Tarsomemid mites are very small, shiny cream-brown mites, usually less than 0.3 mm long. They are too small to be seen with the naked eye, and they move quite slowly - the only way to identify them is by the damage they leave. They generally feed in buds, under leaf sheaths and in the tips of young shoots, and are therefore more difficult to detect than the red spider mites, which feed openly on leaves. Effects on plants vary, but damage mostly results 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". There are various species which attack both outdoor and indoor plants, especially strawberries, cyclamens, asters, chrysanthemums, azaleas, begonias, fuchsias and many other ornamentals.
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 15°C to be most effective.
You can buy the mites either loose in a tub 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
Shaker Tubs of Amblyseius cucumeris mites
Breeder Sachets: Colonies with food which last 6-8 weeks.