This photo depicts a Phytoseivlus persimilis (orange) devouring a Two Spotted spider mite (white).

Opening remarks: persimilis is the most commonly used beneficial mite in the world. It works well on low-growing plants. Adults are bright orange and slightly larger than spider mites. Persimilis is noted for its quick knockdown of spider mites. Persimilis reproduces faster than spider mites and thus can quickly gain control of a spider mite outbreak. Persimilis does not work well on tomato because tomato’s sticky hairs interfere with its movement.

1. Release at first sign of mite infestation. Once leaf damage is serious, (more than 4 mites per leaf) control is more difficult. For heavy infestations, remove the most affected plants and use knock-down spray (see SucraShield) or use safer organic canola oil spray.
2. Release predatory mites after 48 hours. Predators will consume egg, nymph and adult stages of pest mites. Light infestations can be controlled within 2-3 weeks.
3.Roll bottle gently to mix mites and carrier. Sprinkle the predatory mites onto plant leaves where they can quickly find their prey.
4. Repeat releases every 7-14 days until control is achieved.
5. Predatory mites thrive in humid environments, whereas pest mites enjoy dry surroundings. Increase humidity by moistening soil or use a cool-mist vaporizer around plants in enclosed areas. Mites are shipped as adults. Release immediately or refrigerate( 45-50° F) for 2-3 days only.
6. Preferred Food: Two-spotted spider mites and many others.
7. Shipment, biology and release: These beneficial mites consume 5-10 pest adults or up to 20 pest eggs/day. Low infestations can be controlled within 2-3 weeks. They require a relative humidity greater than 60% in order to survive, especially in the egg stage and thrive best in temperatures between 60° and 80° F.
Plantscape Designs Inc currently applies these predators to all our phyllostachys bamboo plants in Cambridge and Boston, Ma interior offices.