Your weed plants are doing great and you’re looking froward to your best harvest yet.
Then you see it. An aphid.
You take a closer look at the stems and the undersides of the leaves and spot more of them.
You’ve read about these little pest and you know they can spell the end of your plants.
But they don’t have to.
Not if you put an end to the aphids first.
Keep reading to learn how to get rid of aphids during flowering, or any other time during a cannabis plant’s growth cycle.
- 1 How To Get Rid Of Aphids During Flowering
- 1.1 Step 1: Quarantine Infested Weed Plants
- 1.2 Step 2: Manually Remove Aphids From Cannabis Leaves
- 1.3 Step 3: Hose Down Your Plants With Water
- 1.4 Step 4: Mist Flowering Cannabis Plants With Organic Pest Killers
- 1.5 Step 5: Use Neem Oil To Fight Aphids
- 1.6 Step 6: Buy Chemical Pesticides That Kill Aphids
- 1.7 Step 7: Dust Your Cannabis Plants With Diatomaceous Earth
- 2 How To Prevent Aphid Infestations In The First Place
- 3 What is an Aphid Exactly?
- 4 Will Aphids Kill Cannabis Plants?
- 5 Get Rid Of Aphids During Flowering: Final Thoughts
How To Get Rid Of Aphids During Flowering
Ready to fight some aphids? First, gear up with the following materials:
- Paper towels
- Hose and/or water mister
- Dawn dish soap
- Essential oils
Step 1: Quarantine Infested Weed Plants
If there is one thing 2020 taught us how to do, it’s quarantining. If you see an aphid on one of your cannabis plants, separate it from the rest of your grow.
In the best-case scenario, remove the plant completely. Place it as far away as possible from your other plants. If you can’t do that, put a bag over it. Aphids reproduce fast.
Step 2: Manually Remove Aphids From Cannabis Leaves
If you only see a handful of aphids on your cannabis plants, start by removing them with a paper towel. I recommend dampening the paper towel first.
Some species of aphids have wings and some do not. Unless you have telescopic vision, you won’t be able to tell which species have infested your plants.
Wetting the paper towel will restrict winged species of aphids from flying away when you wipe them from the cannabis leaves. Don’t forget to check the stems of your plants and the undersides of the leaves!
Never push aphids onto the floor. Aphids colonize and travel fast. Brushing aphids to the ground or soil near your plants will most likely result in re-infestation.
Instead, use a damp paper towel to wipe the aphids into a bag or trash can. Mist the inside of the bag with water and seal it up. Be sure to dispose of your bag of bugs in a lidded trash can that is far away from your grow area. Aphids are persistent!
Step 3: Hose Down Your Plants With Water
Are you dealing with a multiple plant infestation? If you have a lot of aphids, grab the garden hose instead of a roll of paper towels.
Spraying down your plants, especially the undersides of the cannabis leaves, can be a faster solution to stopping an aphid invasion.
Make sure you have first removed your infected plants to a space away from your primary grow area. I prefer to bring them outside.
Remember, aphids will fly, walk and crawl to destroy a cannabis plant.
Use a steady stream of water to wash the undersides of plant leaves. There needs to be force behind the water in order to push the aphids off.
Inspect as you go to make sure you remove as many aphids as possible. Once done, wipe the leaves with a dry paper towel to evict any stragglers.
Bag the plant and hose down the ground or floor. Repeat this process morning and night until the aphids are gone.
Step 4: Mist Flowering Cannabis Plants With Organic Pest Killers
If you have been washing your plants daily and aphids are still feasting away, it’s time to spray with something stronger than water.
Insecticidal soaps and essential oils are low-toxic pest repellents. These will not harm humans, animals, or most importantly, your cannabis plants.
Create homemade insecticidal soap by combining 1 cup of fatty oil with 1 tablespoon of dish soap. Examples of fatty oils are canola oil, vegetable oil, and peanut oil. Don’t cheap out on the dish soap. I recommend Dawn.
Essential oils are another organic solution to kill aphids. Combine 1 cup of water with 4 to 5 drops of oil. You can find essential oils at vitamin shops, pharmacies, and most big-box stores like Target. Essential oils that fight aphids are thyme, rosemary, peppermint, and clove.
You can also use organic pesticide. Mix 1 teaspoon of dish soap, 1 quart of water, and 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper in a spray bottle.
Mist infected plants with the concoction of your choosing in the morning. Take care to spray under the leaves, stem, and base of the weed plant. Allow up to two weeks for full results.
Do Not Combine!
Do not use insecticidal soap, diluted essential oils, and organic pesticides together. Choose one of the three, not all of them.
If one solution does not produce results, move on to the next. Using all of these at the same time will be harmful to your plants.
Step 5: Use Neem Oil To Fight Aphids
Neem oil is a natural pesticide formed from the sap of neem trees. It stops the reproductive process of insects.
Spraying neem oil prevents aphids from being able to lay eggs. This will control the infestation and kill the colony.
Although neem oil is a naturally occurring substance, studies have shown that high exposure to neem oil can be dangerous to humans.
Wear a mask and gloves when applying neem oil to your plants. Do not inhale neem oil. Do not allow large amounts to come in contact with your skin.
Step 6: Buy Chemical Pesticides That Kill Aphids
Severe infestations may be too much for homemade remedies to handle, especially if you have a very large grow tent or room. Chemical pesticides are stronger and faster at destroying large colonies of aphids.
Look for the ingredient Imidacloprid. This is a powerful chemical that will kill aphids, but is not harmful to weed plants or humans. It will not kill pollinators or other beneficial insects. Imidacloprid only affects pests like aphids.
Why is Imidacloprid so effective? Plants absorb the chemical and it spreads through the stem and leaves.
When an aphid feasts on a weed plant treated with Imidacloprid, it also eats the chemical. This causes damage to the aphid’s nervous system, resulting in death.
Step 7: Dust Your Cannabis Plants With Diatomaceous Earth
Do not use diatomaceous earth unless you have tried all other steps to remove an aphid infestation.
This is the most costly solution and the most dangerous. Diatomaceous earth will kill all insects, both good and bad. Its sharp particles are particularly dangerous to bees.
If nothing else has worked, go ahead and lightly dust your cannabis plants with Diatomaceous earth to kill aphids. It is generally safe for humans and animals, but you should take care not to inhale large amounts.
Diatomaceous earth has beneficial properties when introduced to the soil early in the season. Try adding it early next year to avoid another aphid attack. This also keeps it off the plant leaves, which is safer for pollinators.
How To Prevent Aphid Infestations In The First Place
Aphids are hard to get rid of once they have made your weed plants their home. It is much better to prevent them from infesting your grow in the first place.
There are simple ways to prevent an aphid infestation. Setting up your grown room as a no-aphid zone will save you time, money, and stress!
Introduce Predatory Insects
Even aphids have enemies! Ladybugs love aphids. A single ladybug can eat up to 50 aphids a day. You can buy ladybugs by the bag and keep them in the fridge.
Introducing ladybugs periodically will stop any aphid family from considering taking up residency in your grow room. Ladybugs are easy to order online.
If you want to see a true “battle royale” of insects, order some aphidoletes. These are an aphid’s worst nightmare. You can order them online, too.
Aphidoletes will seek and destroy all species of aphids. Aphidoletes do need to reach maturity to be effective. This can take up to one week. Plan ahead and order in advance.
Choose Your Weed Plants’ Neighbors Wisely
Companion growing is the practice of adding vegetation that naturally deters pests. Good plants to grow near your weed plants are ones with strong scents. The most beneficial of these are lavender, dill, mint, and onions.
However, there are also plants that attract aphids. You want to grow these as far as possible from your cannabis plants to prevent aphid infestations.
Aphids like to hide under large leaves. Examples of vegetables to avoid growing near weed plants are potatoes, lettuce, beans, and eggplant.
Adjust The Conditions Of Your Grow Room
Keep the door to your grow room closed as much as possible. Ventilation and circulating air will disrupt aphid movements. Good ventilation is always a good idea, because it helps prevent many other problems, like mold or gnats in your grow room.
Only allow people that are absolutely necessary to get near your cannabis plants. Insects can travel on clothing and animals.
Check your clothes before entering your growing space. Keep pets away. If you are growing outside, fence in and separate the area to keep out intruders.
Finally, put up sticky tape by doors and windows. This may trap aphids trying to get in and prevent colonization.
What is an Aphid Exactly?
If you’re going to battle these pests, it helps to know what exactly they are. Aphids are teeny-tiny insects that suck the sap out of plants.
There are a variety of species of these insects and they come in a variety of colors. Most are pale-colored and are hard to spot on plants.
Aphids’ favorite breeding spots are under leaves. Aphids have two missions in life: suck the life out of plants and reproduce.
A single female aphid can produce 40 to 60 offspring. Aphids colonize and travel in groups. A telltale sign of an aphid infestation is “honeydew”. Honeydew is aphid waste. It is a sugary, wax-like substance, usually white or yellow in color.
Will Aphids Kill Cannabis Plants?
Yes, and with pleasure! Aphids eat plant juices and tissue. An aphid infestation is a serious problem and something you need to address immediately. Regular inspections of your weed plants will help you spot aphids early and save your grow.
Get Rid Of Aphids During Flowering: Final Thoughts
Spotting an aphid on your marijuana plants, especially during flowering, can induce a panic attack. But it does not have to.
It is possible to get rid of aphids during flowering. It is not too late. simply follow the steps above. If one does not prove effective, move on to the next. Chances are one will work and you will save your grow.
Then, during the next grow, make sure to implement our tips on preventing aphids. It is always better not to have to deal with these annoying little pests at all.