Koppert develops predatory mite for thrips and whitefly

Koppert Biological Systems has developed a new biological control for thrips and whitefly that it claimed will deal with levels of glasshouse infestation that its existing Swirskii-Mite control cannot handle.

The Dutch firm has spent 10 years testing deployment of the predatory mite Amblydromalus limonicus in commercial horticulture. It now says the mite displays a uniquely useful behaviour by eating thrips' larvae and eggs as well as whitefly larvae, reproducing quickly, and remaining active over a broad temperature range, from 13-30 degsC.

"This predatory mite was already well-known as an effective natural enemy of thrips and whitefly," according to a company representative. "However, it was difficult to produce. That problem has now been resolved."

A trade name for the new product will be announced in December, and the first commercial deliveries - in bottles - are expected early next year.

The company has also launched a miniature version of its established bumblebee hives for salad vegetable and fruit pollination. The Minipol is aimed at areas of less than 750sq m and has a useable lifespan of four to seven weeks.

Koppert has also acquired from Bayer CropScience the worldwide rights to the yeast-based fungicide Shemer, developed for integrated pest management programmes in vegetables and fruit.

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