After using Method 1-pps as part of an IPM protocol during the last year and a half we felt it is time to assess and communicate to our users everything we have learned. First, let me say that we are still impressed at what can be accomplished with this product and how little effect it has on your plants during the entire grow cycle. The lack of ingredients with residual characteristics means there is no issue with buildup on leaves and flowers so the end product will have virtually no effect from use of this product.
Since Method 1-pps is meant to be used in an IPM system let’s review what IPM is and where our product fits into such a system. IPM (Integrated Pest Management) is focused on long term management and prevention of pests accomplished by managing their ecosystem. These IPM principles and practices are combined to create IPM programs. While each situation is different, five major components are common to all IPM programs:
- Pest identification
- Monitoring and assessing pest numbers and damage
- Guidelines for when management action is needed
- Preventing pest problems
- Using a combination of biological, cultural, physical/mechanical and chemical management tools
Biological controls use natural enemies—predators, parasites, pathogens, and competitors—to control pests and their damage. Invertebrates, plant pathogens, nematodes, weeds, and vertebrates have many natural enemies.
Cultural controls are practices that reduce pest establishment, reproduction, dispersal, and survival. For example, changing irrigation practices since too much water can increase root disease and weeds.
Mechanical and physical controls kill a pest directly or make the environment unsuitable for it. Traps for pests, mulches for weed management, sterilization of the soil for disease management, or barriers such as screens to keep pests out.
Chemical control is the use of pesticides. In IPM, pesticides are used in combination with other approaches for more effective, long-term control. Also, pesticides are selected and applied in a way that minimizes their possible harm to people and the environment. With IPM you’ll use the most selective pesticide that will do the job and be the safest for other organisms and for air, soil, and water quality. That is the basis of Method 1-pps
It is in the first and last area (biological and chemical control) where Method 1-pps comes into play. We like to think of it as taking the chemicals out of chemical control and accomplishing the same thing with the most natural and safe ingredients possible. We do recommend using biological controls such as ladybugs to combat pests and Method 1-pps is minimally harmful to these beneficial bugs. But we do not recommend using chemicals on cannabis because of the possible harmful effects on the consumer as well as the environmental concerns. Just because it is on the shelf at your favorite grow store doesn’t mean it is a good thing to use on cannabis. A cursory survey of grow stores will expose many products that really shouldn’t be there.
IPM is a process that is not static but rather is constantly being redefined. It is fluid in that as environmental conditions change so does your IPM activities. A good example of what we mean is when the seasons change so does the life cycle of pests. My favorite, the Two Spotted Spider Mite, sharply accelerates its life cycle as the temperature increases and humidity decreases. Reproduction, feeding, population and damage all accelerate. So in response it becomes necessary to accelerate your IPM activities as well.
Following these lessons we have determined the following about Method 1-pps:
- The weakest recommended dilution of Method 1-pps (2 0z per gallon) is adequate under all conditions. We no longer recommend stronger mixes. Experience has shown us that rather than increasing the strength of the mix it is more effective to increase the frequency of application. Therefore, when the pest activity accelerates during the hot months you would increase the frequency of application, matching pace with the pest. Living spider mites are killed by the application and their eggs are slowly eroded over several applications. Removing live spider mites before they lay eggs will eadicate the problem pest over time.This means Method 1-pps is even more cost effective than we thought previously.
- To overcome an infestation of mites use the 2oz per gallon mixture every second day. Observe the eggs through a scope to determine when no viable eggs are left and you should then be free of pests. Then use method 1-pps once a week to maintain clean plants.
- At the weakest dilution it will not kill Ladybugs so they are a good biological control to use with Method 1-pps especially for indoor or greenhouse growing.
- While Method 1-pps is very effective, we do not recommend that you rely on it alone to control pests. Use all of the IPM strategies.
- Method 1-pps is effective against all mites including Russet Mites and Broadmites. In the case of these pests, proactive treatment is a huge help since you will never know you have Broadmites until the damage has already started.
We will be changing the directions on our label to reflect these findings. In the meantime, stay informed, learn to identify your pest. Use a scope to make the positive identification of pests. They are far too small to tell what is going on with the naked eye.