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Russet Mites: An Invisible Plague

21314770_2420772654729637_3031779942128893520_nWE TRULY HOPE YOU HAVE NEVER had to encounter the nasty little beasts yourselves, but if you have…you know first-hand at just how dreadful they are. Aculops Cannabicola, or the hemp russet mite, is quite the plague to growers everywhere. Once infested, it is extremely difficult to rid your garden of them. They are devastating to novice and seasoned growers alike.
The Hemp Russet Mite is a sap sucker. It begins at the lower part of the plant and moves up as its food source depletes. It is particularly attracted to flower resins and can easily go unnoticed while lodged up inside your flowers.

Hemp Russet Mites are smaller than dust mites and thinner than human hair. To be able to check for them, you’ll need a magnifier of at least 30X, preferably higher. Due to their microscopic size, most farmers don’t know they have an infestation until the mites have already inflicted severe damage to their plants. Fan leaves might curl up a bit at the edges and have a glossy, wet look. Leaves will begin to have yellow or bronze spotting and begin to slowly die away, which can be misdiagnosed as a simple nutrient deficiency. New growth may come in twisted and seem stunted or limited.

Part of the difficulty of the russet mite is how easy it is for your garden to become infested. They can spread via wind, by hitching rides on other insects (or on the boots or clothing of another gardener friend), by hiding in contaminated potting soils, clippings or clones of infected plants, and a multitude of other ways.

Then what is the solution? Is there one? Here in Mendocino County we have learned that prevention is key. It is much easier to prevent these little buggers than deal with the never-ending battle once your garden has become infested. And here in Mendocino County we also have…the headquarters of The Amazing Doctor Zymes! Spraying your garden once a week with Eliminator, from seed to post-harvest, will help ensure you never have to enter into battle with these tiny demons from the underworld. When used correctly, the Amazing Doctor Zymes Eliminator never gives mites a chance! Eliminator works by disrupting the insects’ ability to breathe. The citric acid derived from our proprietary formula breaks down protein and organic matter such as eggs and insect droppings. If you want to learn more and read testimonials on growers just like you who managed to keep their mites under control, check us out www.doctorzymes.com.

**Always test on a branch before complete saturation of your plant. Apply in the evening time to avoid phytotoxicity**

 

21462346_2420772634729639_4222373671611845444_nHow much should I use?
If using as a preventative: dilute ¼ cup of Eliminator per gallon of warm water.
If there is already an infestation: dilute ½ cup of Eliminator per gallon of warm water.

How often should I spray?
If using as a preventative: once weekly.
If there is already an infestation: every day for three days, then every third day for two weeks, then down to once every 5-7 days.

How should I apply Eliminator?
Spraying your plant is how we recommend applying Eliminator. You can use any sprayer, but we recommend RL Atomizers or Gro-king sprayers. RL Atomizers work great when working with smaller amounts of product, averaging around 2 ½ gallons of product. They have a very fine mist which can sometimes dissipate quickly if trying to spray a larger plant. Gro-king sprayers are great because they hold up to 15 gallons of product and have a stronger spray stream that is less likely to dissipate when applied.

How do I spray my plants?
When applying The Amazing Doctor Zymes Eliminator to your plants be sure to completely saturate your plant from top to bottom using a sprayer. If necessary, climb up on a ladder to spray down the plant to saturate the tops of the leaves. Step up under the plant and spray up to saturate the bottom. Walk around the plant, spraying completely to ensure saturation of the outside of the plant. Also make sure to saturate the dirt, the smart pot itself (paying special attention to the seam, as they like to hide in there), and the surrounding ground around the pot. If your leaves have already begun to curl with Russet Mite damage, be sure to spray into the curved leaves to kill the eggs.

Happy Gardening from all of us here at The Amazing Doctor Zymes!

 

-Samantha Saddler

 


Samantha Saddler is the newest part of The Amazing Doctor Zymes family. She recently moved from Bellingham, Washington to pursue her dream of being a part of the gardening community of Mendocino County. She has a degree in English from Western Washington University and is extremely excited to be on the forefront of revolutionizing the way farmers garden.
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