mite

Strawberry Mite Control Helped by Lesser-known Predator

Dan Fruits & Vegetables

mite
Courtesy UCANR

Natural predators can drive mite control in a lot of crops, and a lesser-known insect is helping in strawberries. Santa Maria’s Manzanita Berry farms have a lot of success control mites with natural predators. “Actually over the years we have come to make that a standard practice,” General Manager Dave Peck said. “Whether we are growing organic or conventional, we rely on early releases of mite predators to get out in the field and just start eating them up before the season gets underway.”

Peck said they use the popular persimilis mite that many growers use when twospotted spider mite populations are significant, but he also utilizes the not-as-popular fallacis mite in his system. “The fallacis mite is a little more hardy. It’ll withstand colder, dryer, hotter temperatures,” he said. “It doesn’t eat as many of the two spotted mites, so it’s not you total control, but it does help keep the populations down during the cold months of the winter.”

Strawberry Mite Control Helped by Lesser-known Predator
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Taylor Hillman

Taylor Hillman

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AgNet Media Operations Manager and Farm News Director for AgNet West.