Hypoaspis miles, also known as Stratiolaelaps scimitus are small predatory mites that inhabit the soil or compost surface around the plant stem. These predators feed on the eggs and larvae of fungus/sciarid flies and thrip pupae.
Hypoaspis can last for around 4 weeks without a food source making them ideal for early introduction and prevention of pest break outs, especially at the seedling stage. When pests are present each Hypoaspis can consume around 8 sciarid fly larvae per day.
Hyposapis will control parts of the pest life cycle that occur in the compost or soil, however they will only very rarely venture onto the plant itself. This means sticky traps or other predators should be used for a combination that will totally control pests.
Hypoaspis is suitable in moist conditions both in greenhouses or outdoor growing media, it will not however tolerate standing water. For optimal results soil should be moist but not too wet and preferably rich in organic matter. The minimum temperature for successful use of Hypoaspis is 15 degrees.
Dragonfli advise the following rates of application for Hypoaspis miles;
Preventative – 100 per square metre
Medium infestation – 200 per square metre
Heavy infestation – 500 per square metre
*We would always advise applying slightly more than needed to ensure total control, hence avoiding repeat applications.
Hypoaspis is mainly focused on the eggs and larval stage of fungus/sciarid flies. It will also attack thrips pupae in the soil, but cannot be relied upon alone for thrip control. It does however enhance biological control when used in conjunction with predators feeding on thrips on the foliage, reducing emergence of adult thrips by around 30%.
Some people advise the use of Hypoaspis for control of snake mites, Dragonfli instead recommends the use of specially bred Taurrus mites designed for this purpose.
Being a very effective biological control one application is usually enough to control pest populations. Hypoaspis can survive for up to 4 weeks without prey present and given suitable conditions will continue reproducing and feeding on pests until control is achieved.
Turn and gently rotate the bottle when evenly spreading the predators on the compost or soil around the base of the plant stem.
Please Note; Hypoaspis is a living creature and can be affected by any chemical pesticides used within the previous few weeks. As a guide cease using pyrethrum or SB plant invigorator 2 days prior to use and other persistent chemicals or universal bug killers 1-2 weeks before using Hypoaspis.