Each slow-release sachet is a predatory mite breeding system complete with prey mites for the predators to eat and food to sustain the population of prey mites.
These sachets are designed to be hung in crops where they allow for continuous release of predatory mites over a period of 3-6 weeks. This innovative release technology reduces the need for multiple applications and helps achieve even distribution and sustained activity of predatory mites.
Advantages of sachet technology
- Continuous release of predatory mites over a period of 3-6 weeks
- Reduces the need for multiple predatory mite applications
- Helps to achieve even distribution and sustained activity of predatory mites
- Ideal for use in preventative biocontrol programs
- Avoids spreading carrier material (sawdust or vermiculite) over the crop
- Our exclusive twin sachet design yields more predatory mites per release point
- The prey mites we use cannot feed on plants so they present no risk to the crop
Which predatory mites are available in sachets?
Follow the links above to find out more about each of these predatory mites and the pests they control.
Suitable crop environments
Our slow-release sachets are only suitable for use in protected cropping. We do not expect them to withstand heavy rainfall or strong wind. They also require shelter from direct sunlight to prevent them from drying out too quickly.
Slow-release sachets are ideal for use in medical cannabis, greenhouse vegetables such as cucumbers, eggplants and capsicums, berry crops, cut flowers and other ornamentals.
How many predators will the sachets yield?
We expect each sachet pair to yield at least 2,000 predatory mites. Under optimal conditions the yield could be double this number. The yield will vary depending on environmental conditions within the crop where the sachets are deployed.
Unlike chemicals, when it comes to beneficials, more is always better. However, they are costly to produce and our goal is to achieve the best results at minimal expense. There are many factors to consider, including the value of the crop, the sensitivity of the crop to pest outbreaks and the activity (or otherwise) of naturally occurring beneficial species.
We recommend spacing sachets at 0.5 to 2 meters along crop rows. The table below provides an application rate guide. Please contact us for specific recommendations.
|Recommended application rate||No. of releases||Interval between releases|
|1- 2 sachet pairs/m2||as required||3-4 weeks|
When to apply
Slow-release sachets are most effective when used preventatively. The number of predatory mites emerging from the sachets is typically low during the first week and peaks during weeks 2 and 3. If pest numbers are already high, consider using a traditional mite release (tubes of loose material spread over the crop) and/or a compatible spray prior to applying sachets.
How to apply
Our predatory mite breeding system comes in the form of a sachet pair, designed to be hung over a leaf stem, wire or trellis. Do not puncture or tear the sachets open – they are supplied complete with tiny exit holes for the predatory mites. Place sachets at even intervals along the rows, hanging them well within the canopy. Sachets will dry out faster if they are exposed to direct sunlight, shortening the length of time over which the breeding system remains active and reducing the yield.
If necessary, a staple can be used to attach sachets more securely. Place the staple at the bottom of the sachet pair to avoid puncturing and spilling the contents of the mite breeding system.
Before release, check prior history of chemical applications to ensure toxic residues are no longer present. See notes on chemical use below.
Predatory mites will be difficult to find within the crop for a week or so after introduction. Once they exit the sachet they disperse quickly in search of food. However, as the walk-out rate increases during weeks 2 and 3 it should become easier to find them. During daylight hours predatory mites tend to shelter on the underside of leaves. They are often found near the midrib close to the petiole. Their eggs are commonly laid on the ends of leaf hairs.
Storage and handling
Sachets should be placed in the crop as soon as possible after delivery. If necessary, they can be stored for up to 4 days at 12-18°C.
Cultural practices to aid establishment
- Minimise dust and ensure plants are well watered and in good health to provide optimal conditions at the plant surface where the mites are active
- A relative humidity of at least 60% will improve establishment
- Consider additional wetting of floors and benches during periods of extreme heat and low humidity
- Increase availability of pollen (e.g. through use of banker plants or application of Nutrimite™ )
- Hang sachets in the top third of the plant, protected from direct sunlight
While some pesticides are not harmful to predatory mites, many are directly toxic or have sublethal effects. These can prevent predators from establishing and/or reduce their efficacy.
If pesticides are required, always check for side-effects and select products that are least harmful to the predatory mites that you are introducing and other key beneficials in your IPM program. Use the Biobest Side Effects app or access the Biobest side-effects manual online.
Some insecticides (e.g. synthetic pyrethroids, organophosphates and neonicotinoids) can have residual toxicity that affects Californicus, Cucumeris and Montdorensis for many weeks. Fungicides generally have low toxicity to these mites, however some (e.g. mancozeb and chlorothalonil) are highly disruptive. The safest miticides to use with these predatory mites include bifenazate (Acramite), clofentezine (Apollo), fenbutatin oxide (Torque) and hexythiazox (Calibre).