Chemical Pesticides vs. Natural Pesticides
No cannabis cultivator ever wants to face an infestation of bugs, but as with any potential emergency, it’s best if you have a plan of action in mind just in case you end up needing it. Study up ahead of time and have a plan of action ready, because you if you do have to deal with bugs, you’ll want to clean them up fast to prevent damage and disease spreading to your plants. This is where natural and chemical pesticides come in.
To that end, there are several options available for the conscientious grower:
- one organic solution to your pest problem is to introduce non-plant eating carnivores into your grow, like ladybugs and praying mantis
- another organic solution is to use neem oil as a deterrent on your plants; this natural pesticide is derived from the seeds of the Neem tree and bugs hate neem oil
- chemical pesticides are available as well, such as Avid and Floramite, among others
As a word of caution on the use of chemical pesticides, however, it should be mentioned that there are many grow shops that sell pesticides which have not been approved for use on food crops. Since you will be smoking and / or eating your crop in various forms, it is crucial that you choose wisely and work carefully with any chemical pesticides you may use.
For this very reason, organic and natural pesticides are preferred by organic growers, but there’s another reason to prefer organic methods: cost. Not only do chemical pesticides usually cost more, but you also have to apply them diligently until your pest problem is gone. By comparison, with a bunch of ladybugs or mantis, you just let them loose in your grow and they do the rest.
With all of that said, however, there are a few final things worth remembering. First, cleanliness is next to godliness, as they say; if you keep your grow room clean, and sanitize everything thoroughly between grows, you’re a huge step closer to never having to deal with bugs at all.
Second, be vigilant of your grow area. Pay attention to your plants, check under their leaves on a regular basis (many bug and larvae attach themselves to the underside of leaves) and don’t be afraid to poke around in the soil to make sure no grubs have hatched out down there.
And third, remember that prevention is always better than cure. Keep your grow space clean by wiping off your shoes and washing your hands before you enter. Also, don’t come directly into your grow room wearing the clothes you just took a nature hike in, you may carry bugs inside.
As a final note to the outdoor grower, if you are having a problem with deer, squirrels or other mammalian pests, you can use a pheromone spray to replicate the scent of a bear or wolf. These pheromone sprays are typically available from sporting goods and hunting supply stores, and work to deter deer and other mammals from your grow by feigning the presence of a predator.