Belgium | Biological control
Biobest proposes a combination of products for the integrated management of the white mite
This pest of greenhouse crops that occurs throughout the year causes deformations in plants, especially young ones, and delays their growth, which if left untreated, can even lead to fruit loss.10/8/2020
The white mite (Polyphagotarsonemus latus) prefers young plants, and usually appears on the youngest shoots. This small pest, present in greenhouse crops throughout the year, can cause deformations in plants and delay in their growth. In fact, if it is not controlled in time, plants of no commercial value, discolored fruits and even fruit loss are often obtained.
Wide-ranging infestations should be taken seriously, as the white mite, when feeding, can cause deformations in young leaves, growth tips and flower buds, as well as delayed development, leaf drop, brittleness of the plant, discolored fruits and coppery or purplish spots on the leaves.
Severe infestations can cause premature fruit drop and even kill the plant. The toxins contained in the saliva of these mites cause a significant general decline in plant health and quality. Symptoms usually remain visible for several weeks after controlling the pest.
The white mite appears in many fruit, horticultural and ornamental crops in the tropics, and also in greenhouses in temperate regions. Some common hosts are bell peppers, eggplants, cotton, citrus fruits, avocados, and guavas.
The white mite is tiny and almost impossible to see with the naked eye; it is best perceived with a high-magnification loupe or microscope. It has eight legs, and the body, bulging and oval in shape, can be amber, yellow or green.
The elliptical and colorless eggs have microscopic tufts that give them a mottled appearance. Immature specimens are flattened in shape, with only six legs at the earliest stage, and are slow moving.
Most white mites are found on the underside of young, growing leaves.
The white mite lays its eggs on the underside of leaves or in the indentations of fruits. They hatch after 2 or 3 days, and the larvae begin to feed. After a few more days, they turn into quiescent nymphs (sedentary, not feeding). When they reach the end of the quiescent stage, the adult males transport the females to young leaves, where they reproduce and the life cycle begins again.
Interestingly, to better disperse, these mites often attach themselves to winged insects such as the whitefly.
To effectively control the white mite, Biobest proposes an IPM program that combines products such as Californicus-System, Andersoni-System, Swirskii- (Breeding) -System and Amblyseius-System.
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