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What Thrips Are And How to Deal With Them In Your Cannabis Garden

Last updated: 2 December 2023

thrips on cannabis

Pest infestations are the bane of any cannabis cultivator’s existence. The presence of pests is detrimental to a good yield of crops and are a nuisance to get rid of, taking away from valuable time and resources that could be spent in cultivating more plants. Today, we’ll be looking at one pest in particular – thrips – that are a disaster for farmers around the world, and talking about how you can identify them and deal with a possible infestation.

So What Are Thrips?

thrips cannabis

Thrips are minuscule insects that infest cannabis crops. They survive by infesting plants and sucking the life out of leaves. These insects are extremely small, between 0.9 and 1.2 millimeters in length, and usually yellowish or brown in color. Depending on the subspecies, thrips can be winged or look like tiny worms. The worst part about thrips is that they thrive in warm environments, and are therefore a danger to any kind of outdoor growing.

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What Does Thrip Damage Look Like?

thrip damage cannabis

Thrip damage on cannabis can be difficult to spot, as they usually live on the underside of leaves and so can be easy to miss. The first sign of thrip damage is the appearance of tiny silver or bronze dots: this is where the thrips have bitten into the leaves. Thrips on cannabis will also produce minuscule black dots, which are a sign of thrip feces. After a long thrip infestation, leaves will begin to look yellow-brownish and appear dead, with infestations of small, white eggs.

How Can I Get Rid Of Thrips?

If you’re experiencing thrip damage to cannabis in your garden, it’s probably time to start looking for a remedy to this problem. Luckily, there are several methods available to help take control of any annoying thrip infestation to your cannabis.

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Start With Insecticidal Soaps

thrips on weed

Using insecticidal soap can be the first step in getting rid of thrips on cannabis. Insecticidal soaps are completely nontoxic for your plants; however, not all of them can be organically sourced. Regardless, insecticidal soaps will not leave much residue on your plants and are good to use frequently for small infestations, as they will quickly break down the outer shells of thrips – just be sure not to get any soap on your buds.

Neem Oil To Kill Thrips

thrip infestation

Neem oil is an extremely effective method of ridding crops of most types of pesky pests, especially thrips on cannabis. Neem oil is a completely organic and nontoxic substance. However, it will not completely wipe out any type of pest infestation immediately, but rather is good to use as a preventative measure or at the beginning of a breakout. To kill thrips, use neem oil as a foliar spray.

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Try Spinosad Products

Spinosad products are the best products to use in gardens against a thrip infestation. Spinosad is an insecticide made from fermenting certain bacteria found in soil. As it’s made from organic material, spinosad products are completely organic and non-toxic to animals, humans and plants. You can use spinosad as a topical spray or directly in the roots, depending on the type of infestation in your garden.

Using Pyrethrin On Thrips

thrips cannabis treatment

Pyrethrin is an insecticide that’s commonly recommended to those with vegetable gardens, as it’s a substance that, once applied, breaks down rather quickly. The problem with this is that you’ll need to use it more frequently, and this could negatively impact the taste of your cannabis. Pyrethrin is non-toxic to humans but extremely toxic to bees, so it should only be used as a last resort to save your plants from a thrip infestation.

There’s Always A Way To Put End To Thrips

If you are experiencing pest control problems while cultivating cannabis, it may be time to give your garden a makeover and source out the root of the problem at hand. Take preventative measures with your gardening, but remember that if something ends up going wrong, such as a nasty thrip infestation on your cannabis, there are measures you can take to clear them out in no time.

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