What is Red Spider Mite?
Red Spider Mite despite their name they can be any colour from red, yellow, green, orange, brown or even black depending on the host plant, although they are normally red and all have 2 dark spots on the rear of the body.
The females over winter in cracks and crevices in greenhouses or conservatories and emerge to lay eggs in the spring when the temperatures rise and the daylength increases. The eggs hatch to produce larvae and as the temperatures rise the infestation can quickly escalate and get out of control.
All the stages in the Red Spider Mite cycle feed on the underside of leaves. Red Spider Mite feed on plant tissue piercing the cells and sucking out it's contents killing it. This occurs mostly on the underside of the leaves resulting in small yellow / white spots to appear on the upper leaf surface.
As the attack continues the death of more and more cells causes the leaf to turn yellow and die. Eventually the whole plant is killed. As the number of Red Spider Mite increases, webs are produced across the shoot tips. Red Spider Mite can be brought into the greenhouse or conservatory either on plants, on the clothing of people or through vents in warm weather.
How do I control Red Spider Mite when its not time to use phytoseiulus?
Often Red Spider Mite can flourish in your greenhouse / conservatory BEFORE the temperatures are high enough to introduce phytoseiulus.
Amblyseius andersoni is a low/high temperture predator, which only needs a temperature of 10c to become active and is much more tolerant of higher temperatures i.e. above 30c, so if temperatures are regularly reaching this Amblyseius andersoni should be introduced INSTEAD of Phytoseiulus.
Use Amblyseius andersoni to control Red Spider Mite when it is either not warm enough to introduce Phytoseiulus (below 16c) or during the growing season when the temperatures regularly reach in excess of 30c/86f.
Treating Red Spider Mite with Amblyseius andersoni:
These adults will feed on red spider mite, but they can survive on other food sources until red spider emerge.
Amblyseius andersoni can be used indoors and outdoors on a wide range of host plants. They can treat many types of spider mite and other mite pests and is intended as a preventative treatment for spider mites and other mite pests. It is best used before pest populations have reached high levels.
Red Spider Mite overwinter in the cracks and crevices in your greenhouse or conservatory coming to life in the spring as temperatures rise, so be prepared and hang sachets of Amblyseius andersoni to lie in wait for any Red Spider Mite that have over-wintered BEFORE they appear. It should also be used during hot summers where temperatures are too hot for traditional controls such as Phytoseiulus.
This predatory mite eats many different pest mites such as spider mite, gall mite, and russet mite. Main target pests are spider mites (Tetranychus spp.), European (or citrus) red mite (Panonychus spp.) and Eriophyid mites, including the tomato rust (or russet) mite Aculops lycopersici.
During this time the adult Amblyseius andersoni will emerge and search for Red Spider Mite on your plants to eat. If there are none they will search out other sources of food such as pollen, fungal spores, young larvae of thrips and plant sap and wait for the red spider mite to arrive.
Introduce early in the season as soon as temperatures average 10C/50F and new growth appears on plants or introduce during hot summers when temperatures regularly exceed 30c/86f.
Amblyseius andersoni is supplied in sachets with each sachet containing a colony of Amblyseius andersoni and a supply of food which will last them for up to 6-8 weeks.
Which size do I need?
Amblyseius andersoni - 10 sachets is enough to treat a greenhouse (5 feet x 6 feet). Each amblyseius andersoni sachet contains a colony of Amblyseius from which adults emerge over 6-8 weeks.
Amblyseius andersoni - 20 sachets is enough to treat a greenhouse (10 feet x 6 feet). Each amblyseius andersoni sachet contains a colony of Amblyseius from which adults emerge over 6-8 weeks.