Thrips are the smallest winged insects. There are about six species that cause damage to plants in greenhouses and indoor growing. Thrips have six stages in their life cycle; egg, 2 larval stages, pre-pupa , pupa and adult. The larvae and the adults feed on plants. The adults are tiny, dark coloured, pencil shaped insects, often found in flowers. The larvae are often found on the leaves. The Thrip pierce plants when feeding, causing plant tissue to die. This will be evidenced by silvery scratches on leaves with tiny black marks on.
Amblyseius cucumeris is a natural predator of numerous Thrip species. These useful predators are packaged in a loose carrier material for instant release onto infestations. The cucumeris will consume Thrip larvae and eggs and continually move around the plant and flowers to seek out their prey. The cucumeris feed predominantly on the small, or first Instar, larvae of the Western Flower Thrip (Frankiniella occidentalis). In doing so, the cucumeris break the life cycle of the Thrips by consuming the larvae and eggs before they can develop into adulthood.
The cucumeris will also feed on flower pollen which allows for their introduction before the Thrip pests are visibly present. With predators on the plant at all times, the Thrip can be killed before they can take hold.
The cucumeris will not feed on the larger larvae or adult Thrips, however, and the application relies on breaking the Thrip life cycle. We advise the combined application of loose Amblyseius swirskii with loose Amblyseius cucumeris to tackle larger infestations. The predatory bug, Orius, can also be introduced to feed on adult Thrip..
Severe Thrip infestations may require more than one application of predators. Allow 7-10 days and reapply the predators if the Thrips are still visibly present. Once the infestation is controlled switch to our sachets to avoid further outbreaks.
We advise using loose cucumeris when Thrip is already present on the plant. This immediately releases a large number of active predators to bring infestations under control. Do not apply if you have used chemical treatments in the past 2 weeks.
Temperatures should be between 10-30℃ with a relative humidity level of 70% for optimal Thrip control using cucumeris.If it is below 60% no eggs will hatch and the cucumeris populations cannot increase.
We recommend the following application rate based on an average plant height of 1m:
- Light infestation: 200 mites per plant
- Heavy infestation: 500 mites per plant
Repeat applications may be required against heavy infestations. You should introduce fresh predators every 7-10 days until the infestation is controlled.
The predators will begin consuming Thrips immediately and, providing the conditions are optimal, they will continue to feed and reproduce until the infestation is controlled. If you cannot see that Thrip numbers are reducing after around 7 days, you may need to apply more predators to gain control - greater numbers will win the battle!
Amblyseius cucumeris comes in a loose bran material that can be gently sprinkled directly onto leaves or heaped onto Rockwool blocks at the base of your plants.
Cucumeris can also be applied using our Dragonfli Distribution Boxes, which will be more effective for larger plants. Pour contents into the boxes and hang them on the stems or leaves of your plants. The boxes act as small breeding sites for the predators and they will then proceed to exit the boxes and move around the plants.
Repeat applications may be required to maintain cucumeris populations or if the Thrip numbers were high when the predators were first applied.
Full instructions are provided on delivery.
We advise using cucumeris straight away upon delivery, this ensures best results as the mites will be fresh.
Amblyseius cucumeris 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 Pyrethrum or SB Plant Invigorator 2 days prior to use. Other chemicals insecticides can have long lasting residues that could harm cucumeris 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.