and other bugs.
The praying mantis prey on anything that moves. This makes the praying mantis excellent for pest control because it keeps every other insect away.
All you have to do is buy the eggs in early spring and form a friendly neighborhood for your praying mantis in your cannabis garden. The eggs hatch, and the mantis population multiples in a short time, protecting your plants from every other plant invader.
You can also introduce an adult praying mantis to your cannabis garden. They lay eggs and increase in population, which proves beneficial for your cannabis plants as they control a future pest outbreak.
Do you want to know the secret to well-fertilized soil? Earthworm infestations! Worm castings and infestations in the soil can significantly improve the health of your cannabis plants as these beneficial insects provide nutrition to your crops.
They work better for fertilization rather than reducing pest numbers. Moreover, they form small pathways through the soil, improving drainage and aeration for growing organic cannabis. Therefore many growers prefer to use earthworms for better fertilization.
Nematodes are free-living or parasitic worms that destroy major pests of the marijuana plant. They can seek to destroy up to 200 pests, significantly reducing aphid colonies.
Nematodes can prey on almost any harmful pests that destroy your plant and buds, from fleas, termites, and beetles to fungus gnats.
These gruesome parasitic worms burrow in the soil to seek hosts. About 50% of the nematodes are parasitic, while others are free-living.
Nematodes prey on the larval stage of the pests and infect them with bacteria that destroy the host. These bacteria are plant safe.
Sometimes, nematodes also inject their eggs into the hosts, and the larvae eat the host. These demonic species work as beneficial insects to protect cannabis plants.
However, some species can be harmful to your plants, so you must be careful when choosing the helpful species of nematodes to protect your plants. The most beneficial species of nematodes are steinernema feltiae for controlling pests.
Rove Beetles (Dalotia Coriaria)
A rove beetle is a tiny creature that has black and red colorations. These beneficial insects feed on fungus gnats that are detrimental to your plant’s soil. Rove beetles take about three weeks to grow into adult insects that reproduce.
Greenhouse rove beetles can adapt to various types of environments and growing mediums, including coco coir and Rockwool. This makes them excellent for pest control in marijuana plants.
Adult female rove beetles lay up to eight eggs per day. This leads to a massive population explosion.
Most cannabis growers use rove beetles alongside other predatory insects to ensure a pest-free growing environment for cannabis cultivation.
Wrapping Up with the Best Insects for your Cannabis Garden
Introducing beneficial insects has an incredible effect on plant growth as they minimize the pest population and prevent future outbreaks.
You no longer have to use harmful chemical toxins and pesticides for pest control as they leave toxic residue on your buds.
When you smoke marijuana, these chemical toxins can make you sick. Moreover, you are flushing chemicals into the soil when you use chemical pesticides on your plants.
Therefore you must use natural pest control methods and organic matter and manifest the numerous benefits of using alternatives to chemical pesticides to grow organic cannabis.
This will help you grow cannabis with minimal environmental impact and better and healthier smoke.