Organic Controls for Garden Pests
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Amblyseius cucumeris and Amblyseius californicus

These two predatory mites are widely used in commerical glasshouses to control unwanted plant pests. Each one is used to tackle different prey. Amblyseius cucumeris is usually used to tackle thrips and Amblyseius californicus is usually used to control red spider mite.

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 15C to be most effective. They hibernate in winter unless you supply artificial light.

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Introducing Amblyseius

You can buy these beneficial 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 pest control is suitable for you depends on the plants to be protected. For a small number of plants with large leaves you may prefer to use the shaker tub because you can locate the predatory mites directly on the leaves to be protected. However for a large area, or for plants with small leaves, or for a tall crop, the sachets are more practical. Ambyseius sachets are also useful at the beginning of the season as a preventative measure where there are not too many prey about.

Amblyseius cucumeris for thrip control

Amblyseius cucumeris (also known as Neoseiulus 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.

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.

Amblyseius cucumeris
Giant Shaker Tub 50,000 mites
28.00 including UK Postage

Amblyseius cucumeris
10 sachets - 10,000 mites
12.95 including UK Postage

Amblyseius cucumeris
50 sachets - 50,000 mites
19.95 including UK Postage

Amblyseius cucumeris
200 sachets - 200,000 mites
65.00 including UK Postage

Amblyseius californicus for out of season spider mite control

Amblyseius californicus is a tiny, pale orange beneficial mite. It is used by professional glasshouse growers to control and prevent the development of spider mite populations.

It is a predator of various species of spider mite, including the two-spotted glasshouse spider mite (Tetranychus urticae) and the carmine mite (Tetranychus cinnabarinus). It can also feed and reproduce on other arthropod prey or pollen. It is not as voracious as the usual spider mite killer, Phytoseiulus, but it has the advantage that it can survive even when there is not much active spider mite around at the beginning of the season.

Amblyseius californicus is therefore primarily used as a preventive out of season control rather than as a solution for bad infestations. Amblyseius californicus is also more likely to survive over winter.
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Amblyseius californicus
Shaker Tub - 2000 mites
55.00 including UK postage

Amblyseius californicus
10 sachets - 1000 mites per sachet *NEW
12.95 including UK Postage