Aculops cannabicola first appeared in Serbia and Hungary in the 1960s. This cannabis specific mite is still not common but is spreading quickly through the country. They are smaller than conventional spider mites but larger than the broad mite so a 30x or larger magnification may be necessary to fully identify an infestation.
They are built slightly differently than the spider or broad mites as well. Having an elongated body, often described as carrot shaped. They have a clear to milky color makes them almost look like the larvae of some other pest. Russet mites have only four legs instead of eight like other mites. Where Russet mites are found and what they do to the cannabis plant. Like the other mites, they will be located on the undersides of leaves. Russet mites work their way up plants, preferring the younger soft terminal leaves, so they are found on leaves just above damaged leaves and stems. Russet mites suck precious sap and nutrients from the leaves and petioles of the plant. This causes a type of stippling that often turns orange or yellow “russet- ing.” Soon the infected leaves die and drop off from the damage. As the colony progresses up the plant it inevitably weakens and dies.
All mite populations have the potential to increase numbers quickly when environmental conditions are favorable. For the three species of mites listed here that mostly pertains to rises in temperature. As air temperature reaches favorable conditions for cannabis growth, it also increases the mites’ rates of metabolism and reproduction. A space that peaks at 85°F decreases the mites’ time to sexual maturity as well as their gestation time. They do not multiply quickly compared to other mites. Sometimes a clean-out and a replacement crop is better than fighting them as they multiply logarithmically. • Quarantine plants for several weeks before introducing them to the nursery. Sometimes mites can lay dormant for a bit or colonies can be so small they go unnoticed. • Never take clones from plants that have been infected even if they have been treated and seem fine. This can serve to minimize the spread of these very tiny and hard-to-control mites. Amblyseius swirskii and Amblyseius cucumeris are two predators that will prevent high populations of russet mites. • Maintaining a tidy garden and observing clean gardening habits won’t protect you from this particular pest as it is mostly introduced. There are large concerns over the future of this now international traveler and commercial hemp crops worldwide. To treat Spider Mites and Russet Mites, apply Galendromus Occidentalis during the vegetative bloom stage. This Western Predatory mite can withstand hot arid summers and can be applied with crop dusters and drones for precise application. The russet mite works its way up plants from the bottom. The damage mites can cause in a hot grow room can easily be so substantial during the first three weeks of flowering that starting over in a clean room with new plants maybe an economically better option. Russet mites have been reported to be particularly resistant to neem and other horticultural oils so this throw-’em-out and start over mentality may prove doubly in order instead of a pitched chemical battle. In hemp fields the introduction of predatory mites can prove effective. Using biological control measures outdoors can have its issues, but if it’s timed right and multiple applications of predatory mites are used in intervals of four to seven days, the damage can be minimized enough to have a successful yield.
Russet mites remove cell content from the leaves with piercing, sucking mouth parts.
Herbal oils: Cinnamon, Clove, Geranium, Peppermint, Rosemary, Thyme Potassium salts of fatty acids. How common are Spider mites and what do they look like? They are the most serious pests in the cannabis garden.