What are predatory mites?
Predatory mites are a species of arthropods that include many different types of mites. These mites are useful because they prey on other harmful insects such as spider mites, thrips, blood mites and sciarid flies. Some common species of predatory mites are Hypoaspis miles,
Neoseiulus californicus, Amblyseius swirskii and the Phytoseiulus persimilis pictured below and described in detail later in this article.
How do predatory mites work?
Predatory mites work by seeking out and eating other insects. They are most effective when used preventively, before an infestation develops. By increasing the population of harmful insects in your home, the risk of damage to your plants or crops is lower.
The benefits of predatory mites for biological pest control
The predatory mites are safe for humans and animals this Unlike chemical pesticides, they pose no risk to humans or pets. They are also commonly used in organic farming to control pests.
More effective than chemical pest control
Predatory mites are also more effective than chemical pesticides in controlling pests. This is because they target pests directly, as opposed to killing everything (including beneficial insects) with toxic chemicals. They also reproduce quickly, so the population is maintained and pests such as thrips, spider and blood lice have no chance.
Predatory mites eat everything from eggs to adult spider mites
Predatory mites leave nothing to chance, eating all eggs, larvae and in some cases even adults whatever they come across they will eat. This quickly reduces the infestation because they can no longer reproduce. Adult thrips/blood mites/spider mites become restless and look for a better place to reproduce.
Different predatory mites per pest
As is common in nature, predatory mites also have certain food preferences. Spider mites are different from blood lice. Because there are hundreds of them, we have described the most important and most commonly used predatory mites below. These can also be ordered via the link below. Click on the link and receive 10% discount on your first order. In the welcome e-mail, all predators are described per category so you can easily find the right predator.
Hypoaspis miles predatory mites
Often called the perfect pest control insect, the Hypoaspis miles can be recognised by its brown colour. It is a small, predatory mite that feeds on all kinds of pests in and around the house and garden. It is most effective against the early stages of blood lice and thrips, their eggs and larvae. As it feeds on plant residues in addition to the pests mentioned (thrips and blood lice), it can survive for up to six weeks. During this period, they also reproduce, giving you a sustainable pest controller and much less opportunity for thrips and blood lice.
The perfect fighter, the Hypoaspis miles
Hypoaspis miles is the perfect insect for pest control for a number of reasons. First, Hypoaspis miles is a natural predator of a wide range of pests, including mites, aphids, whiteflies and mealybugs. This makes Hypoaspis miles an effective biological control agent against these pests. Secondly, Hypoaspis miles is effective in controlling pests both indoors and outdoors. Third, Hypoaspis miles is easy to grow and maintain, making it a cost-effective solution for pest control.
How does the Hypoaspis miles work?
This predatory mite can be found in the potting soil of plants, so it is a real soil predator. If there are pupae and larvae of thrips present, you will make this predatory mite very happy (your plants often less so), it eats 4 to 10 per day. As soon as there is no more food, this mite will die out on its own.
They are also very good against the pesky blood lice that can make life difficult for chickens, reptiles and parakeets. In this case, Hypoaspis miles will hide in the same place as the blood lice and fanatically eat their eggs. Although they do not eat adult blood lice, these do become restless and leave the cage or aviary.
How are predatory mites delivered and how do you release them?
Often these predatory mites come in packs of 1,000 or more. This seems a lot, but don't forget that they are barely visible to the naked eye. The smallest package is good for +/- 4 chickens or 4 plants. So use 250 predatory mites per plant/animal.
Deployment is then simple, in the case of a chicken coop, scatter them in the holes and cracks. A small container in which the predatory mites can retreat also works well. In the case of plants, you can spread the tube or bag evenly over the plants. Of course, it is impossible to distribute 1,000 predatory mites evenly, so do it approximately.
Predatory mites against spider mites
Spider mites also referred to as greenhouse spider mites (Tetranychus urticae) are a nasty pest and are particularly common in greenhouses and indoors. Tomatoes, cucumber and other fruiting vegetables are susceptible to spider mites. The damage caused to these fruiting vegetables can be seen especially on the leaves, which turn yellow. You may also see only yellow spots on the plants. These are both early stages of an emerging spider mite infestation. When a really big infestation has developed, you will see small spider webs forming and your plants will start to die because they are no longer able to absorb enough with their leaves.
Fortunately, there are two excellent predatory mites against spider mites, Phytoseiulus persimilis and Amblyseius californicus.
Phytoseiulus persimilis predatory mite
This bright red Phytoseiulus persimilis predatory mite is used when there is a heavy infestation, it therefore mainly targets the adult spider mites. It is therefore a corrective pest that can devour up to 20 adult spider mites per day.
Amblyseius cucumeris predatory mite
This predatory mite is very voracious and hunts not only spider mites but also thrips. This hunter particularly targets the first life stages of these two pests. The advantage of these predatory mites is that they sustain themselves with pollen and pollen. Therefore, amblyseius cucumeris is mainly used as a preventive pest controller. A combination of phytoseiulus persimilis and amblyseius cucumeris is also possible. With that application, you give spider mites much less chance.
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