"If you're fighting thrips and whiteflies, then Swirski-Mite is an excellent partner in crime", the team with Koppert says. "The product contains Amblyseius swirskii, a predatory mite that's not all that picky when it comes to its daily meal. It eats many species of small insects and mites, which is ideal when different types of pests occur simultaneously. Swirski-Mite is available in various formulations, so there's always a tailor-made solution."
The Swirski-Mite likes nice weather. But it can survive many climatic conditions, provided it doesn't get too cold. This makes Amblyseius swirskii suitable for use in many different climate regions. The combination of all these characteristics makes the Swirski-Mite the benchmark of predatory mites. "The effectiveness of other predatory mites is always compared to the effectiveness of this species: do they score as well as Swirski-Mite, or do they fall short?"
This predatory mite can reproduce in the crop, so there's no need to apply new mites on a regular basis. Several factors determine how quickly this happens, such as how much prey there is and whether other food sources, such as pollen, are available. The microclimate – the temperature and humidity around the leaf – is also very important.
Other circumstances, other possibilities
As a grower, you are often also a strategist – and fighting pests requires a different strategy in every situation. Sometimes, responding quickly to a pest is a must, other times, you want to slowly build up a standing army of predatory mites that is ready and waiting when problems arise. Swirski-Mite has several formulations that are aligned with these different strategies.
"The regular Swirski-Mite is contained in a bottle with a handy dosing cap, making it very easy to scatter the predatory mites in the crop. Blower dispersion is also an option for some crops. This method is very suitable when rapid response is needed because a pest is gaining more and more terrain in your crop. You can easily introduce many predatory mites in one go", the Koppert team shows. "If you want to gradually apply predatory mites, the Swirski-Mite slow-release sachets are a better choice. These bags contain the predatory mites, food, and bran for protection. The mites reproduce in the bag and move from there into the crop. Ultimately, three to four times as many predatory mites come out of the sachet as it originally held!."
There are three versions: Swirski-Mite Plus, Swirski-Mite LD, and Swirski Ulti-Mite. The second has a slightly different composition, as there are two types of food in the bag.