Thrips are the smallest winged insects, and there are about six species of Thrip that cause damage to plants in greenhouses and in indoor growing set-ups. Thrips have six stages in their life cycle; egg, two 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 small predatory mites 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 Amblyseius swirskii with Amblyseius cucumeris to tackle larger infestations. The predatory bug, Orius, can also be introduced to feed on adult Thrip.
Severe Thrip infestations will require more than one application of predators.
We advise applying these sachets as a preventative system against Thrip immediately. It is recommended that you have an active sachet on your plants at all times, from propagation to full growth.
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 population will not increase.
Each sachet will release fresh predators for 3-4 weeks. This should then be replaced to keep a steady flow of fresh predators on the plant.
We recommend applying the sachets at a rate of 1-2 per plant. This is based on an average plant height of 1m.
Simply hang the sachets on the plant from the convenient hooks provided. There is already a hole in the sachet so the predators can be applied straight away.
Full instructions are provided on delivery.
Unfortunately due to the 4-week life cycle you cannot store the sachets for later use. Apply the sachets immediately on receipt.
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.