Organic Controls for Garden Pests
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Tarsonemid mites

Tarsomemid mites are microscopic mites which generally feed in buds, under leaf sheaths and in the tips of young shoots. Plants can be badly damaged from mites feeding on young tissues, causing reduced growth, distortion and even death of newly formed leaves and flowers.
The name "tarsonemid" covers a group of mites, and the individual species are often named by their favourite host Thus there are "strawberry mites", "cyclamen mites" , "Bulb Scale Mites" and "broad mites". Watch out for mite damage especially on cyclamens, asters, chrysanthemums,amaryllis, azaleas, begonias, fuchsias and many other ornamentals. They also attack fruit and vegetable plants - at Fletching Glasshouses we find "broad mite" (Polyphagotarsonemus latus) are a persistent problem on our pepper plants, and we have to introduce Amblysieus sachets every year.

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Identifying tarsonemid mites

These mites are too small to be seen with the naked eye, typically 0.3mm long, and they will be difficult to spot as they move quite slowly. They are therefore more difficult to detect than the red spider mites, which feed openly on leaves. If you have a powerful microscope ( x 400) you may be able to find the mites in the crevices of the plant, but they are colourless or brown coloured and do not have the distinctive dark blobs on either side by which one can identify the spider mite. The best way to identify tarsonemid mite is to know your crop, and look out for the typical damage. In cases of real problems, send a sample to a laboratory to be identified.
In the trio below the left two photos show damage to begonia plants, and the right-hand picture shows a damaged pepper plant.

Amblyseius cucumeris

Amblyseius are often used as a thrips control, but they are also effective predators of tarsomenid mites. 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.... More information about amblyeius mites
These mites crawl around on the leaves and within the flower buds looking for their favourite prey. You have a choice of a shaker tub which releases all the mites at once, or slow-release sachets which last about six weeks. For a small number of plants or a very low crop 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, we find sachets may be more convenient

Giant Shaker Tub 50,000 mites
27.95 inc P&P

10 sachets - 10,000 mites

50 sachets - 50,000 mites

200 sachets - 200,000 mites