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There are several species of Spider Mite with the most common being the Two Spotted Spider Mite (tetranychus urticae). These mites have an oval body and eight legs. They vary in colour from green, yellow, orange-red and dark brown. The eggs are circular and generally located on the underside of leaves. The damage will be evident with the yellowing of leaves, especially on the underside. Yellow dots will also show on top with the whole leaf eventually turning yellow. Spider Mites can also produce webbing on leaves when the population is high.
Phytoseiulus persimilis is a predatory mite used to kill the Red Spider Mite, and is particularly effective at tackling severe infestations and Spider Mite hotspots.
Phytoseiulus predatory mites are the most commonly used form of biological pest control against the Red Spider Mite in greenhouses and protected growing environments. These predatory mites feed on all stages of the Spider Mite's life cycle, from egg to adult.
The life cycle of the Phytoseiulus is faster than that of the mites they feed on. In suitable conditions the predators are able to double their population every two days, and are capable of consuming five adult Spider Mites and 20 Spider Mite larvae each day. This leads to a rapid reduction in the Spider Mite population and helps prevent plant damage.
Dragonfli supply Phytoseiulus persimilis that are bred in optimal conditions for development, whereby the predators benefit from extra nutritional intakes early in their production. This enables them to produce eggs more quickly and ensures the Phytoseiulus are more active on the plants, with higher energy levels. The predators can then locate, and feed, on Spider Mite much more quickly.
An amazing feature of the predators, that has come with this new form of rearing, is that the Phytoseiulus will change colour as they begin consuming the Spider Mites. The predators will change from a white to red colouring as soon as they start feeding.
We advise using Phytoseiulus when Spider Mite 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 15-28℃ and ideally at a relative humidity of around 75%. If conditions are too dry, the predators will begin to move to the bottom of the plant seeking moisture.
We recommend the following application rate based on an average plant height of 1m:
- 100 Phytoseiulus per plant
For severe infestations, where leaves show signs of webbing and yellow splotches, we advise doubling this rate and applying a second application 7-10 days after the first.
These Phytoseiulus predators are packaged in a loose carrier material for instant release onto infestations. If Spider Mite remain present in large numbers we also advise the combined application of Phytoseiulus and Amblyseius californicus predators to tackle the infestation.
Also consider using our Amblyseius californicus sachets.
Spider Mite often feed at the top of plants, so ensure the Phytoseiulus are released in that area of the plant, or in other evident hot spots of Spider Mite activity. The Phytoseiulus are supplied in shaker bottles, so you can apply the predators by rotating the bottle and gently shaking the contents directly onto the infested leaves of the plants.
Phytoseiulus can also be applied using our Dragonfli Distribution Boxes, which will be more effective for larger plants. Distribute the shaker bottle contents into your 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 Phytoseiulus populations or applications of sachets, if the Spider Mite numbers were high when the predators were first applied.
Full application instructions are provided on delivery.
We advise using Phytoseiulus straight away upon delivery, this ensures best results as the Mites will be fresh.
Phytoseiulus persimilis 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 the Phytoseiulus 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.