Rice Root Aphids – Persistent Pests
The rice root aphid is one of the more persistent pests cannabis cultivators encounter and can cause significant damage if left untreated. As their name suggests, rice root aphids colonize the rhizosphere of cannabis and feed on the sap running through the root system.
How to spot Rice Root Aphids
Active primarily at night, rice root aphids can spread quickly across a bench or bed and begin producing flyers within two weeks of initial colonization. Unlike other aphid species, rice root aphids are dark brown/maroon with the flyers having a distinctive square-shaped body.
How to mitigate them?
While beneficial organisms such as rove beetles and predatory soil mites can slow the spread and severity of the infection, they will not control rice root aphids once the colony is established.
Other biological insecticides have limited efficacy on rice root aphid due to the thick wax layer they possess that acts as a shield against these products. Pyrethrum is effective against rice root aphids although they are still difficult to completely eliminate unless the root ball is fully submerged in a pyrethrum solution. Another effective form of control and prevention are fine-mesh bags that can be used as a physical barrier around each pot. This method can be used to prevent infestations along with containing infestations to individual plants. Our plants are guaranteed to be free of rice root aphids and all other insect pests. This is the value proposition of our tissue-cultured clones.
Micaiah Phillips is the Cultivation Manager at Conception Nurseries. He has been cultivating and breeding cannabis in medical and recreational production settings for the last 17 years and holds a Master’s degree from the University of Bologna IT, where he studied pest/pathogen interactions in high-value crops.