Organic Controls for Garden Pests
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Predatory mites for insect larvae -

Hypoaspis miles

These mites are one of the most effective killers of sciarid fly larvae. These are tiny brownish crawling beneficial mites which eat rotting material and insect larvae. They are sometimes called flour mites because they were typically found in empty flour bags. They live in the very top layers of soil or compost, and scavenge around looking for prey. The eggs are laid in the top layers of the compost and hatch into a six-legged and then eight-legged spidery larva, which reach adulthood some 18 days later (slower if the temperature is under 20 degrees).

Even when fully grown they are only 1mm long, so they are pretty difficult to identify - however if you look at a colony you will just be able to see some moving specks with a magnifying glass. The soil temperature needs to be above 12C, and they are a lot more effective at higher temperatures. These mites have the reputation of living for quite a long time without food (when they have been previously fed) so they are good for situations where the pest population is low.

Hypoaspis will not become a pest in their own right because their population fluctuates with their prey and they are harmless to children and pets. They tolerate a variety of conditions, except flooding but are inactive below 8C.

Hypoaspis in Shaker Tubs

Shake the contents gently onto the growing media including artificial substrates. Use as a preventative or at the first sign of sciarids. Requires a minimum temperature of 12C.
More information...

Small tub 10,000 mites
23.95 inc P&P

Large tub 25,000 mites sufficient for 125 sq metres
42.95 inc P&P