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Hypoaspis miles, also known as Stratiolaelaps scimitus, are small predatory mites that inhabit the soil or compost surface around the plant stem. These predators will feed on the eggs and larvae of Fungus / Sciarid flies and Thrip pupae.
Hypoaspis can last for around four weeks without a food source which makes them an ideal predator for early introduction. This early introduction can be highly beneficial in prohibiting the break out of Fungus Flies or Thrip, especially at the seedling stage, as the larvae are prevented from developing. When pests are present each Hypoaspis mite can consume around eight Fungus / Sciarid Fly Larvae per day.
We advise using loose Hypoaspis when Thrip or Fungus Flies have been identified on your plants, or ideally before they have infested your plants, but have been caught on your nearby sticky traps. Hypoaspis will control elements of the pest cycle that occur directly in the compost or soil, but will very rarely venture onto the plant itself. We would therefore further encourage you to utilise sticky traps in combination with our predators to gain the best protection against pests in these areas. See our range of sticky traps here to acquire this additional protection.
Hypoaspis are suitable for use in moist conditions, both in greenhouses or on outdoor growing media. They will not tolerate standing water, however. For optimal results the soil should be moist (but not too wet), and preferably rich in organic matter. If wishing to boost your soil with the necessary organic matter, see our Soil Boost Fertiliser.
The minimum temperature for successful use of Hypoaspis is 15℃.
Dragonfli advise the following rates of application for Hypoaspis miles:
- Preventative application – 100 per square metre
- Moderate infestation – 200 per square metre
- Heavy infestation – 500 per square metre
Hypoaspis miles are supplied in a compost for easy application amidst the soil and base of your plants. Simply turn and gently rotate the bottle when evenly spreading the predators on the compost or soil around the base of the plant stem.
Full application instructions are provided on delivery.
The predators will begin consuming the pests immediately and, providing the conditions are optimal, will continue to feed and reproduce until the infestation is controlled. If you cannot see that pest numbers are reducing after around 7 days, you may need to apply more predators to completely eradicate the infestation.
We advise using Hypoaspis straight away upon delivery, this ensures best results as the mites will be fresh.
Hypoaspis primarily focus on feeding the egg and larval stages of Fungus/Sciarid Flies. It will also attack Thrips pupae in the soil, but cannot be relied upon alone for Thrip control. Hypoaspis does, however, enhance biological control when used in conjunction with other predators feeding on Thrips directly on plant foliage. See our dedicated page of Thrip predators here and select which predators suit your specific infestation needs.
Hypoaspis has been recommended by some, in the snake-keeping community, for control over Snake Mites. We would advise instead for the use of our specifically bred Taurrus mites for combating Snake Mites. Taurrus has been specifically designed for this purpose and achieves more convincing results. See our available Taurrus sizes here.
Fungus Fly Killer Nematodes will enter the larvae of Fungus Fly via a natural opening, like the mouth, and feed on the contents of the larvae. A natural bacterium is produced by the nematodes inside the larvae, which kills it. Infected larvae will be completely broken down by the nematodes. The nematodes also reproduce inside the larvae, releasing more nematodes into the surrounding area.
Utilise these nematodes in combination with your Hypoaspis miles for the complete protection against Fungus Fly infestation. The Fungus Fly Killer Nematode product listing can be found here.
Hypoaspis is a living creature and can be affected by any chemical pesticides used within the previous few weeks. As a general guide, refrain from using Natural Pyrethrum or SB Plant Invigorator 2 days prior to use. Other chemical insecticides can have long lasting residues that could harm Hypoaspis and other predatory mites for much longer periods. Refrain from using these products or check with Dragonfli for information on the effect of these products on the predatory mites.
Just as you can be allergic to cats, pollen, and dust mites, it is also possible to be allergic to the natural substances in predatory mites, feeder mites, and supplementary feeding products. If you are not allergic, but come into close and prolonged contact with certain substances, you could still develop an allergy.