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AliasesPredatory Mites

Typhlodromus pyri, Amblyseius fallacies, Metaseiulus occidentalis, Hypoaspis spp.

Physical Features

Predatory mites are very fast moving mites, usually found running around leaf surfaces or the soil (Hypoaspis). Their somewhat hairy bodies are generally clear to cream to white in color and teardrop shaped. They are quite small and difficult to see.

Beneficial Features

All eight of a spider mite’s legs must turn to goo when predatory mites catch up with them. Spider mites know their fates are sealed and it’s much worse than just being arrested. As their name suggests, predatory mites mainly target mites, but they will also put the cuffs on thrips, small insect larvae and eggs. Some kinds of predatory mites (Hypoaspis) go after soil-dwelling culprits like fungal gnat larvae. Predatory mites are extremely beneficial in controlling pests late in the season.

Recruitment

  • What happens after predatory mites clean up the scene of the crime and all the spider mites are gone? Well, most predatory mites can snack on flower pollen to keep their strength up for another invasion of the eight-legged baddies. And spider mites always do come back. Select plant varieties that produce fine pollen in spring and mid-summer.
  • Don’t go shootin’ up your partners. Be selective when considering pesticide methods against spider mites. Many pesticides will kill mite predators too.

 


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