Amblyseius cucumeris and Amblyseius californicus
These two mites are widely used in commerical glasshouses to control unwanted plant pests. Each one is used to tackle different prey. They are both tiny creatures difficult to spot with the naked eye, and difficult to tell apart even with the benefit of a microscope. The colour of the mites varies according to what they have been feeding upon.
Amblyseius are suitable for glasshouses and conservatories, as well as outside during the Summer. They need to a temperature of at least 15°C to be most effective. They hibernate in winter unless you supply artificial light.
Amblyseius cucumeris is a tiny, pale coloured beneficial mite. It is used by professional glasshouse growers to control thrips, and also tarsonemid mites, and can be used in gardens outside in the summer months in sheltered areas. These mites crawl around on the leaves and within the flower buds looking for their favourite prey which are thrips larvae. They usually target the smaller, newly hatched young, but they have been known to tackle larvae bigger than themselves.
You can buy the mites either loose in a tub (protected by bran) or as a pack of slow-release sachets which you can hang up among the plants. Which one is suitable for you depends on the plants to be protected. For a small number of plants you may prefer to use the shaker tub because you can locate the mites directly on the leaves to be protected. For a larger area, or a tall crop, the sachets may be more convenient - and they may give longer-lasting protection, because the sachets contain grain mites which give the amblyseius a source of food to stop them all emerging at once.
Shaker Tubs of Amblyseius cucumeris mites
Breeder Sachets: Colonies with food which last 6-8 weeks.
Amblyseius californicus is a tiny, pale orange beneficial mite. It is used by professional glasshouse growers to control spider mites. These mites are supplied in a tub with an inert carrier.
Shaker Tubs of Amblyseius californicus mites