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(All 4 of these can be used together however, be weary of the persimilis, as they can bite you as well. They are not poisonous, but will leave red dots similar to a flea bite.)
Cost: 2000 Mites are about $42.00
Scientific Name: Phytoseiulus persimilis
Appearance/Size: Fully developed adults are about 1/2 mm in length. Adults are normally orange or reddish-orange, with long legs and oval shaped body. Looks much similar to a spider mite, but eggs are about twice as big.
Prefered Habitat: Eggs are greatly effected in cold temperatures. Studies show the total time from egg to adult ranges from 25~ days at 60°F to 5~ days at 85°F. They prefer a relative humidity of 60-90%.
Reproduction: Immature stages last 7-8 days, adults last 30-35 days (40-45 days total) in optimum conditions. Female can produce up to 60 eggs in her lifetime. Eggs will be laid where food is available. Often laid directly on a spider mite web.
Eat: Adults will eat 5-20 mites/eggs per day. They are known to feed on the two-spotted mite (T. urticae), the carmine red mite (T. cinnabarinus), and the Pacific mite (T. pacificus).
Side Notes: Will turn cannabalistic when food source is gone. In low humidity conditions they are unable to molt, so they are unable to reproduce. It is very important to have humidity higher then 60%.
Release Rate: 1-2 per infected leaf.
Cost: 1000 mites are about $30.
Scientific Name: Galendromus occidentalis
Appearance/Size: Adults are pear-shaped and very small, getting no bigger then .5 mm. They are transparent in color, and when they feed they take on the color of what they ate. Usually red or brown. Larvae have 6 legs, and all other stages have 8 legs.
Prefered Habitat: Above 80°F with a humidity above 70% for optimal conditions.
Reproduction: Eggs develop into full adults in 6-14 days, depending on temperature and humidity. Eggs hatch in 1-4 days. Adults will live for about 30 days, and females can lay up to 25 eggs in her lifetime. Eggs are laid on the underside of leaves where food is readily available.
Eat: Adults will eat up to 5 adult mites, or 8 mite eggs per day. They feed on many different types of mites including the two-spotted mite, yellow spider mites and rust mites.
Side Notes: Temperature greatly affects the reproduction of these creatures, they do not like colder temperatures.
Release Rate: 2-3 per infected leaf.
Cost: 2000 Mites are about $37.00
Scientific Name: Neoseiulus californicus
Appearance/Size: Eggs are very tiny, only about .05 mm in length, with a white texture. Larvae are a translucent color and only have 6 legs. Both males and females are translucent and can be pale orange, peach, or pink in color, but males are typical smaller than females. Adults females only reach lengths of 0.1 mm.
Prefered Habitat: Prefers temperatures from 70-85°F, but can handle temperatures up to 95°F.
Reproduction: Females can lay 2-4 eggs per day, and live up to 20 days. Eggs hatch in 1-4 days depending on temperatures. To become a fully developed adult is anywhere from 4-12 days depending on temperature.
Eat: Many types of spider mites. They eat slower than their predator mite counterparts, only consuming a few adults/eggs per day. Although they have the ability to go long periods without food unlike other predator mites.
Side Notes: Temperature greatly affects the reproduction of these creatures, they do not like colder temperatures. Although they are more tolerable to starvation than other predator mites.
Release Rate: 4 mites/sq foot, every 10 days. Increase mites per foot before increasing days.
Cost: 1000 eggs are about $53.00
Scientific Name: Mesoseiulus longipes
Appearance/Size: Looks very similar to Phytoseiulus persimilis.
Prefered Habitat: 65°F-100°F, 40% – 90% Relative Humidity.
Reproduction: This predator has five life stages; egg, larva, protonymph, deutonymph and adult. Females predominant 4:1. Will complete a generation in one week depending on temperature.
Eat: These mite predators will consume egg, nymph and adult stages of two-spotted spider mites and many others.
Side Notes: Can be used with other predator mites. Susceptible to pesticides.
Release Rate: About 3 per infected leaf.