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Finally found a totally clean solution to mites

zem

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Hi all :)
I have been battling with mites for more than a year now. Luckily, I had grown for 14 years with no encounter with this pest! So when it came, I was experienced enough to not allow it to kill my plants, but it did make me think and work a lot before I found my way to deal with them.

My biggest issue is that I don't want to fumigate anything that leaves any residues on my buds, not even organic residues. So my last grow, I chose to put the mites issue on top of my priorities. I knew that mites were on the floors and around my grow from the last grow. So first I adjusted my flowering table in a way to minimize the places of contact with walls and floor. I figured that the mites would have to zigzag up and down to find their way and the plants are in a flood and drain table so they would have to find points of contact with leaves to climb on the plants since they cannot cross the wet floor under the plants' pots.

Second thing I did was to timely and faithfully supercrop my plants before inducing flowering. This is one of the better more detailed videos that I found about supercropping
. IMO this solved 90% of my issue, the mites lose their advantage of being unseen and they had to go to the well exposed leaves to start eating on the plants. I use organic potassium soap and spinosad. The soap kills on contact with no residual effect. The spinosad kills any worms and some growers claim that it helps with the mites but I am not sure about this. After 15-20 days into flowering, I stop fumigation and observe very closely as I position my colas. Any mites at this stage must be detected as early as possible and I remove them manually with a cloth and/or defoilation of infested leaves. Every plant must be fully and easily accessible. Throughout the flowering stage I detected mites about 8 to 10 times and cleaned them off. They were undetectable at harvest. Needless to say I took other obvious measures like disinfecting the growrocks and changing before going in especially from a possibly infested place like where I dried my infested plants... I even removed my oscillating fan that was in there when I had the severe infestation because I was sure there were mites inside of it. One day if I have to, I might get ozone to disinfect items but this is still unnecessary, I have to wait and see.

To sum it up, I placed the mites issue on top, and found that cleaning, timing and observation were sufficient to deal with my spider mites problem. I don't know about other growers, but I really dislike leaving any residue whatsoever on my buds. It could be harder for organic soil that cannot be disinfected, and for outdoor grows, but for similar indoor grows, this method could be a way to avoid contaminating your buds.
 

stinkyattic

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A note on ozone, if you need it strong enough to work as a disinfectant, you're going to need a hefty generator capable of producing high concentrations in an enclosed area that can be controlled remotely, including fully exhausted before reentering the space. Source: former job at a fish farm had one, and we definitely had a couple employees hospitalized from exposure.
Sounds like you are really observant and on top of your maintenance schedule which is 99% of the eternal war on mites! : )
 

zem

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A note on ozone, if you need it strong enough to work as a disinfectant, you're going to need a hefty generator capable of producing high concentrations in an enclosed area that can be controlled remotely, including fully exhausted before reentering the space. Source: former job at a fish farm had one, and we definitely had a couple employees hospitalized from exposure.
Sounds like you are really observant and on top of your maintenance schedule which is 99% of the eternal war on mites! : )
Right and this is why I did not use ozone to disinfect my grow space and I doubt that I will ever go there, I am still thinking if I get a small generator to disinfect items in a closed box or not.
Making the plants easily accessible from all sides and good supercropping, along with daily patrols around the plants made it difficult for any mite to settle on a leaf without being detected early. It also allows for good coverage with the soap and spinosad.
 

Rosebud

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Zem, way to go, you have really put some thought into this. I am so happy for you. I know you don't have all the stuff we have here and it is harder for you. You are rocking it. Thanks for the info.
 

fellowsped

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Have you considered trying to get ahold of some predatory mites? I know someone that had some spidermites and successfully controlled them with predatory mites. Seems like you have a good system already but figured I would suggest them.
 

Rosebud

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I don't think he gets amazon or a place to get beneficial insects and he still rocks it.
 

zem

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Amazon do not deliver directly to where I am. I could go through a paid intermediary and it would add cost and a lot of time to deliver, so I just use what is on the shelves. Potassium soap is organic and I only use it before flowers show up. It smells good, but not as good as Spinosad which I think resembles the smell of newly rained on soil. It is made from some sort of mushroom and I also do not fumigate it on the buds. What about the possibility that benificial insects could pose a problem if they get stuck in buds? I have not used them but have seen them and some of these beneficial insects are very small.
 

Rosebud

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I think the beneficials exit the plant when there is no more food. I worried about that too, but not after using them.
 

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