Spider mites are a common pest that can infest cannabis plants and cause significant damage if left untreated. Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) in the form of Greenlyte® is an effective way to control spider mites on cannabis plants.
Understanding Spider Mites
Spider mites are tiny arachnids–not insects, but rather related to spiders–that feed on the sap of cannabis plants by piercing the plant’s cells and sucking out the contents. This feeding process causes stippling, yellowing, and ultimately the death of the cannabis leaves. Spider mites reproduce rapidly, making them a formidable problem for cannabis growers.
HOCl and Spider Mites
Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) is a weak acid that forms when chlorine is dissolved in water. It is known for its antimicrobial and disinfectant properties. Greenlyte® contains hypochlorous acid and is effective against spider mites in several ways:
Oxidative Stress: HOCl induces oxidative stress in spider mites. It can penetrate their protective exoskeleton and disrupt cellular functions. This oxidative stress leads to cellular damage and eventually the death of the spider mite.
Disruption of Cell Membranes: HOCl disrupts the cell membranes of spider mites. It damages the lipid membranes, leading to leakage of cellular contents and cell death.
Low Toxicity to Plants: One advantage of HOCl is that it is relatively safe for cannabis plants when used in appropriate concentrations. It can help control spider mites without causing significant harm to the plants themselves.
Using Greenlyte® to Control Spider Mites
Greenlyte® is being used by more and more cannabis growers across the United States to control spider mites on their cannabis plants. There are several ways that the product impacts spider mite populations:
Most importantly, the HOCl contained in Greenlyte® kills spider mites on cannabis using the mechanisms described above.
Another great benefit of the use of Greenlyte® is that it is effective in preventing spider mites and hemp insects from establishing colonies on cannabis in the first place. It is much easier to keep pests from colonizing plants than it is to eradicate a large population once it has taken root and begun to destroy plants.
When used in conjunction with other pest prevention methods, Greenlyte® is part of a highly effective strategy for protecting cannabis crops. This can include measures such as maintaining proper humidity levels, introducing beneficial predators (like ladybugs or predatory mites), and regularly inspecting plants for early signs of infestation.
Balanced Pest Prevention
While Greenlyte® and its primary active component, hypochlorous acid, are clearly very good at eradicating spider mites, hemp insects, and other pests that cannabis growers dread, there is another reason that growers are becoming more and more reliant on this pest management strategy. The effectiveness of Greenlyte® is balanced by its low toxicity and its lack of VOCs produced during storage and use.
Most consumers are accustomed to equating pest prevention effectiveness with high toxicity, meaning that in order for a product to eradicate pests, users must protect themselves with PPE such as masks and gloves and even air flow protocols. With Greenlyte®, cannabis growers can spray the product on cannabis leaves without concerns over VOCs or direct contact with skin, and the product can even be left on plant leaves to discourage pests without posing a danger to the cannabis plants.
Support and Education
Yet another great advantage that cannabis growers have with Greenlyte® is the support of PCT’s resident experts. For years, the company has not only provided eco-friendly disinfectant and cleaning products to a range of differing industries, but also supported them with answers to individual questions, scientific research documentation, and advice on how to best use PCT’s products in unusual contexts for maximum benefit. The cannabis industry is a quickly growing yet still very young field, and it is a powerful advantage for growers to be able to connect with the experts at PCT and learn about best practices, nuances of application, and ongoing research into the use of HOCl with cannabis crops.
Entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry can learn more about Greenlyte® and consult with PCT’s experts through their website. We look forward to working with you and introducing you to the power of hypochlorous acid to protect against infestations by spider mites, hemp insects, powdery mildew, and other common cannabis threats.