How can police or thieves find out you have an indoor grow op or outdoor marijuana plants?
Police and media outlets promote videos and distribute other information telling people how to identify an indoor grow op and other types of marijuana growing sites, that’s how.
Many of the videos and other police materials encourage neighbors to look for grow house indicators, and then provide tips to police.
In some places, if people give police a tip that results in marijuana arrests, the tipsters get substantial monetary rewards!
Even the DEA has solicited anonymous tips about marijuana grow ops!
Let’s take a look at ways to reduce grow op security problems:
- Marijuana grow ops are often busted because the smell of dank plants is detectable outside the grow op.
Take a look at this article that explains how to neutralize grow op odors.
- Another reason a grow op can be detected is because growers carry hydroponics gear, root zone media, and other gardening supplies into the grow house in a way that can be easily observed.
I always pull my vehicle into the garage and close the garage door before I unload anything related to my grow op.
- Police tell would-be snitches to look for houses that have aluminum foil, mirror window tint, or other cloaking features on the windows.
They also tell people to look for very bright light emanating from door frames or windows.
In my grow houses, I put high-quality, regular blinds on the windows of my grow rooms and I keep those blinds closed.
Behind the blinds, I put white poly plastic, insulation material, plywood, or all three.
Then I check from outside to make sure that the materials behind the blinds can’t be seen.
I look carefully at my house at night when my indoor grow op lights are on, to see if any grow op light is visible.
- All the usual red flags police and neighbors look for when they’re concerned about neighborhood safety and ambiance are especially relevant if you’re running an indoor cannabis grow op.
A poorly-maintained, trashy home attracts negative attention.
You want your grow house to look nice and tidy.
The yard should be mowed. No debris. No overflowing garbage cans.
You don’t throw parties, have a steady stream of visitors, or repair cars in your driveway.
You want to fit in to the neighborhood by being a good citizen in the way you maintain your house and yard, and in how behave in public.
It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway—you don’t want to have marijuana bumper stickers, or wear marijuana leaf t-shirts.
If you out yourself as a “pot person” while you’re running a grow op, you’re calling attention to yourself.
- Police agencies tell people that if a house sits empty, or if people only visit once a week or less frequently, this could be a sign of a marijuana grow house.
It may be a hassle, but it’s useful to make the house look lived in, even if you don’t live there.
- In most jurisdictions, police are allowed to search your garbage when you’ve put it out on the curb for collection.
That’s why I advise you to never use your home’s curbside pickup to throw away cannabis plant parts, hydroponics gear packaging materials, or anything else that could indicate a grow op is inside your house.
I’ve learned to be creative in how I dispose of grow op byproducts.
Anything organic, I bury in my yard.
Packaging materials for grow lights, CO2 burners, carbon filters, along with empty hydroponics nutrients bottles—I carve them up into unidentifiable pieces, remove labels, etc.
Then I bag them and put them in heavily-used dumpsters off-site, preferably at the bottom where they’ll quickly be buried.
I wear gloves when I do this, so I don’t leave any fingerprints.
- The constant use and/or sound of air conditioning and/or exhaust fans is seen as a sure sign of an indoor grow op.
You can purchase sound dampening gear that quiets your exhaust fans, and you can buy quiet fans too.
The air conditioning is a harder problem to fix.
My tactics are to oversize my AC (so it runs less often), run cooler lights (LED instead of HID), keep my lights off as much as possible during the daytime, locate my outside AC unit away from other dwellings.
I realize this all sounds like a spy movie, maybe even a bit paranoid.
But it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Not only are police and nosy neighbors trying to detect grow houses, thieves are too.
Camouflage your grow house, your grow op smells, lights, materials, and supplies.
Most of all, camouflage yourself. Blend in. Don’t “look like a stoner.”
It’s a fun secret when you’re running a grow house on a street full of people who aren’t into cannabis and probably would nark you out, but nobody has the slightest idea!