Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Greenhouse - A Biological Control for Thrips and Whiteflies

The following is an article on a successful biological control (predator) for thrips and whiteflies in the greenhouse .

Thrips and Whitefly Control Using Amblyseius swirskii Predators

Swirskii-mite is a voracious predatory mite which controls both thrips and whitefly. It has also demonstrated the ability to provide added control with spider mite infestations in conjunction with other predatory mites. It controls both greenhouse and tobacco whitefly species. It preys on the eggs and 1st larval stages of whiteflies, and on the 1st larval stages of thrips. It has a very high rate of reproduction. Swirskii-mite is not susceptible to diapause, and can be introduced in winter months. It also may be introduced in high temperatures. Without prey it can establish onpollen.

Mode of Action/ Life Cycle: Predatory mites pierce their prey and suck out the body contents, resulting in immediate control. Their eggs are deposited on the underside of leaves, often on the leaf hairs near the veins. Total development from egg to adult takes 5 to 6 days depending on temperature and humidity.

Release Technique: Rates vary with plant size and infestation level. From 2 to 5 mites are recommended per square foot. Two release methods are available. Loose mites are suspended in media that is placed directly on the plant. Sachets with 250 mites are hung on the plant and the sachets release mites for about 4-6 weeks.

Article from the March 23, 2007 edition of the Greenhouse TPM/IPM Weekly Report from the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension.

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