Cannabis Pests: Dealing With Slugs and Snails
With so many factors involved in growing cannabis, combating slugs and snails can sometimes be at the bottom of the agenda. Given enough time though these everyday garden visitors can cause irreparable damage to you plants. Knowing how to deter them can be essential in keeping your weed intact.
The act of growing cannabis is not too dissimilar to spinning twenty plates in two hands. Various aspects of the grow, like temperature and light, need constant attention to keep them spinning. There are however various other aspects that only require action when the signs appear. And what signs might we be looking for? In this case, it is the dreaded mark of slugs and snails.
Slugs and snails won't be leaving a slime trail marking out the words “we were here” but there are some telltale signs that will alert you to their presence. This is especially important considering they like to attack your plants AND buds at night. Before that wave of panic sets in and sleepless nights become the mainstay of your next cannabis grow, we have some top tips on how to fight back.
SLUGS AND SNAILS: WHAT SIGNS TO LOOK OUT FOR?
Luckily, spotting these slimy critters is a fairly straightforward affair. The first sign to look out for is that trademark slime trail. This silvery slime trail will appear on the ground around your plants and across the leaves they have decided to munch on. Another sign to look out for is “scalloped edges”. Slugs and snails both take bites one at a time, leaving quite a distinctive marking. It can be easy to confuse this leaf damage with caterpillars as they have a similar approach to destroying your plants. Just remember, as painful as it may be to imagine, single bites at a time creating a scalloped edge. Finally, it is not a relentless all year round assault, typically slugs and snails tend to appear in spring attacking mainly at night. Just be aware that if you don't take steps to prevent or remove them, they will be back!
HOW TO REDUCE THE RISK OF SLUG AND SNAIL ATTACKS
In most growing environments it can be incredibly difficult to completely eradicate the threat of slugs and snails. There are, however, a number of things you can do to protect your beloved plants and reduce the risk of excessive damage. Physical barriers present the single best defense. Using plastic bottles cut in half around each of your plants is a great form of protection. A less controllable method is using mother nature to fight back. If your growing environment is outside, physical barriers can be a lot more difficult to construct. Instead, allow toads, frogs, and beetles to stay in your garden. They eat these pesky critters and will help control their numbers. Lastly, sprinkling circles of lime, eggshells, sawdust or salt around your plants can also help to deter these slimy assassins. Just be aware of the effects these substances may have on the pH of your soil.
BEER IS YOUR FRIEND
A bold statement, but one that can prove incredibly helpful in combating slugs and snails. They also love the taste of beer. Use a cheap beer, though - we don't want to add insult to injury by giving the pests that are eating your cannabis plants and drinking your good beer. The idea is to submerge the cans around your grow area so that the top lip of the can is level with the soil. They will be drawn to the cans and in an effort to enjoy themselves will fall into the can. Death by beer doesn't sound like a terrible way to go. Be warned, though, the cans will fill up quick so you will need to check and replace them on a regular basis.
Written by: Lucas
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