I can tell you in one simple word how to control pests in your garden. Cleanliness. That’s all you need to know. If you think you can provide medicine to others but you don’t practice clean procedures and practices you are either fooling yourself or you are a fool.
In all cases except an outside grow, pests in an indoor grow are the result of inept or dirty growing practices. Any vector introducing outside plant material or soil to an indoor grow is a huge red flag of incompetence to people like me. Don’t do it. Just don’t do it. Im so clean I even change clothes before entering and exiting my indoor grow. In fact, I treat it like a clean room and wear nitrile gloves, a white lab cap, UVB proof glasses and disposable white painter’s outfits. If you are a craft grower on a large scale, you should do this too. As a seed breeder, I learned my lesson in the early 1990s when I wore back a pair of jeans I had worn the previous day in the pollination room and spent the next morning in a flowering room.
Never bring field dirt inside your indoor grow. I even disallow using clones brought into any grow that I don’t pot myself from my own mothers. The nicest thing about Autoflower genetics is you don’t need to do any of this. You start fresh and clean every time with seeds. After your grow, clean it all out. I dump and clean every pot outside on a compost pile, then I wash them and clean out every bit of soil. Going back into the grow room, I finish by spraying down the floor and washing the walls indoors with a mild chlorine (Clorox or Javex) and soap solution in a sprayer and then hose down the walls, floors and aluminum rolling grow benches. You may not be able to wash your walls but I still recommend you (at bare minimum) clean all benches, tools, sprayers and Shop Vac vacuum the floors. Fungus, mold, rot, mildew and pests that affect your medicine will never have a chance to get a foothold if you are diligent. I have never had a single spider mite problem. I have never experienced bud rot, mildew or mold inside either.
A big problem many home growers have is with Spider Mites. They think a Spider Mite infestation no big deal. It is. It can ruin your crop and make your medicine worth less or even worthless. Forget it. Never use any material from any previously infected grow. Clean each grow out – all out. Remove all pots, soil and plant material and wash it out well with mild Clorox or Javex solution and soap. I have seen complete disasters from people who use unclean pots, outside soil and leave plant material laying around on the floor of their grow tents or floors through several grows and wonder where the bugs come from.
Keep your tent and grow areas spotless! Invest in a Shop Vac and sprayer if you are a serious grower. It is also a great idea to make a small investment in spider mite predators at the start of an indoor grow outside of a tent especially if it is of any large size as it represents a sizeable investment and effort of your time. If you are in Canada and want to use predators as insurance to control infestations, call or contact Entomologist Stacey Hickman via her email at Natural Insect Control from the website www.nicniagara.com. They have great predators you can introduce as cheap insurance 4 or 5 days prior to starting any new grow. Three to 5 little predator critters per pot put right on the new soil in the pot will be all you need. Once your garden grows these little guys will be reproducing and moving all through your garden and even from pot to pot throughout the canopy.