Control offered for spider mite

A new spider mite control is available this spring for growers of protected tomatoes, aubergines and ornamental plants.

Developed by the Sumitomo Chemical Company and marketed through its subsidiary Interfarm UK, Borneo is based on etoxazole, an active ingredient with a new mode of action.

It inhibits production of chitin - the hard compound in insect and mite skeletons - killing eggs and immature stages of two-spotted spider mite and red spider mite.

Although not lethal to adults, it makes the female mites sterile. "It interrupts the life-cycle at three points," said Interfarm UK technical manager David Stormonth.

Borneo should be used at the first appearance of a mite problem.

Stormonth said the contact-acting product has a longer persistence, of 20 to 30 days, than other acaricides and would also be welcome because it has no resistance issues.

"It is expected to fit in well within IPM systems," he said.

Borneo has on-label approval for protected tomatoes and aubergines and a SOLA (1216/2008) for protected ornamental plant production. One application is allowed per crop and the harvest interval is three days.

Managing director Paul Sopp of distributor Fargro said Borneo would find a useful place as the first spray in spider mite control programmes, alongside conventional substances like abamectin.

Stormonth said the company was looking at how Borneo could control mites in other crops, such as strawberries.

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