Slugs and snails may do a lot of damage to your marijuana plants, particularly while they’re young and vulnerable. They are especially dangerous in outdoor and indoor crops, as well as in chilly and rainy climates when they attack at night.
Slugs and snails have a fluid, squishy, and greasy body that is 1 to 9 cm in length and is wrapped in a round shell (for snails). They travel slowly, following a trail of translucent and gleaming mucus trailing them. Snails fold within their shells in some kind of a spiral configuration during the cold periods or if the environment is too dry, then emerge to feed in the springtime, or when the climate is moister. Hence they are commonly observed when it storms. Both of these pests are hermaphrodites (meaning they have both female and male reproductive organs), but they can’t fertilize themselves, so they have to engage in sexual activity with each other to breed. These gastropods’ eggs are transparent, and they hatch approximately a month after they’re laid.
The eggs of these pests are deposited in dirt and dark, cold areas. During the nighttime, the voracious infants emerge and consume everything green that comes their way. Throughout the day, they scurry away to the dark, cold hiding spots to save moisture.
How To Find Out If Your Marijuana Plants Have Fallen Prey To Slugs or Snails
During the outdoor planting season, slugs and snails are typically two of the very first pests to attack. They arise during the spring, corresponding with the development (vegetative phase) of your marijuana plants; you should be very vigilant at this time since they are the tiniest and most susceptible.
Because slugs and snails rest throughout the day and wake up to eat at night, keeping a diurnal schedule makes it harder to spot them. They like to hide in plain sight, underneath rocks, trees, bricks, or any other spot with a darkish and damp environment.
Nonetheless, it is simple to determine if these critters are eating your crops at night. Keep an eye out for the following warning signs to catch them:
- Bite patterns on leaves, usually in the style of a spider web. Slugs and snails eat many kinds of plant material, particularly roots.
- The tracks of mucus left behind by these pests are an unmistakable clue that these pesky visitors are the ones picking your marijuana plants’ leaves.
- Another way to determine whether you have these unwanted visitors in your cannabis garden is to use a flashlight to search for them at night.
Snails And Slugs – How To Prevent Them In Your Cannabis Garden
The best thing one can do, like with any problem that might damage your marijuana plants, is to prevent them from appearing in the first place. As a result, if you notice that the circumstances in your yard are conducive to the expansion of slugs and snails (such as heat and humidity), you should take preventative measures to prevent them from emerging.
The first tip is to feed your plants in the morning and evening instead of at night. Do it earliest every morning to keep the environment generally dry.
Likewise, if you’ve ever had issues with these pests in prior seasons, stay away from drip watering systems or try to keep your medium from becoming too wet (which not only attracts snails and slugs but is also terrible for your crops).
Another option is to construct a clean, dry border surrounding your plants and surround them with a layer of salty sand, diatomaceous earth, or lime. The idea is to build a barrier that prevents slugs or snails from getting to your plants.
Last but not least, a board should be placed near your crops on the soil, with enough room below it for snails and slugs to hide throughout the day. The idea is to set up a trap for pests, a cozy spot for them to hide from the sunlight, with the help of which you can verify if your marijuana plants are infected during the daytime.
Snails And Slugs – How To Fight Them In Your Marijuana Plants
If you also have these snails wreaking havoc on your marijuana plants, you’ll need to act quickly to prevent them from devouring your crops.
If you haven’t already done so, now is the chance to put up the barrier we described before. Even though your crops are already infested, after your marijuana pests have been removed, this will prevent the same scenario from occurring again (to the extent feasible, since it isn’t flawless).
Make a tiny hole in the soil or below your grow medium and lay a container holding jam and beer in it to capture the snails and slugs. The aroma of this combination will lure these mollusks, who might eventually fall into the trap and die. Place a few of these baits surrounding your plants for extra protection.
You can also control the presence of these slugs and snails biologically. The preying slug Ruminia decollata, which feeds on slugs and snails, is commercially available and is yet another technique to tackle them. Bear in mind that although it may assist, it is not a complete solution to this situation.
Another way to fight these pests is to clean them manually. With the use of light, you’ll want to look for these pests at night time when they come from their respective hiding spots to eat.
There are also a variety of deadly baits readily available on the market. If you have children or pets at home, take caution while using these items. The safest method to utilize them is to put them in a container with a little hole in it for the slugs and snails to go in through.
Snails and slugs may not be the deadliest threat to your cannabis garden, but they can cause a lot of harm to your plants, resulting in a decreased yield and sick or dead plants. Of course, no cannabis growers want to see their months of hard work go to waste like that. Therefore, taking the right preventive measures will ensure the safety of your crops.