Adult RSM are just visible to the naked eye and can be found on the underside of leaves although the yellowing of leaves and webbing are normally spotted 1st. Despite their name RSM 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 RSM cycle feed on the underside of leaves. RSM 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 RSM increases, webs are produced across the shoot tips. RSM can be brought into the greenhouse or conservatory either on plants, on the clothing of people or through vents in warm weather. To control Red Spider Mite :-
- Use Spider Mite Traps to trap / monitor adult red spider mites.
- Use Amblyseius Andersonii when the temp is above 10c or above 30C. Amblyseius Andersonii is supplied in sachets with food, so it is ideal for use early in the season / late in the season when the numbers of RSM are low and when temperatures are too low or or too high for phytoseilus.
- Use Phytoseilus when RSM is active and the temp is between 16C/61F & 30C/86F.
- Use Ladybird Larvae to clear HEAVY infestions of spider mites in your greenhouse / conservatory. Once they have cleared the infestation, introduce Phytoseiulus / Ambleyseius Andersonii to give on-going control.
Control Red Spider Mite by introducing Phytoseiulus AS SOON as you see RSM and the temp is 16°C/61°F (& below 30°C/86°F). Phytoseiulus is a tiny, harmless mite with a BIG appetite for Red Spider Mite, which is used commercially. Ideal for use in conservatories / greenhouses / growrooms / hydroponic systems.
Phytoseiulus has been used commercially since the 1960's to effectively control RSM and now you can use it to control RSM on your plants. Phytoseiulus is a tiny mite, slightly smaller than a RSM and it feeds on all stages of the RSM eating up to 5 adults or 25 young larvae/eggs per day. Phytoseiulus is supplied in small tubes containing 1000 or 2000 adults. The contents of the tube (inc. the vermiculite they are packed in) is simply sprinkled over the infected plants. If the infestation of RSM is very heavy and there is webbing at the tips of the plants, break up the webs first with your fingers or with a feather duster and spray the plant with SB Invigorator, concentrating on the underside of the leaves. Help the Phytoseiulus by increasing the humidity (spray the underside of the leaves with soft water) and keep the temperature above 16°C (but below 30°C). Also group infected plants together, so the Phyto can "chase" the RSM from plant to plant. How many Phytoseiulus are needed :-
- Only got a few plants or a very mild RSM infestation? Use 1 intro. of 1000 Phytoseiulus.
- Heavy infestation or you have lots of plants? Use an economy pack of 2000 Phytoseiulus and if the infestation is very heavy, spray with SB Invigorator 1st - see our Emergency Pest Pack.
- Persistent infestation? Use regular introductions throughout the growing season by ordering a Phytoseiulus Planned Programmes.
N.B. If you have recently used a chemical spray i.e. within the last 2-3 weeks, please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to check how soon Phytoseiulus can be introduced?
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