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 day length 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.
Amblyseius Andersonii is a LOW / HIGH temperature Red Spider Mite predator, which is much more tolerant of extreme temperatures - use it when the temp is above 10c or above 30C. Amblyseius Andersonii is supplied in sachets with food, so it is also ideal for use early in the season / late in the season when the numbers of RSM are low. Use Amblyseius Andersonii to control RSM as follows :-
- Early in the spring to control over-wintering RSM - position sachets of Amblyseius andersonii in your greenhouse / conservatory in the spring as soon as the daytime temp is 10c to catch any RSM as they emerge from cracks and crevices in your greenhouse or conservatory as the temperatures rise.
- Use it throughout the growing season if RSM numbers are low.
- Late in the season to clear RSM, which has flourished during the summer - female RSM will over-winter in the cracks and crevices of your greenhouse / conservatory, so if you have had an RSM infestation during the year, position Amblyseius Andersonii in your greenhouse before the temp drops below 10c to stop any RSM from over-wintering.
- Use Amblyseius Andersonii during hot summers - use Amblyseius Andersonni when temperatures are too hot i.e. over 30C for traditional RSM controls such as Phytoseiulus.
Amblyseius Andersonii is supplied in sachets with each sachet containing a colony of Amblyseius and a supply of food, which will last them for up to 6-8 weeks, so it is ideal for using when RSM numbers are low i.e. early or late in the season or if you have a persistent RSM problem each year and you want to introduce a preventative predator. During this time the adult Amblyseius will emerge and search for RSM on your plants to eat. If there are none they will search out other sources of food such as pollen, fungal spores and plant sap and wait for the red spider mite to arrive. Hang approx 1 sachet per plant i.e. 20 sachets is enough to treat the average greenhouse (10 x 6).
N.B. Amblyseius Andersonii needs a daytime temperature of 10°C and is a perishable product, so please order when the temperature is suitable and you are ready to position the sachets on the plants.
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