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Guide To Identifying Your Pests permalink Since the inception of agriculture, mankind has been struggling against the constant predatory aspect of nature trying to eat the crop first. Animals and the elements are problems faced by outdoor growers, however everyone is put to battle with bugs at some point or another. Pests are a constant threat to any grower be it farm crops, a vegetable garden, or growing marijuana. Parasitic insects have been evolving for millions of years to infest, devour, and destroy plant matter in order to ensure their own proliferating survival. . . . and they're professionals. This thread will focus on prevention, identification and eradication of blights afflicting marijuana growers today. PREVENTION It has been said over and over that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure and I cannot reiterate this maxim enough. Prevent outbreak first and foremost then treat if necessary. Basic cleanliness can help on a massive scale to ensure you never walk up to your garden to have a flood of pests greet you. You work hard and spend harder earned money to produce a crop of smoke, don't risk creating a bug buffet by casual laziness. The following are the major rules to follow in basic pest and disease prevention. Always -Use compost that has been processed properly. A medium heated to 140F/60C will kill larvae, eggs and fungus that is residing there. Cutworms eggs are very common in manure and compost, the marijuana plant has no defense against cutworms rampaging through its roots. When properly composted, both mediums reach these temperatures. Check for the seal of a regulating authority certifying the product. Guarantees are nice to see as well. -Do not use mulch. This easy-accessible, moist, shaded medium is a perfect retreat for incoming pests and fungus. The risk isn't worthwhile. -Keep outdoor tools outside, and indoor tools inside. If there are parasites in either garden, there will be hitchhiking mary jane munchers clinging to them. Tools used for regular yard work should always be sterilized if brought indoors. Rubbing alcohol, soap and water, or a quick pass with a handheld torch will accomplish this nicely. Outdoors -Spray regularly with a pesticide targeted at worms and mites. Returning with the regularity necessary to eradicate an infestation is not usually possible. Check the surrounding area for presence of pests and treat preventively. Spraying should commence in early to mid-summer. This is when the larvae of most pests are becoming fully mobile and airborne. Pesticide should be reapplied every few weeks. -Companion planting is useful as it discourages insect populations. Transplanting foliage with similar characteristics to cannabis will spread out incoming populations of insects allowing the predatory nature of the outdoors to take its course. Additionally, transplanted companion plants will likely become infected prior to your plants giving you the opportunity to halt their spread before it touches your bud. Please, use common sense and inspect companions before transplanting them. Companion planting is useless indoors as bugs have nowhere else to go. Indoors -Keep your growroom a closed space in order to control the environment -Forced air circulation is one of your chief weapons against bugs. Powerful ventilation ensures spores and smaller flying insects do not have opportunity to proliferate. Winds created by oscillating fans make it difficult for bugs to hold on or set up nests. -You should regard outdoor shoes as radioactive inside your growroom. They are easily the most disease and pest infested item of clothing you own. -Wash your hands! Hands are dirty, and you will be coming in direct contact with your bud. Don't come back from a hike in the woods and walk into your growroom. Don't play with your dog, check your vegetable garden and walk into the holiest of holies. Wash up! -Sweep always, mop often, keep debris off your medium. Do not provide condo's to incoming insects, a broom is far cheaper than pesticide. -If your air intake comes from outside, install a filter designed for heating and cooling systems. These commercial filters are designed to keep pests and disease outside. Healthy plants will be the best defense you can possibly have. Often marijuana grows quickly enough to outpace pests, especially when healthy. IDENTIFICATION AND TREATMENT No matter the preventative measures you engage in, a pest population will infiltrate your crop eventually. For you growers with larger gardens, keep your eyes on weak plants! Pests infect one plant first, build up numbers and launch an offensive on every nearby edible object. I once was visiting a compatriot's grow underneath a 4 season porch with 24 plants. The plants on the left were doing very well, but the farther to the right the garden went, the more destroyed his crop had become. Some species of boring worm had successfully attacked a sick plant in a corner. When he discovered the infiltration point, the plant was essentially dead where it stood, worms crawling through almost the entirety of its stalks. From that plant, the worms spread quickly enough to destroy 15 of his 24 plants. Most insects lay thousands of eggs during their lifespan of weeks. If ten pests lay 100 eggs and their offspring each lay 100 eggs, your pest population has jumped from 10 to 100,000. This can occur in DAYS. Pay special attention to sickly plants, the evolutionary process dictates vulnerability to preying organisms. Men greater and wiser than I have adamantly stated that using chemicals on plants destined to be inhaled should ALWAYS be used as a last resort. Commercial and chemical pesticide have the creatures they eradicate listed on the label. Remember if you do choose to use chemicals that you will be lighting this stuff on fire and inhaling the smoke. If you have to use a nuke, allow enough time for the radiation to die down capeesh? Use these long before harvest. This article will focus on organic and non-toxic pest control. There are four methods you can employ to combat pests. -Repression: If the means to exterminate your particular bug isn't immediately available, there are usually countermeasures you can take to slow infestations or decrease numbers of current pests. Taking these countermeasures during treatment further increases the effectiveness of the method you choose to utilize. -Predators: The internet has opened up the world to the grower for specific predatory insects that will dine or destroy others voraciously. Most predators identified in this article are so specialized the specific pest is completely defenseless. -Manual removal: Exactly what it sounds like. Picking the things off, crushing eggs, removing branches that have colonies in place. If caught early enough, manual removal can control pests sufficiently they will not fully infest your plants. -Spray: When applying pesticide in a spray, ensure you use a spreader sticker. This is any type emulsifier that aids the pesticide in sticking to the leaves and commercial products are readily available for purchase. When your plant is budding this is especially necessary because the leaves of your plants are developing coatings of resin that will shed what you are spraying. If not purchasing a product, a teaspoon of dish soap per gallon of water will work fine. Jorge Cervantes tells us that any type of spray applied to plants will slow its growth temporarily as it will clog the stomata on the underside of leaves. Spraying water 1-2 days after application of a spray can help to clear stomata and aid the plant in resuming vigorous growth. Lets get to the beasts shall we? The prevention sections will be all but useless to the outdoor gardener, however the treatments will be equally effective. Pests are listed alphabetically and predators are identified by exact species to avoid any confusion. Copied and pasteded from - http://www.420magazine.com/forums/problems-pests-disease-control/156568-guide-identifying-your-pests.html Peace Lams