Taking care of the plants, from the initial phase of cultivation until you can enjoy them with your preferred 420 accessories, has many parameters to take into consideration.
To make things a little more “difficult”, not only are there risks related to leaf growth, flowering, etc. There are also external dangers!
And one of the best known are thrips, little insects that feast when they detect a plant to add to their diet.
What are thrips?
It is amazing how something so small can cause such big problems. Thrips are winged insects (in fact, they have 4 wings) that usually are 1 to 2 mm in size.
Of course, they are almost impossible to see, because they always try to camouflage so you can’t remove them from their big discovery (your beloved plants).
There are thrips of many colours (brown, yellowish, greyish) and they belong to the Thysanoptera order.
This may not be seen as relevant, but if we analyse this species we will understand why they have the effects we see on our plants.
The Thysanoptera order includes all the insects that empty plant cells by its action. For this reason, when they reach our plants and start “working”, they empty the plant cells and leave them hollow.
The hole they left is filled with air and the area changes to a colour between brown and grey. In addition, they can dry out and end up falling.
How do thrips affect plants?
By emptying their plant cells, the plant can lose a lot of quality, and the harvest can be reduced.
It is also possible that you see black spots, they are the excrements of these insects that are left on the leaves of your plants.
Obviously, this makes the plants look less attractive and in the end you will be able to confirm that the characteristics of the plants are not as present as in crops that don’t have this problem.
How to eliminate thrips from plants
When eliminating thrips from the plants, it is necessary to distinguish what phase they are in, because we can’t use the products without any reason, as the effects on the plants could be worse than those caused by the insects.
In the growth phase
Your marijuana plants are in the growth phase and you realise that there are thrips. Don’t panic!
You can make them disappear with a spray. The pyrethrum or organic pyrethrins are very useful, especially if you add rapeseed oil, which can be used to suffocate thrips eggs, to the rest of the components.
You will also have to strengthen the plants, so that they can both grow as well as possible and reduce the effect of the toxins that the thrips are able to inoculate when they are turning “purple” on your crop.
In the flowering period
If you detect the insects during the flowering period, biological insecticides with ovicidal action are usually quite effective.
You also have the possibility of reducing humidity levels to 40% and cause this way the reduction of the fertility of thrips eggs.
If you see eggs and larvae on the plants, you can clean them directly with a cotton swab moistened with a biological insecticide.
For those more “veterans” looking for quicker and more effective solutions, natural predators of thrips can be used. Mites such as the Amblyseius Cucumeris or Amblyseius Swirskii hate thrips. They will kill them as soon as they spot them.
You can also use Orius Laevigatus or Macrolophus Caliginosus bugs, especially to kill adult thrips.
Can thrips plagues be prevented?
You have to bear in mind that in most cases thrips appear when the preservation levels of your crop are incorrect. There may be too much nitrogen, poor hygiene or some other parameter that you are not controlling properly.
Therefore, the best way of preventing thrips plagues is making sure that your plants are properly cared for.
Besides, always keep an eye on how the crop is doing. Look at the surface of the leaves to make sure there are no bites or spots.
You can also use things such as blue sticky traps if you want to catch the thrips before they reach the plants.