SPIDERMITE PREDATORS FACT SHEET & Release Instructions
("Triple Threat": Phytoseiulus persimilis, Neoseiulus californicus, & Mesoseiulus longipes)
KEEP PREDATORS COOL (50-55¡F.) UNTIL USE
1. Spray plants with a fine water mist (so predators will stick to the leaves).
2. Gently rotate bottle a few times to mix contents. Predator mites are mixed with a fine powder (corn-cob grit) to give them bulk.
3. Remove paper seal from under snap lid, and sprinkle contents over foliage. Sprinkle some on all plants with spider-mite infestation, with more on heavily infested areas. Predators immediately go to the bottoms of the leaves, and begin searching for spider-mites to eat.
4. Start with 1 predator for every 20-25 spider-mites (count spider-mites on a few leaves, & average them out for a rough estimate). This gives control in about 4-6 weeks. Using more predators speeds up the process. For example, using 1 predator for every 5 spider-mites brings control in about 2 weeks.
5. This is a good time to look at your spider-mites and predators with a 16X magnifier, so you can recognize them later. You'll see that each has different shapes and colors - spider-mites are shaped like little spiders, and have a black spot on each shoulder (they grow larger as the mite grows), while the predators are colored different (clear to red, depending on variety), have longer legs, and a more rounded, streamlined appearance. Eggs are different, too - spider-mite eggs (always in abundance!) appear perfectly round, clear to amber in color (depending on how close it is to hatching), while predator eggs are at least twice as large, and colored slightly pink. Unlike spider mites, predators don't make any webbing, but they often lay their eggs right among the spider-mite webbing. Predators breed twice as fast as spider mites, so you should see a gradual increase in their population, and after a few weeks of increase, the spider-mites decline. Predators go from egg to adult in about 7 days, while spider-mites take about 14 days (depending on temperature).
6. Predators prefer humidities of 60-90%, although some will tolerate lower than this. Keeping their environment humid the first few days will especially help them get established.
7. Storage is not recommended, but if necessary, keep at 50-55¡ F. for a few days only.
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