Science Into Practice - Biology and control of spinach mites

During late summer-autumn 2010, outbreaks of mites caused damage to outdoor spinach crops in southern England.

These outbreaks occurred at several locations. It is likely that the mites are a species of Tyrophagus, possibly T. similis. T. similis is a pest of spinach in Japan.

The aim of the FV 400 project is to develop an understanding of the biology of the mites that infest spinach crops and identify potential control or avoidance methods. The specific objectives are to confirm the identity of the mites causing damage to spinach crops, develop a laboratory culturing technique to provide mites for experiments on control, collate and summarise information on the biology of the mites that would be relevant to predicting and controlling infestations and identify potential control methods and test them on a small scale.

The results of this project will contribute to an understanding of this damaging, but sporadic, pest and identify possible methods of predicting and controlling infestations. The project will be complementary to the LINK project submitted by a consortium led by the HDC, Sustainable Crop and Environment Protection - Targeted Research for Edibles (SCEPTRE).

For more information on FV 400, see For more information on the SCEPTRE project, see

Dates for your diary

Tree Fruit Panel Meeting, East Malling, Kent, 29 November.

Field Vegetables Panel Meeting, Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, 1 December.

Horticultural Development Company

For details on all HDC activity, visit

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