Autumn is the time to introduce Andersoni-System (Amblyseius andersoni) to prevent an early outbreak of pest mites in overwintered crops next season, says Paul Koole, Biobest biological crop protection specialist.

Common mite pests
Spider mites feed on a wide range of host plants where they can cause high levels of damage resulting in leaf discoloration and webbing, while also inhibiting plant growth.

Gall and russet mites are barely visible with a regular magnifier lens. Russet mites cause brown discoloration of the leaves, while gall mite feeding leads to leaf malformations. Typically, by the time the damage is noticed, these pest mites are already present in large numbers.

“Amblyseius andersoni not only feeds on harmful mites but also on thrips, pollen, honeydew, and fungi – it is polyphagous,” explains Paul.

“Present in many different climatic zones, it remains active in a wide range of temperatures (6°C - 35°C). Autumn is, therefore, an ideal time to release Andersoni-System into overwintering crops, to mitigate an early pest outbreak next season.”

Preventative introductions
“Unlike predators that prefer a single type of prey, this polyphagous nature means it can be used preventively. Able to survive in the absence of pest mites, Andersoni-System can easily find an alternative food source in the crop.

“As well as our sprinkler bottle Andersoni-System, containing 25,000 mites, Biobest offers boxes of 250 convenient sachets - Andersoni-Breeding-System. Containing food for the predatory mites, these sachets ensure continuous release of predators over several weeks.”

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