When Pests Ruin Plant Growth

hydroponic gardening pests - mites and thrips

Even with every single plant growth influencing factor perfect these little demons can still cause incredible problems for the indoor gardener. Spotted mites, also know as red spider mites, are unquestionably the worst enemy. These guys can be identified by their two black spots (one on each side of their body). Also, at maturity they turn red. The proper pest identification is always the first step in treating the problem.

In the second picture is the number two enemy... thrips. These guys have an unnatural immunity to neem oil, which makes their identification that much more important (especially if you rely on organic pest control methods. As always, the best strategy for dealing with bugs in the garden is . If you have already had the misfortune and you have bugs in your garden currently, here are a few suggestions on how to control the problem.

How do they Affect Plant Growth?

In the link above, you will find some helpful advice for keeping these little guys out of your garden.....but once they are in your garden, they literally suck the life-blood out of your plants. Mites and thrips both bite into soft plant tissue and suck out the sap to feed on. As the population of bugs grows, your plants slowly die a death of a thousand cuts.

At first, you will probably mistake it for a slight nutrient overdose, or perhaps leaf burn from having the lights a bit too close. These little bugs are so tiny, it is easy to miss them at first....and the damage they do looks very similar to what I just mentioned....dead and damaged leaves, a few at first, than more and more. The population of the bugs get to a point where they kill new leaves just as fast as they grow, and it becomes painful to watch your once healthy garden struggle to just barely survive.

Unfortunately, once established, they are nearly impossible to get rid of completely. They will continue to come back again and again, and you will be forced to use pesticides you don't really want to use on a consumable crop, and even after all of that your yield will be down and the quality of your produce will be down as well. Your best bet is empty your grow room, clean everything well, and start over fresh. Chalk it up to a learning experience, and hopefully you can prevent this from ever happening to you again!

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