Crop Advice - Cucumber: Feltiella second line and preventive protection for spider mites

The gall midge Feltiella acarisuga is notorious for its insatiable appetite and excellent searching skills.

It happens only very rarely that a greenhouse doesn't get a visit of the spider mite. Especially in this time of year, when temperatures rise and the air gets dryer, mite populations get a serious boost. For cucumber and gherkin growers in Western Europe, now is the time to act.

The common beneficial to control spider mite in cucumber is the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis. During peaks in mite pressure, growers can however rely on an extra beneficial to ensure a satisfying result: the gall midge Feltiella acarisuga. “Feltiella acts also like a parasite,” says Pascal Briand, IPM and Pollination Specialist at Biobest. “The females look for spider mite hot spots to lay their eggs. When these hatch, the progeny devours the helpless mites.” The gall midge’s appetite is notorious: it can eat five times more mites than persimilis.

Another advantage of Feltiella is that this beneficial has excellent searching skills. Pascal: “The females can find even the most distant pest mite hot spots in de greenhouse. So, generally, growers don’t need to worry to put Feltiella in the exact hot spots as the gall midge females will find them by themselves. Obviously, this makes Feltiella an excellent choice for preventive releases.”

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