ORIGIN: Mediterranean area.
HOST PEST: Twospotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae, and other mite species in the family Tetranychidae.
HOST PLANTS: Greenhouse crops, low growing field crops (strawberries), ornamentals.
LIFE STAGES SHIPPED: Egg, larva, protonymph, deutonymph and adult.
SEX RATIO: Female predominant 4 to 1.
DEVELOPMENT: egg to adult: 7-8 days at constant 70° F. (20° C.)
ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS: Best suited to moderately warm humid climates, 70°-85° F. (20°-30° C.) at 70%Rh. Ideal in protected cropping. Not appropriate in hot, dry environments.
PESTICIDES: Most organophosphate, carbamate and pyrethroid insecticides are toxic, some for extended periods of time. Tolerant of some fungicides and IGR insecticides. Some resistance to Omite. Tolerates Avid and Sulfer treatments. All pesticides should be used with caution within biological control programs. Avoid spraying crop one week before or after releasing predators.
STORAGE: Highly perishable, should be used immediately upon delivery. If storage is absolutely necessary, refrigerate at 50° F.(10° C.). Not to exceed 5 days to minimize to mortality.
AUGMENTATION: Typical release rates are 1/sq ft., 20-40,000/acre, 100,000/ha. Rates are dependent upon pest levels and desired speed of control. Recommended pest/predator ratio at time of release 10/1. Avoid releases in temperatures below 45° F. or above 85° F and during dry windy conditions. It is extremely important to release predators early, as soon as pest mites appear in the crop.