Integrated Pest Management (IPM) specialist Matthew Gates has been an active member of the cannabis community since 2010. Originally, Matthew worked in the citricultural and floricultural sectors in Southern California, where he is from. He also started up a YouTube channel, Zenthanol, which has become popular globally as a way to educate people on effective pest management strategies.
Matthew specializes in identifying pests and pathogens, and is able to do so for a number of plant species. He works to advise cultivators on managing such pests. Matthew pushes for a multifaceted approach to agricultural pest management.
Currently, Matthew is an advisory board member of the Cannabis Horticultural Association. He has also recently contributed to an updated version of the book Marijuana Garden Saver, by Ed Rosenthal. In the publication, he outlined some of the common pests that cannabis growers face. He also presented some foundational principles of phytopathology relating to pathogen identification, and the importance of finding better, more concise approaches to treat those that are currently incurable, such as Cannabis Cryptic Virus (CanCV) and several Hemp Phytoplasmas. Furthermore, he was able to advise on biocontrol agents that could be useful for pests such as the Pacific Buffalo Treehopper, a native to California which has been recorded infesting cannabis in 2019.
With a certification in Integrated Pest Management Training, Matthew provides the Cannabis Horticultural Association with vital input regarding the testing and refinement of novel strategies. One such procedure involves the use of ornamental peppers as banker plants for predatory mites; another includes the introduction and maintenance of beneficial arthropods and microbes adapted to the local climate.
Matthew feels that research into his specialist subject matter is lacking, and so he believes that it is crucial to promote holistic, ecologically-based and environmentally-friendly strategies. As well as providing information to specific advisory boards, he continues to upload helpful YouTube content for aspiring and existing growers.