New supplement boosts predatory mites in crops

A new food supplement to boost predatory mites in crops has been launched in the UK by Biobest UK.

Unveiled at the Cucumber Conference earlier this month, Nutrimite™ is claimed to be the first commercially available supplement of its kind. “Nutrimite can help cucumber growers improve the effectiveness of bio control strategies for key pests – such as thrips, whitefly and spider mite – while reducing the overall cost of the programme,” explained Mark Wilde, technical account manager at Biobest UK.  “Based on specially selected pollen, this highly nutritious food source means growers can manipulate the development of pollen feeding polyphagous predatory mites, such as Amblyseius swirskii, Amblyseius cucumeris and Amblyseius andersoni.”

Nutrimite enables the mite population to be accelerated and enhanced in the absence of the pest or natural occurring pollen – for example in cucumbers and soft fruit crops before flowering. The company says its food supplement also allows growers to establish populations of predator mites exactly where they want them in the crop. Applied in programmed introductions, the supplement can be stored in a freezer and is applied using an adapted Matika blower with a Biobest Nutri-app attachment.

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