Biological Control of the Spider Mite
Effective control of spider mites is possible using the predatory mite Phtoseiulus persimilis. this predatory mite which comes from the subtropical regions is a lively, shiny mite with a pinkish red color. It has obvious, long legs. The predatory mite searches actively for its prey amongst the crop and can travel quite considerable distance while doing so. an adult mite can destroy 20 immature or 5 mature spider mites in one day. the female predatory mites use this nourishment in the production of eggs - each can lay 3 to 4 eggs daily. this represents a total fertility rate of 50 to 60 eggs during its life. these eggs will hatch after 2 to 3 days; after a couple of subsequent larval stages the adult predator appears. an adult predatory mite will take 6 to 7 days to complete its development, which is twice as fast when compared to the red spider mite. The predator preys only on the red spider mite. the crop is in no way affected.