Microscopic Mites, PESTAPALOOZA, and Predator Insects, with Matthew Gates

Posted on March 22nd, 2023 to Transcripts

Episode Links:
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/7Kb8HNhovrXfxfD3ARW9a2
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydmQv4B0eGE&t=65s&ab_channel=JordanRiver
iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/microscopic-mites-pestapalooza-and-predator-insects/id1077793493?i=1000605058915

Jordan River 0:00
Greetings cultivators from around the world. Jordan River here back at you with more GrowCast. They finally let me out of the quarantine tent. Today, we have Matthew Gates on the line, cannabis IPM specialist and new instructor for the Pestapalooza GrowCast grow class. You’ll hear more about that. I’m super excited for today’s episode, Matthew is here to talk about russet mites; microscopic, insidious pests that will destroy your garden if you’re not prepared. So I know you’re gonna love today’s deep, deep dive into the great and powerful yet harmful russet mite. Before we get into it with Matthew though, shout out to AC Infinity – the best grow gear in the game code. GROWCAST15 saves you 15% at ACinfinity.com They’ve got the thick sturdy tents with a thick canvas and the thick tent poles – the best tents in the game they’ve got the fans that you need the inline fans, the cloud Ray oscillating fans now. Again code GROWCAST15 for 15% off the best quality growth gear you can find. They’ve also got lights and scissors and pots and hangers and so much more. But when it comes to the fans and the tents, there’s no one else out there that does it better. The inline fans, the cloud Line series are fantastic. The S series the simple series still comes with a 10 speed fan controller and the T series comes with a controller that lets you automatically dial in your temperature and humidity ACinfinity.com code GROWCAST15 for 15% off. They even have grow kits that come with everything you need to expand. Get that second veg tent, get that second flower tent you’ve been thinking about save with the kit and use code GROWCAST15 which now works on those kits. Saving your extra money with the best gear in the game. ACinfinity.com. They’ve been our partner for three years. We brought these guys along a long time ago. They’ve really really expanded and done a great job. ACinfinity.com code GROWCAST15. All right, let’s get into it with Matthew. Thank you for listening and enjoy the show.

Hello podcast listeners, you are now listening to GrowCast. I’m your host Jordan River and I want to thank you for tuning in yet again today for another episode. Before we get started, as always, I urge you to share this show, tell a grower. If you got friends who aren’t growing, get them into growing what are you doing and then turn them on to GrowCast. Thank you for spreading the show. It really does help us out. I appreciate you all. And if you want to keep up to date on everything that I’m doing everything that team GrowCast is doing, go to growcastpodcast.com/action. There you’ll see all the action. The classes like the pest class, the seeds, the membership everything. Today speaking of pests and pests class we have good friend of the show, Matthew Gates back on the line. What’s up Matthew, how you doing, man?

Matthew Gates 2:45
I’m doing well. I’m glad to be here.

Jordan River 2:47
Hell ya man, it’s been a minute. I’m very excited today to talk about russet mites. A bit of a deep dive. You know I like my deep dive. So we’re going into russet mites today. We’re going to learn all about russet mites from the great Matthew Gates. But first what have you been up to, Matthew? For the past year or so you’ve been teaching, doing shows, doing your thing?

Matthew Gates 3:07
Yeah, I took the majority of last year and also the year before to really expand and try to get as much information out to people in ways that are digestible and easy to sort of look over so I made a lot of video content or prepared to make a lot of video content and now I’m executing a lot of that not only doing things with different podcasts and presentations and and such I’m also writing a lot I recently I was asked to write about cannabis IPM for a professor that I know in Uttar Pradesh in India. Wow. And also another individual asked me, Dr. Angel Fernandez to help him with a chapter on cannabis IPM as well and I also worked with the other previous Professor before to write help write a book about cannabis biology. So I’ve been really steeped in the esoteric pests information for cannabis. I’m excited to talk more.

Jordan River 4:11
Sounds like you’ve been kicking butt, man. It’s such a niche subject that people are so interested in. I think people are often a little under educated. I know I am like there’s so much that go into so many different facets of cannabis and pests and insects specifically can be relegated to kind of a niche subject. But every time I do an episode with you, I get great feedback and people want to know more. Speaking of which, I am happy to announce the one and only Matthew Gates and GrowCast collaboration, Pestapalooza. You guys asked for it and now we got it. IPM class on the back of a learning burn and a fully catered after party, Matthew Pestapalooza, man, you ready for this? Thank you so much for collabing and agreeing to do this.

Matthew Gates 4:57
I’m extremely ready and I’ll tell you one of the biggest reasons for this is because you, I really respect man, I really don’t. I don’t pick the partners that I make lightly and the people that I want to collaborate with, lightly, I take a very serious approach to it. Because ultimately, it’s important that the information is conveyed in a responsible way. And a way that is helpful for people. And I think that you can have that, and I’ve watched you do it, and I really mean it. And so thank you very excited. That’s highly motivated.

Jordan River 5:30
I really appreciate that man. And this is I mean, listen, we’ve been doing classes for a few years now. And they’ve been slowly getting bigger and bigger. We’ve been expanding out now doing all sorts of different curriculums and things. And people want an IPM class with Matthew Gates. This is something that’s been asked of me. So I’m very, very excited to be doing this with you. And the other reason that I like working with you just real quick before we get into russets is you want to over deliver, right? What I’ve learned from doing these classes, if people want more, they want more time after the class to hang out and talk to us and get specific advice. And also just chill and smoke and ask us all the questions, right? And they also want more goodies. The more goodies and prizes that we bring to these things, the better. So Pestapalooza is going beyond just an educational class now and turning into kind of like a pest fest. You have the core class, but then you’ve got this long Q&A, learning burn to get all your questions answered. You got to fully catered after party to hang with me and Matthew Gates, and make sure that you get all your topics addressed. And then finally, we’re going to hook up a goodie bag. And the idea of this goodie bag is we want it to be worth more than the admission. So you’re gonna get a bunch of good shit in there. IPM stuff and scouting stuff and microbes and seeds and it’s gonna be a lot of fun. So, so yeah, I don’t I don’t want to linger on this. But I do want to say Matthew. I’m super super excited. And Pestapalooza is life growcast. podcast.com/classes. I’ll see you in Long Island, Matthew.

Matthew Gates 6:53
Yes, you will. I look forward to it.

Jordan River 6:54
It’s nuts, man. Yeah, shout out LI Hydro and shout out Mighty Hydro in San Diego, our first two spots. So check it out., everybody. Very excited, very excited. We have to educate the people, like you said. I am going through a pest battle right now. And it is one of the worst things to have to deal with, man. Depending on the pest you get, especially the ones that we’re talking about today. You talk about avoiding total crop loss, right? This is the worst case scenario essentially, as a home grower in illegal state. And you know what I mean? That’s the thing is, is you work really hard on these plants. And then you get some sort of pest infestation where it completely ruins your grow. And not all pests are going to do that. But God dang. Today we’re talking about microscopic mites and russet mites. And they might fall into that category, man. Some of the worst stuff that you can get. Do you want to talk about that Matthew hack where they rank on the scale of the bad guys? What these microscopic mites are and what makes them so dang dangerous?

Matthew Gates 7:52
Absolutely. And I want to just echo the point that you made that I come from a background where essentially, you should murder board your solutions to problems. So you should really be looking with a fine tooth comb. You know, what could I be doing better? Why does what I do work? And we’ll go over all of that in our lectures and at the Pestapalooza. But here with the rest of mites, this is exactly a perfect opportunity to look at that. What level of threat is it? I would say pretty high for a lot of people. Does it have some good solutions that you can implement early? Yeah, definitely. Does that mean that everyone’s going to have the same response or situation? No, everyone’s situation is different. And we’ll get into some of those details. But I would consider it a pretty high threat for most people, probably because a lot of people aren’t aware of it or haven’t dealt with it. But those who have know how damaging it can get it can be really bad for yield and kill the plant.

Jordan River 8:49
And and that’s what I see. Again, before we get into what these little critters are and how they function, I see the mistake a lot of like, people will slack on their IPM. And then they’ll like leave town. And so when you say they don’t all respond the same, it really seems like a lot of these infestations as early as you can catch them. It’s like when you get a sickness in the body, right, depending on how far the disease has progressed. That’s the prognosis at that point. That’s the outcome. The predicted outcome is determined by how fast you caught it. So you have to scout and the worst infestations the ones that people can’t come back from are usually in tents that have been neglected. So that scouting is probably very important, I imagine.

Matthew Gates 9:29
Absolutely. Absolutely. You’ve definitely heard me talk about it. And it’s true. It’s true. If you know what the situation is, if you know what you could get, and you have a bunch of solutions already figured out for them for your particular grow. And you don’t slack on your rapid response and early detection, then yeah, things are gonna be a lot easier for you. But yeah, if you let it get really bad and according to grow is infested with hundreds of thousands of these russet mites, it’s gonna be more difficult deal with let’s put it that way.

Jordan River 10:02
Terrible stuff. What are these microscopic mites? What are the difference between broads and russets? And again, why are they so frickin harmful?

Matthew Gates 10:11
Right. So yeah, so a lot of people have heard of the word broad mite and russet mite but basically they are both very small. They’re about 200 micrometers in length, or so broad mites you can see and russet mites, you can see with the naked eye, if you know what you’re looking at, if you have good enough vision, it is possible, but it’s very difficult, and you’re not really going to see it when your crop scouting, you’ll see their damage first. The reason why they’re such a problem is because their damage causes the plant to sort of crinkle and narrow and stunned. And if this happens in your bud sites, of course, this is going to be very problematic for the yield, the product, the flower that you’re going to get whatever you’re going to do with it afterwards is going to be you know, damaged or impaired. Broad mites have a when you look at them under a microscope, or even a magnification of like 25 or 30, I would say you can look at them under a microscope and get a better idea. But broad mites have like a ball shaped body, kind of like a sphere that’s a little bit oblong. And there’s like a little point at one part and a little point at the other kind of tapers, and that’s a broad mites. Russet mites have like a worm like body. And unlike broad mites, which like all arachnids have eight legs as adults, russet mites only have four legs as an adult. And they also again have this sort of worm or snake like appearance. So if you see that then the rest of my if you see the other thing that is a broad mites. Broad mites also have a very conspicuous egg that has these things called tubercles. These little like protrusions that almost look like craters, but under a microscope, it looks like polka dots. So if you see these like polka dot like eggs that are a little bit again, also sort of football shaped, then you’re probably looking at a broad mite infestation, but you’ll likely see the other life stages around them. So it’ll make it a little easier.

Jordan River 12:13
Let’s talk about magnification here. Because when I was looking at broad mites, what I believe to be broad mites on a leaf, also identified by MBS. You’re right. They’re there when I was looking at them under 100x lighted microscope, they’re still small. But I imagine that if you were sharp enough, you could see them. What about their eggs, their eggs have to be tiny, tiny, how much magnification do we need?

Matthew Gates 12:38
I think at that point, the reason you’re able to see them at all, even though they’re so small, and if you have like good vision is because they’re moving. That’s because they’re usually constantly moving and russet mites to sort of move a little bit. But broad mites in particular, the eggs because they’re so small, I would not really expect it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the eggs themselves, just the broad mites because you can hear..

Jordan River 13:00
Really high powered microscope.

Matthew Gates 13:02
You just see the speck that’s moving. So when they’re stationary, I think it’s very hard to pick them out underneath the background and all of that. The eggs are also clear, or they’re really like they tend to be translucent, and darkens overtime. So that could be another reason it’s hard to see them.

Jordan River 13:19
God damn, these things are insidious. How do russet mites get into your grow? I know that when they’re this small, it’s hard to keep them out.

Matthew Gates 13:30
Russet mites are really interesting, because the main way that they get into a crop, and there’s thousands. So we’ll get into that later. But for the one that we’re worried about in cannabis, and he loves canopy Cola, that basically gets in through wind, through air travel literally on the wind, or it gets into your place through fomites. Basically carriers like clothing or other equipment for and people right and pets perhaps. But also they can come in on cuttings. And that’s the probably the biggest way that they come in, there are several tests for which this is the most common way they come in on some sort of a cutting that isn’t quarantine, that, again, like you said, being lax in your IPM strategy, your biosecurity, you might assume that your friend is fine, and maybe your friend thinks they’re fine too, but they’re not. And you know, that can happen. It does happen or in some cases, something has happened in transit. That has happened in my experience. Sometimes it’s not the fault of the provider, or I mean depends on how this falls apart. But sometimes neither group had a problem, but the transporter did and when they went [oh my god!] transferred their plans. Yeah, so don’t always presume you know, don’t always presume that it’s from the producer, although it is more likely. Sometimes weird stuff happens.

Jordan River 14:53
Oh my goodness! Now they just hang out on the undersides of the leaves usually, right? Are they do they prefer the top and the bottom? Do they burrow into the stock? Do they do anything weird like that?

Matthew Gates 15:06
The hemp russet mite to my knowledge doesn’t do something quite like that doesn’t it can’t although there’s been I’ve heard people say things that they suspect, but nothing about the biology or physiology of the russet mite would really support this ability. Like some people have thought that maybe they can burrow into seeds, there’s really no reason for that to be possible. Because they lack anything mechanical to like pierce the hard hole of a seed. [Sure.] So, so yeah, so that’s the case. And there are some russet mites and other species that have been found that can like get into plant tissue, but hemp russet mite doesn’t seem to do that, and does seem to have in my experience a preference, I think what happens that the russet mites will get on to somebody’s clothes or something like that, and then they’ll be distributed wherever they may. And that might be at the top of the plant, it might be at the bottom, and maybe the colony starts there. And then as it grows and grows, you know, it gets, it goes, expands upwards and downwards. And I think that’s what we’re actually seeing, rather than like a specific preference.

Jordan River 16:08
And unlike the spider mite, for instance, that loves hanging out at the top of the canopy, you have to be scouting all over for these little fuckers.

Matthew Gates 16:15
Exactly. Yes, exactly. And, like, specifically, the spider mites are more visible. And also yeah, as their population gets more dense, they will tend to try to go up to the terminal ends of plants, because they want to get caught by the wind or get, you know, in other ways moved on to a new plant.

Jordan River 16:34
And like I heard they like it warm.

Matthew Gates 16:37
They do.

Jordan River 16:38
Ooh! Does raising the temperature increase the breeding rates of all these mites that we’re talking about?

Matthew Gates 16:44
Generally up into a point, I would say yes. They generally do better in a warmer sort of situation than a colder one. Because it’s just like a lot of insects, they’re exotherm. So the external environment dictates some of their metabolic processes.

Jordan River 17:01
That is so wild man because I worry about running those warmer temperatures if you have pests, and they’re just you know, going crazy. But like you said, probably up into a point, they’re going to reproduce either way. So yeah, what else can you tell us about russets, speaking of reproduction, what’s their life cycle like? How fast are they reproducing once they’re in there?

Matthew Gates 17:20
Yeah, so russet mites, they don’t have it depends on the species, but they tend to not have a super long life, maybe a couple of weeks, maybe a month, depending on a lot of different factors. Like how hot it is, for example, they’ll cycle through their life cycle faster at higher temperatures. This is generally true for a lot of insects and mites just generally. But yeah, generally, a longer life cycle is correlated with a colder temperature or not getting enough food or some other sort of impairing effect, right.

Jordan River 17:55
That’s fascinating. I wouldn’t have thought that [it is right.] They die faster, too. Yeah, exactly. They die faster too.

Matthew Gates 18:01
That’s actually one of the what some entomologists believe is the key reason why insects are so successful as a species, one of the biggest ones is that they don’t stick around very long, and they reproduce constantly. So they can have multiple generations that will kind of hone their adaptation, right, they get more chances to adapt in a similar amount of time. And also, the adults like an insects, the adults tend to have different food resources and requirements than their larval form so they don’t compete with each other.

Jordan River 18:34
Wow, that is fascinating. I didn’t know they had different food sources. There’s a non compete between the adults and the young. That’s ****ing wild!

Matthew Gates 18:43
Yeah, although with russet mites, they are all competing. So getting back to them. They might, a female russet mite might produce something around like a dozen or more eggs. They have this interesting physiology. They are what we know we know as a haploid, diploid, which means they have to ployed So you and I are diploid. Our parents contribute sets of chromosomes to each other to with each other to make offspring. But russet mites, well, females that are not fertilized, they’ll just make males and then they’ll mate with those males. And then they’ll make females. [Oh, wow.] So functionally, they only need one female to start a colony.

Jordan River 19:30
Right. Right. That’s why it’s so dangerous where you have to get rid of every last one, because they can repopulate so well from one female.

Matthew Gates 19:38
Exactly. And females also they mate randomly because males they leave like a external packet of genetic material, and the females would just come across it and go okay, and they use that and then they make eggs with it. So like there’s not a whole lot of mate choice selection. And that has caused a lot of interesting things for them as a as a species, basically, russet mites are actually they have what’s called a reduced genome. And this is probably why they have like less legs and other arachnids and a bunch of other weird characteristics because a long, long, long time ago, maybe like almost half a billion years or 500 or so million years ago. They are related to an offshoot of arachnids of mites in particular, called the Nomada, like a bee. And these mites are super elongated, and they still exist, and they live in the deep soil. And it’s thought that those mites that russet mites developed from, as some researchers have made it pretty clear with a lot of supporting evidence to be the case that they made the soil or helped to make the soil what it is back such a long time ago. And over time, a small population seem to associate more with plants. And perhaps this is how the first russet mites that feed on plants developed. And then well, as plants diversified, they followed their hosts and most russet mites are specialists. So they basically can only go after one or a couple of very related species. There’s a couple of exceptions to this. But by and large, this is the case for russet mites. So it’s a really interesting story, and I have a video coming out that will go over everything you ever wanted to know about russet mites.

Jordan River 21:35
Nice, subscribe for the russet mites videos. Zenthanol on YouTube, right? [That’s right.] Zenthanol on YouTube, go and subscribe. But you mentioned the specialization at the end there. And earlier in the show, you also mentioned thousands of different species. It’s like powdery mildew. They don’t hop the plant to plant like there’s a russet species for this plant. There’s a russet species for basil, there’s a russet species for the hemp, russet mite. I didn’t know that there were so many and that they were so specialized.

Matthew Gates 22:03
Yeah, and for a long time, because there were so small, like humans have probably experienced russet mites for millennia, probably, but like their effects, and all of that haven’t really been able to be looked at until like we developed, you know, like the microscope and even then, like a better microscope and genetic sequencing technology and that kind of stuff. So russet mites tend to be very difficult to identify, a lot of species will look pretty much like each other. There’s not a whole lot, there’s some diversity, but there’s not a whole lot of in some cases between species that share the same genus or whatever we’re family sometimes. So it seems like you really got to know what hosts it was found on, and some other geographic information to be certain about identification. So if I find the russet mites on a hemp plant, on cannabis, I’m going to assume it’s hemp russet mites.

Jordan River 23:00
It’s probably a pretty safe bet.

Matthew Gates 23:02
Yeah, it’s probably not the tomato russet mite. It’s probably not the aloe or the, you know, peach or citrus or whatever russet mite which to exist and cause extensive damage whereas and get this, here’s the funniest thing, the worst thing about it is that russet mites, a lot of them are actually not even parasites. Most of them or well I should say like this, they don’t cause extensive damage to their hosts. [Really?] Most russet mites do not. They are basically what we call vagrants, parasites, they just, they just kind of exist on the host. Yep.

Jordan River 23:41
That’s wild! So why do they why do they **** with cannabis so bad?

Matthew Gates 23:45
Yeah, it’s a good question. It’s a question that a lot of russet mite researchers are still trying to figure out because the ones that cause damage, like the broad mite, they share a common trait. And that trait is that they have something in their saliva. Is it a microbe, is it proteins or other compounds. Perhaps it’s both in some cases, but they have something in their saliva, and it manipulates the plant physiology in such a way that in some cases, it causes blistering or it causes an inflammatory response to create these very intricate and bizarre looking galls. So you’ve probably seen them anyone who like hikes have probably seen some of these on different trees. There are wasps out there that causes similar sort of galling and in our case with cannabis, we get the worst one, we get the one that causes like all the stunting and like crippling and crinkling of the leaves and all this nasty damage so it doesn’t go away. As you know, after you treat, the damage does not revert. It basically has reshaped how the plant is going to develop. And we think that basically, it triggers a bunch of hormonal responses. And there’s other insects out there that can do things like this. So it’s not outside the realm of possibility. It’s just not quite understood yet. And some russet mites, like the rose russet mites, which I have personal experience with, cause a lot of damage. The place that I went to, and their nursery in 2015 it, it produces the or it carries the Amara virus called the rose rosette disease or that causes rose rosette disease, and others will vector microbial pathogens that probably helped them colonize the plant. So [wooh!] they have all these kinds of techniques at their disposal. No shit.

Jordan River 25:40
No shit. Is that why I have heard okay, there’s a couple things I want to go into. That’s That’s really interesting. First, the galling, I want to talk about this. When you talk about the galling, I know exactly what you mean. You’re talking about those like bubbles that form all over the leaf, right? They look like, it looks like somebody pushed through small balloons all over the backside of the leaf.

Matthew Gates 25:59
Exactly. Yeah, sometimes they’re smooth. Sometimes they have a weird, like, elongated shape. Sometimes they’re spiky. Yeah, exactly. They’re very fascinating. Yeah.

Jordan River 26:11
That is fucking wild! So that’s how you can identify russet mite damage?

Matthew Gates 26:15
Some russets cause this on some plants but not on cannabis.

Jordan River 26:18
Ahhh, you won’t see that on cannabis. Yeah, because I was gonna say I see that on a lot of other plants. But I haven’t seen that on the cannabis leaf before.

Matthew Gates 26:24
Yeah, so we get the worst one, we get the russet mite that doesn’t cause like a pretty but otherwise not problematic gall. [Right.] You know, we get the one that causes stunting and all this other terrible damage, unfortunately. And for that matter, you know, I don’t remember if there’s a hot russet mite, but hopping cannabis diverged from a common ancestor. So it’s interesting to think that presumably there was a russet mite that was on the ancestral population. And then just didn’t go with the hawk with a diverse or maybe died off or something, I don’t know. Very interesting now that you make me think of that. [Nice.]

Jordan River 27:04
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So when you’re scouting for russets, what specific types of damage are you looking for on cannabis? I know it can kind of be confused with other things sometimes. So I know you have to get in there with a microscope to ID which we’ll get to into a second but what kind of damage are you looking for when you’re out there scouting?

Matthew Gates 28:36
Basically you’re looking for leaves that have become sort of corrugated, like steel corrugated metal, or crinkling or puckering. There’s a bunch of adjectives I could throw at you but basically you want to look at it for like gnarled, twisted leaves. There are leaves out there that can you know the infamous like claw right that people like to describe or Taccone and that can happen to you. Usually, you might also see because they reproduce very quickly. You might also see like, this is why they get the name russet mites sometimes because they look like a bunch of like filings of rust of metal shavings on your plants. And it might ride a little bit which is kind of gross to think about I have definitely seen it and I have seen it come up like very quickly. Even for me, even as the person who says you know, don’t let it get bad, right like, I’ve seen it get bad very quickly in some contexts and I honestly couldn’t account for it to be quite honest. So [Wow!] Yeah, I don’t know maybe they brought in some new plants and they didn’t tell their supervisor or whatever but yeah, it’s basically the most telltale sign. You will see the damage, way before for you see the russet mites and that’s really it. And this is also similar damage to broad mites, so you might confuse the two, that’s why it’s important to take a look at what they look like. And there are some, like I said earlier, nutritive or physical damages that can cause right, like climbing or gnarling or crinkling. So always as an IPM strategy, you know, just always do that differential diagnosis and be like, well, what is this specifically causing it? [For sure.] Is omething there, is there not something there. Yeah.

Jordan River 30:27
And does it make sense. So like, obviously, you should be scoping. But you’re right. So let’s take a look at some of those symptoms. And I also want to run by you what I’ve seen, and you tell me if this is good advice or bad advice. So like a lot of things cause leaves to warp, right? If I’m seeing a warping leaf, is it like, well, is there a fan blowing on it? Sometimes windburn can look like twisted mutated growth. Other times plants just grow a little bit funky in that case, but when I’ve noticed it, one of the things that I’ve seen when I got broads bad, this was a telltale sign and you tell me, is a healthy fan leaf that’s otherwise praying but one of the fingers is curled down or cupping or twisting and corkscrewing over just happening to one of the fingers, which wouldn’t happen if there was a fan blowing on it. Is that something you’ve seen in infestations?

Matthew Gates 31:17
Yeah, now that I think about it, and how you describe it, I have seen some things like that, and especially if you’re looking at these plants constantly. And if it’s some conspicuously that you’ve seen before, you know, growers, you know what I’m talking about, like if you you’re like, oh, that’s that big leaf that I keep looking at staring me in the face. And then one day, there’s a leaflet and it looks all weird, something happened. And if you know you didn’t spray anything, and like you say, you know, there’s no wind, you know, buffeting it in a bad way, then something happened, maybe it’s nutritional, maybe it’s whatever. So then you would look you would focus on that. And then you would try to confirm go but are there little organisms are not on.

Jordan River 31:56
Scope that leave, exactly. Same goes for the clawing, nitrogen toxicity can cause clawing, phosphorus deficiency can clawing, cold can cause droop that kinda looks like clawing. But if none of those things are applicable, you should be saying, why is this leaf clawing, turn that over and hit it with a microscope. And you’ll know when you see it’s not uniform, like those other things. When deficiencies happen, the plant has those things in a uniform manner. When you start to see these weird leaf mutations, and there’s nothing else to account for it. And they’re like scattered. That’s when you really got to worry and make sure that you scoped double hard. So that’s just that’s my experience having had the ****ers and, and yeah, you tell me, Matthew, though, I don’t know, I don’t know what other tips you have, as far as scouting, or we can move on to IDing.

Matthew Gates 32:44
I think that there’s an another important thing to say about scouting, which is basically what you do upon reacting to this information, maybe you see the damage, and you’re like, Oh! this is what rest of my damage looked like before. It looks exactly the same. And then you confirm it. Yep, that’s it. Well, then what do you do? Well, here’s what you should do maybe is make a decision. Does it make more sense? Is it more cost effective? Your context is always going to be unique to you. But does it make sense to just get rid of that plant? Or just get rid of that branch? Like how localized is this presence. And also, you have to think to yourself, well, how did they get there? Well, it probably came in on a person or on a cutting. If you didn’t bring any cuttings recently, and you’re in an enclosed space, well, it was probably you or something else that went inside. So then you have to consider that if it’s if I’m seeing the damage on one plant it very well could have spread to it could have been others to look at. So then you should take measures to treat, not just that single plant, but other plants as well. And also, if you’re in a commercial setting, you probably want to figure out if other people have been through these plants, because they probably are distributing it actively in other places. So your operations to change in relation to this new information and your IPM strategy should already be articulated so that you have a plan for that.

Jordan River 34:17
So I think that when it comes to bailing on the run, like you said it is like everything and growing, it’s grower dependen. it’s up to your values, your goals and your needs. Now, that being said, I think the best time you can discover them is late in flower, right? Limp through the rest of the run and your yields will be a little bit reduced and then you can do a reset. I’m sure that would be the best case scenario. What would you say worst case scenario is like early flower, like you just flip the lights and you have this whole, you know, seven plus weeks ahead of you, is that when you’re most likely to kill the crops and maybe start over?

Matthew Gates 34:57
I liked the way that you put this because I I think you’re right that that is probably the worst case. The best case scenario is like just at the very end, whatever I’m basically done, and the plants, the flowers were able to plump up and didn’t really have the effects of the stunting that normally affects them. [Right.] And yeah, I think the worst case scenario is probably right, right when you switch the flower. I was gonna say the worst case scenario from some perspectives might be if they’re more valuable, the seedlings, if they get infested with the russet mites, they don’t have a lot of resources to handle that. And for whatever reason, like in a lot of cases, the pests are just going to be more egregious. They’re going to set you back more, they might even..

Jordan River 35:39
Lose those genetics. Good call! That’s good point. [Exactly!] Precious clones get wrecked.

Matthew Gates 35:44
But like you say, if you’re not worried about that exact situation, then yeah, I think it is third to your set to your worst, because you didn’t invest all that time and energy and resources to get them up to flower, right. So yeah, I think that’s probably the worst. I like that logistical thinking is very, very accurate.

Jordan River 36:04
But here’s the hard part. You mentioned something really interesting, which is do you care about these genetics. Because, okay, let’s say you’re in veg. And traditionally when you get an infestation in veg, let’s say you get thrips, right? The idea is well hold them in veg and then knock out the thrips and then move on to flower. Easy peasy. But man with these microscopic mites, they can really take hold and they can go dormant and all these things where I think you really have to weigh, can I just kill all my genetics and do a deep clean? Maybe I’m just traumatized. You gotta tell me if you think that’s an overreaction. But that’s my understanding, is that you really need to do like a hard reset ads. It’s not like knocking out a spider mite infestation where you really don’t even need to break your stride. I’ve been told that you have to clean all the surfaces, like there could be a tiny little dormant egg lying on your grow room floor or the carpet outside your tent that’s going to repopulate. And that’s what I was told. Do you agree with that? Like how necessary is a hard reset?

Matthew Gates 37:00
I think that it can be totally necessary. And, you know, that is a certain nominally something that you could do, especially if you didn’t have much to lose from it comparatively. Absolutely, absolutely. As far as dormancy is concerned, though, I don’t think that a lot of people, at least people growing cannabis and dealing with their specific russet mite, I don’t think a lot of people are dealing with dormant populations, particularly because unless they are so like an indoor facility, it probably doesn’t get hot or cold enough for them to produce their overwintering [Oh really!] form. Yeah. So let’s talk a little bit about the russet mite physiology. And I promise I won’t be too garrulous. So basically, they have an egg stage, a pre larva stage, a larva stage, and they have three nymphal stage a proto nympha due to an IP and a try to nymph that an adult. But the adult has two forms, technically three, a male phenotype, a female phenotype, and a special overwintering female type. And that is the deuno gyne. And so that means two setting female, right, so this special stage is the one that basically becomes dormant. And depending on the species and its relationship with a host, it might do so in like a gall, right, for the gall forming species, it might hang out in some crevice or bark or something like that. But it has to, it has to like a lot of overwintering insects and other organisms, they have to feel the environmental effects that would signal to them that they should change into this form or produce females that changed in this form, I should say more accurately. So like, that’s yeah, so that’s really the case. And you might not realize that if you didn’t have that, you know, esoteric knowledge of deep russet mite physiology, but that’s why I’m here, right?

Jordan River 39:06
That makes a lot of sense, dude, I like that a lot. Absolutely. And you’re saying you need hot enough or cold enough temperatures to trigger that which aren’t really achieved in my grow tent, in my house with with central air?

Matthew Gates 39:18
Exactly. But if you’re outdoor, I think that’s more likely, right. So it does change depending on your situation. And I think that perhaps in some places people are experiencing it, but probably not as much indoor.

Jordan River 39:31
Now, does that apply to broad mites too, all of that you just said?

Matthew Gates 39:35
Broad mites do overwinter in nature, but I don’t, I don’t think yeah, they don’t have a special overwintering female form. I think they just go into what’s called diapause. A lot of insects and other organisms have such a torpor and basically long story short is things like we said temperature can affect this. For some insects, the light will affect them. So like when it changes seasons, the light that they get, the specific wavelength, but also the amount of it just like with plants like that photo curiosity, periodicity, that can cause them to enter diapause. And in fact, there are some predatory insects like Orius, the minute pirate bug, which have been bred in such a way that they don’t enter diapause when the season changes, because that makes them less effective.

Jordan River 40:28
Oh, god damn, man. I know you mentioned getting them under a microscope, and visually identifying their shape, is that the best way to realize that you definitely have russet mites? If you don’t see that, that telltale rust that you mentioned?

Matthew Gates 40:42
I think so. I think so. I would say that, it’s pretty easy to do. You don’t have to have like an observational microscope. You can see it with a maybe 20 or 30 times magnification like lens, like a hand lens, or, or a head lens that you might use, many exists out there. And we’ll have some at the Pestapalooza, so and you could see them, you can definitely take a look at them. And you can say oh yeah, you know, those look like russet mites. And if you want, you can go under an observational microscope, maybe bump it up to 60 magnification or something. And yeah, you’ll see a worm-like body, and that’s the russet mite, They’re very unique. They don’t look like any other mites. So as long as you know that basic knowledge, you can tell it’s a russet mite.

Jordan River 41:31
Alright, so what else can you tell us now? What are some interesting facts about these creatures? You study these mites and all of these insects so in depth. So tell me about russet mites. Tell me some interesting facts about them.

Matthew Gates 41:42
Yeah, so russet mites, like I said earlier, they have a very reduced genome compared to their brethren. Other mites like spider mites and Tarsonemid. Tarsonemidae is the family of the broad mites. And so they’re very different from all these mites, because probably, they have diversified, and they broke off from a very early diverging lineage anyways, and then subsequently diversified in such a way that they’ve specialized, very, very specifically on different species as they themselves speciated from their ancestors. So ancestors there, it makes 10 different species, right. And then those make 10 different species, as they, you know, expand and change and the russet mites are along for the ride. And they specialize at that population over evolutionary time that happens. So they tend to have, well, a very, very sort of different set of traits that they need, they don’t need the same tools that a generalist like spider mites would need. Spider mites are way more impressive in the number of compounds, they can diffuse, detoxify, that they can overcome. They also tend to have, well, they tend to have more tools in the toolbox for disrupting the immune system of their host. Because there’s so many different kinds of hosts with so many different unique capabilities. But russet mite do not have this. So they tend to have not a whole lot of sensory ability, you know the things that they’re sensitive to is different and very much reduced. The things they can deal with as much reduced. And although there are exceptions, like with tomato russet mite, and I think peach russet mite, they tend to also not be very good at resisting pesticides. And I’m not talking about noxious ones, but those do happen. And that has happened in some species that DET adjacent dichofar or the cyanid which nobody uses anymore, or should. You know those are really noxious and some russet mites have. Like an Egypt in 1985, there was a species that was found only after like three or four applications seasonally, it developed to resistance. So it does happen.

Jordan River 44:05
Superbug. Great. Fantastic.

Matthew Gates 44:08
Another thing is that they’ve also been used as bio controls. Yes, bio controls, and I know there’s this very pernicious myth that I’m going to squash here. Do you know what I’m gonna say?

Jordan River 44:19
What are they? Are they releasing the russet mite to kill cannabis? What is this bio control?

Matthew Gates 44:24
Yeah, exactly. It’s exactly that myth. People think that Caltrans.

Jordan River 44:29
Oh, yeah. I did hear this one. [Yeah.] That the state of California wanted to **** up the cannabis growers by releasing russet mites.

Matthew Gates 44:36

Jordan River 44:38
No, it has to be true. I read it on the internet.

Matthew Gates 44:40
Yeah. Let me walk you through why that would be just so difficult. So like I just said, and this is the thing, this is here it is. This is the reason why I take the time to make this information available to people because if you knew everything we just talked about russet mite biology, you would know why that doesn’t make sense, because in order for them to make a bunch of russet mites, they would have to grow a bunch of cannabis. Tons. They would have to devote a bunch of resources, millions of dollars of resources into growing cannabis and growing the russet mite only cannabis and then somehow keeping them in some sort of way that you could transport them and then transporting them and like distributing them, somehow. [Yes.] in a way that would allow them to get into everyone’s surreptitious cannabis grow. It just, it just doesn’t make sense.

Jordan River 45:39
Doesn’t add up.

Matthew Gates 45:40
People cite this one report from 2006 where there use a russet mite for Russian thistle, this is the south solo mite. Assyria sell solely. And they said russet mite. And it said bio control of plants and maybe weed. And then suddenly people are like, I grow weed, and you know, there it is. That’s that’s how it happened, I guess. But no, this does not make any sense. However, we have used various other russet mites for bio control of like I said, Tumbleweed Russian thistle which is incredibly pernicious and bad. The USA has sent populations to the USSR back when they were around to help them with some weeds that they had, some invasive species of plants. [That’s wild!] It is, right. And then one last thing which is relevant also the cannabis growers and other agriculturalists that deal with these is that, we found that when we use these species for bio control, certain subpopulations performed better in different places. So like, there was a Greek strain of a species that was used for some, some plants de-weeding. And it didn’t work very well in the USA, whereas a different strain worked better. And so this would seem to support the idea that within a species you can have subpopulations, like in other insects and mites, where they do better in different environments or on different maybe host populations. So who’s ready for cannabis specific strains of or like super cannabis strains of russet mites? Certainly not me. But let’s you know, let’s be aware of that possibility moving forward.

Jordan River 47:26
Hey, man, we were talking off air Starship Troopers hits upon us, the pests are coming. You have to arm yourself with the knowledge.

Matthew Gates 47:33

Jordan River 47:33
Maybe gonna get overrun if you don’t.

Matthew Gates 47:36
I’m from San Diego and I say kill them all.

Jordan River 47:40
I was gonna say this is war. At the end of the day, it’s genocide to the highest order every time you go in there, but I’m not about to lose my crop. Okay. I think it’s the reason that I could never be a Buddhist, I’m sorry, I just I am going to go in there. I’m going to spray not anything noxious or harmful to the environment, but sure as **** something harmful to these mites. I’m sorry, this is war, kill them all.

Matthew Gates 48:04
And killing them in your crop, you know, there’s so many and they reproduce so prodigiously, you know, they’re going to be okay. They’re going to be okay as a population. [Right.] There’s a lot of endangered russet mite species, just saying. So yeah..

Jordan River 48:19
Exactly. Right. Endangered Species. Maybe one day, but they’re endangering my species of crops. And it’s them or us. And to me, these plants are very important. So I have to kill them all, and what do we use in here? Now, like you said, we’ve come a long way, man. Like I remember the old school humbled days, all sorts of nasty shit available. I don’t even know where a grower would get their hands on that stuff. Maybe I’m just out of the loop of chemical pesticides. But there’s so many good products now marketed to cannabis growers that are oil-based sprays, that are just horticultural oils, or they’re enzyme-based sprays where they don’t even really leave a residue at all are just surfactants, how are we going after these little buggers? The russet mites specifically, how do we kill them with sprays?

Matthew Gates 49:09
My favorite option and probably there are people who are already aware of this, but I love micronized or wettable sulfur. That’s one of my favorite ways. It’s not always appropriate, wouldn’t recommend applying it like, you know, into flower for example, you might have some problems later on, but it’s one of the most effective and oldest pesticides that you know, isn’t a systemic or anything like that. And I know people are reticent to use wettable sulfur, they might be afraid of it affecting the microbiome, if not in the foliage than in the soil like if it drifts down or something like that. I wouldn’t be too concerned about this. Mostly because if you have like, like a living soil system or if you have a system where you have a very rich and dense or you assume it to be the case anyways, microbiome there’s going to be more than like whatever pockets of a few sulfur drops of diluted sulfur go into effect. You know what I’m saying? [Absolutely.] So it’s probably not, you know, unless you’re like sprenching directly into your substrate, you’re probably not going to have that problem.

Jordan River 50:15
Yeah, the sulfur is great. Good call. It’s that’s kind of that, to me that’s like the heavy duty stuff. And the plants love it. So you’re absolutely right. If you’re concerned about the Philo sphere, maybe just re inoculate after, like a wash off my sulfur with doctors times. So it’s nice and Instagram ready again. Because if you post your plants after spraying sulfur, people are going to be like, you got powdery mildew all over your plants. There’s no it’s just sulfur. Don’t worry that stuff is just sulfur. And and that’s why it works really well, too, is that it hangs around, right? Like, like, insects don’t like hanging out on that leaf when there’s that sulfur dust just kind of chillin there, I bet.

Matthew Gates 50:49
Ya know, it’s certainly a great day for them, certainly. And it’s also not only is it my disciple, it’s also insecticidal and fungicidal. So if you happen to have like, a powdery mildew russet mite combo, well, you can kill two birds with one stone by doing so. So, you know, it’s a good tool in the toolbox for certain scenarios. But you know, there are limitations like everything. That’s why IPM is about integrating different pest management strategies.

Jordan River 51:19
Yes, exactly. So yeah, like the sulfur. That’s a great, it’s a great move and veg, like you said, how hearty are these bastards? When I’m in flower, I use a combination of the aforementioned doctors aims at their pest strength. So it’s just like an enzyme product. It’s not the strongest pesticide but again, it leaves no residue. So is the only thing that I’ll spray on my flowers. The only other thing I might add in there is like just a drop of Dr. Bronner’s soap to help as a surfactant. Is that going to kill a russet mite? Or is that not going to do the job?

Matthew Gates 51:50
I’ve had people do this. And it wasn’t something that I necessarily recommended, but they had efficacy doing it. So I wouldn’t say that it’s outside the realm of possibility. I honestly wish that there was a lot more, there is some research on the use of antidepressant mite products. And there’s other ones that have been looked at for the pest. And we’re seeing more of this research in cannabis. So I am excited to see more of it sort of empirically trialed, I would say that another thing that you could use besides a spray like that, a safe chemistry, like you’re describing, would be like predatory mites. You wouldn’t be able to use something like sulfur and flower, or predator mites could be used as well. And you might want to knock down with something like you’re talking about, which is going to be way less harsh. Also, the other thing to keep in mind is just the effect that it might have on like your trichomes right on the end product, and not just the residual nature. But just like, you know, is the spray, just going to like kind of mess up your bud in that way. But of course, it’s more important to kill the russet mites.

Jordan River 53:00
Matthew, will do a little taste trial. But yes, you’re right. You’re absolutely right. There are a lot of growers who don’t want to spray their flowers with anything and that’s when they would turn to that’s when they would turn to like a predator mite. What would you recommend? Like what is your top mercenary to call in at this point, if there’s russets specifically.

Matthew Gates 53:18
There is a lot of research on using predatory mites for other russet mites. And I’ve used some of that to guide me. Of course, different russte mites are different and different crops are different. And there are there’s nuance to this, but I have a lot of great success using swirskii or cucumeris, and generally cucumeris mites are more cheap, and they tend to be a lot easier to acquire. Although both species have their own environmental and horticultural peculiarities. Generally, I think they’re pretty synonymous. You can use one or the other in a lot of cases for cannabis. So I tend to recommend that people use cucumeris mites, and they’re pretty voracious predators, but they’ll also go after like thrips. They’ll go after whitefly for example. And so they’ll also go after pollen, they’ll eat pollen too. So if you have a source of pollen, or if you apply like cattail pollen or something which there’s products out there that you can use very light dusting, and the population will go through the roof and you’ll have a whole ton of them at your disposal. You won’t have to buy as many mites, which of course the main producers don’t want you to do, but I think it works really well personally.

Mite hack. Love the mite hacks, man. So you say sulfur, your top spray pick in veg and then in flower, you’re going to opt for some predator insects. I think that’s a good call. Now, what about afterwards? What do we need to make sure it’s like, do these things wander all over your tent? Am I changing out my medium? Am I By changing out my pots? How deep are you going to go for the reset clean?

Russet mites that aren’t overwintering, do require food pretty much all the time. This is true for a lot of herbivorous insects, they can’t go long periods of time without food. So if you leave your plants fallow, by which I mean, there’s no earlier fields fallow. So there’s no plants growing, they will starve, they will die. So to be honest, if you’re sure that your plants are that your, your situation has not caused there to be an overwintering population, which is probably likely an indoor that I think you could be pretty reasonably sure that if you discard all the plants, and there’s no other plants to see, this is very important. If you have like another tense with like phishing clones or something like that. And obviously, that’s a potential threat vector that you got to target you’ve got to account for, right, because you might incidentally bring them to this area. But if you have nothing, no other plant that they could be on, and remember, they’re specialists, then yeah, just leave it for maybe three to four weeks. And you could expect them to have all starved to death at that point.

Oooh okay, so that I mean, that’s not a super short period of time. That’s a long time to go without food, but it’ll be worth it to make sure that they’re all dead. They can’t stick around unless they go dormant through that process you described earlier. So deprive them of food is what you saying?

Exactly! It’s the hardest strategy, but very effective.

Jordan River 56:41
I like that. Okay. Okay. On that note, we kind of covered it a minute ago, but on the reset, it’s like, do I keep any plants around sort of thing, and what you just described as a great way to deprive them of that food. And my suggestion would be if you’re going to try to keep genetics, I would take cuttings from those genetics, remove them from the space, do a full blown clone dip, like a sulfur dip, or some sort of wash that will kill anything on there. And then keep those in a totally separate space, while you figure out and reset your main growing space. That would be my suggestion, if you have to keep genetics for the next run. Do you feel that’s that’s a good way to make sure because that way, if they’re living on the plant at all, you give it the dip, and then you just handle it carefully and get it out of the space in hopes that you can then go clean and reset and starve out anything in the in the main space?

Matthew Gates 57:36
Absolutely. I agree with you. And I don’t want anyone to get the impression that you shouldn’t be ambitious or that it’s, you know, unrealistic to assume that people would, as you say, need to keep genetics for various reasons, residential home grow or commercial, all of it, right. So that’s why the IPM strategy is important, because you’re going to have to do things under duress and under threat, right. And so you could play it safe every time. But maybe you can’t this time, that’s fine that you had to make a cost benefit analysis. And in those situations, what you said, I think is a great example of understanding their weakness and then exploiting it as best as possible. So the sulfur dunk to kill them, right. And perhaps put them in some sort of a quarantine, right. And then visually check them, right. So then that doesn’t stop the crop, scouting doesn’t stop. And then if you have signs of russets, but then you know it wasn’t effective, and then you hit him again, or you use the predatory mites or something, this passive control measure. And yeah, that’s basically what you would want to do. Yeah, I think that’s totally valid.

Jordan River 58:44
I love it. This is another question I wanted to ask earlier, just kind of kind of off topic, but you mentioned pests carrying pathogens, and you know, them being a vector obviously, for all sorts of different pathogens and harmful microbes. I have heard that microscopic mites like broad mites and russet mites often go hand in hand with powdery mildew or fungal pathogens. Is that because of that vector carrying phenomenon and follow up question, is that something you’ve observed? Or could it just be coincidence?

Matthew Gates 59:17
I think it’s a good question. There’s absolutely research that supports the idea that some russet mites and I haven’t seen anything for cannabis, but of course for obvious reasons, not a lot of research into it for that particular mite. But other mites, yeah, there are mites that will vector or that have been shown to vector these pathogens. So and also viruses like I mentioned earlier. As far as powdery mildew is concerned, I think it gets around pretty fine without the vector and necessity. I don’t know how incidental or non essential that might be. But since a lot of pattern mildews are also kind of specialized or they have really weird bedfellows or like they colonize Cannabis, but also like raspberry over here and sunflower over there. The taxonomy for powdery mildew, its genetic phylogeny is super complicated, even from experts. So, you know, sometimes we’re not sure if a species that we documented like 20 years ago is even the same species now that we’ll look at it genetically. So, but there could be, I would not be surprised.

Jordan River 1:00:23
It maybe lowers its immune system or whatever it may be. But but the actual vectoring is a thing documented, you say. And do you think that like, passes through to the next generation? Is it just like, how does that work?

Matthew Gates 1:00:36
Oh, yeah, see, good question. I suspect that it probably isn’t a like a symbiont, that exists like endogenously inside them, and then just passed, like Metro linearly when they’re born. There are other microbes that are like this. And also that played a very important role in the sex dynamics of various insects and mites actually called one of the most famous one, this Wolbachia. And in some populations of, not russet mites, but other organisms that are insects, they can cut and other mites actually, they can cause the they can cause the reproduction to be biased for almost all females and no males. That’s pretty, that’s a pretty common way that it manifests. Yeah. And so when your Haplodiploid that does that. That doesn’t matter, right. And you can just keep making you just keep making females. And that’s gonna be a problem for a cultivator, right.

Jordan River 1:01:33
Wow. And that’s a microbe that’s passed down to generation to generation. That’s, that’s wild. Yeah, so that’s wild stuff, man.

Matthew Gates 1:01:40
Yeah, right. I don’t think that we have to worry about it here with russet mites. But yeah, it’s one of those things where, like, they I wouldn’t be surprised if a specialists also had a relationship with other specialists or as you adroitly mentioned, that they simply just have to really mess up the immune profile of the plant locally, like it’s probably all kinds of wonkiness, you know, with a hormonal triggering, and all that. That’s probably gonna make things easier for other other organisms that might just incidentally, coincidentally be there.

Jordan River 1:02:12
Absolute true. And that’s why these infestations suck is you’ll see all sorts of stuff that your plant starts getting deficient. And you know what I mean, after it worsens and worsens. The plant just looks sick. It’s sick in every sense of the word. So you got to stay safe out there, everybody, you’ve got to stay up on your IPM spraying. I spray twice weekly, preventative, and not not being careless with you know, going in and out of other people’s gardens, bringing in and out genetics, freely bringing home house plants from Home Depot, watch those vectors. Always be be conscious of what could be carrying these things. And and yeah, any other any other last minute tips or thoughts before we wrap it up, Matthew?

Matthew Gates 1:02:52
Absolutely. Threat model. Threat model, that’s when IPM strategy is it’s a threat model. You’re modeling all the different possible problems. You should always be asking yourself two questions. The first question is, what’s the most likely thing to happen? The second question is, what’s the worst thing that could happen? And that will really help you kind of key in on your situation. And it’s going to be predicated on what you know about the pest and what you know about its ecology and all that stuff, which is why I talked about it so extensively. But those little bits of information will let you know. And those are all great examples as well, to keep things from becoming a vector and an issue for yourself in the future. I would also just wants to say that your good biosecurity practices help the community by being secure, you’re helping your friends who you might also grow with, not get a russet mite infestation, or some other really nefarious stuff. And then they in turn, don’t pass it to other people. And I feel like it’s very much a rising waters lift all ships situation, and it’s why I take so much time and effort to make that information available to people. So I’m very excited again, that I get to have the opportunity to talk about it with yourself, Jordan, with other people who will be seeing us in New York and San Diego and elsewhere. And also on my various social media, on YouTube and on Instagram, other places. So thanks again for having me and I think this is full of great information for people to reference and I’m always excited to contribute more of this information.

Jordan River 1:04:37
Hell yeah, man. Awesome stuff, as usual. We always love having you. This episode was absolutely jam packed. And we love, we love learning from you and working with you, Matthew. So so stay tuned everybody, Pestapalooza is on, like Matthew said. And that’s growcastpodcast.com/classes. Where can people find you Matthew, shout out the the YouTube page and the Patreon and all the things.

Matthew Gates 1:04:59
For professional inquiries, if this was impressive to you and you want to learn more, you can find me at zenthanol.com. You can also find a lot of the information that I make available for people for free on my YouTube channel Zenthanol. You can also find it on my instagram at Synchangel, the mythical creature. And you can also find me on Twitter with that same handle and you can also join my patreon, which if you join at the cultivator tier at $10 per month, you will get an exclusive passcode for the upcoming Pestapalooza. If not you can also just use my the GrowCast tag for some money off the tickets. And in that Patreon, I have a Discord where we love to talk about IPM and there’s about 130-140 people currently who all ask their various questions. So if you want a pocket IPM expert, you know, consider joining because it’s very reasonable. And I think that there’s a lot of good information to be had there at your disposal.

Jordan River 1:06:06
I ****ing love it. That is badass! And yes, use code GATES for $20 off for your Pestapalooza tickets. Where do you guys want to see us. Again, this is going to be a full blown pest fest. And you’re going to leave with a massive goodie bag along with some world class education and free dinner. It’s going to be a ton of fun, Matthew. I thank you so much for your service to the community. I know we held you extra long today. So I appreciate your time, buddy. And we’ll see you soon. Thank you for everything, Matthew.

Matthew Gates 1:06:32
I look forward to our mutual success, Jordan. Thank you for having me.

Jordan River 1:06:35
Awesome. Thank you everybody. And stay tuned. We’ll see you next time. That is all for now. This is Matthew Gates and Jordan River signing off saying be safe out there and grow smarter. That is our show everyone. Thank you so much for tuning in. Thank you to Matthew Gates. Stay tuned of course for Pestapalooza and see all of our events at growcastpodcast.com/classes. Now up there you’ll also find the community cup here in Oklahoma. This is an awesome event we have going down May 7 year in Oklahoma City at the Public Farmer’s Market. It’s going to be huge, guys. Three things going down at the Oklahoma community cup. First is the day of education to stacked lineup of speakers, Brandon Rust, OK Calyx, Farmer John, Touched by Cannabis, so many more incredible speakers are going to be there. Do not miss this event. We’ve got early bird pricing on general admission for 20 bucks, or you can grab a judge’s kit for $99. The second thing that’s going down at the community cup is the People’s Choice cup. So you can be a judge for the white market cannabis cultivators that are the craft cultivators here in Oklahoma, try a flight of 14 samples vote for the best and who will be crowned the community cup People’s Choice champion. You decide out there everybody and then finally we have the home growers showcase. Bring your own home grown flower and our speakers will go around the home grow showcase table and give out accolades to you home growers. That’s right anyone can enter the home grower showcase for free even with general admission tickets, but you need a medical card in Oklahoma to be a judge or enter the home growers showcase. So if you have a medical card in your state, come on down travel and get yourself a temporary okay card. And even if you don’t have a medical card, come on up for the day of education you’re not going to want to miss it early bird pricing is only $20. You can grab that now at growcastpodcast.com/communitycup. I cannot wait to see you all there. Thank you so much guys. Stay tuned, be extra safe and don’t touch that dial. Bye bye everyone.

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