New products to help you improve your mite control game

Two-point spider mites, with their broad host range, are one of the most persistent pest problems for greenhouse growers. The two-point spider mite shown is coated with the new fungal contact insecticide / miticide Velifer from BASF. Photo: BASF

Mites are such harmful pests of ornamentals, vegetables, and cannabis / hemp plants that there are rarely breeders who haven’t fought in the greenhouse to control them. Regular implementation of preventive integrated pest control (IPM) measures and consistent scouting efforts, along with several great product options, remain some of the best tools to keep small mite concerns from escalating into bigger problems. With new mite control products now available, growers have a few more choices to add to their IPM arsenal.

BioBee’s pioneering rearing method optimizes the production of predatory mites

The predatory mites (Phytoseiulus persimilis) in the BioPersi + product from BioBee are physiologically strong and ready to seek and destroy. You start laying eggs the same day of use in the field for quick establishment, and the product contains a mix of eggs, kittens and adults for longer lasting control.

The mites in BioPersi + are a unique white color upon arrival. They take on their traditional orange-red color as soon as they start feeding on spider mites, which provides breeders with visual evidence of predation. This new technology also paves the way for slow-release mite products, which BioBee plans to bring to market later in the year.

New biological product from BASF with improved safety profile

Velifer Fungal Contact Insecticide / Miticide from BASF is a new biological insecticide / miticide that combats strong greenhouse pests such as spider mites, aphids, whiteflies, mealybugs and thrips through direct contact and application. It is an oil-based formulation of the Beauveria bassiana strain PPRI 5339, owned by BASF, which is a direct contact insecticide with fungal spores.

Velifer ensures that feeding is stopped quickly and insects die off 24 to 48 hours after use. It is compatible with beneficial insects with an improved plant safety profile. With this new product, spider mite populations are not only suppressed, but also controlled in all phases of life cycle development.

Three new products and an improved formulation of OHP

Pycana is an OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) listed insecticide / miticide that combines pyrethrins (safer botanical versions of pyrethroids) and rapeseed oil that acts as a natural synergist, fast acting, broad spectrum control with short lived effects (no residual activity).

Pradia and Sarisa, also new from OHP, are very selective in insects and do not interfere with biological mite control programs. They can be used to clean plants in production prior to the release of predatory mites and / or shipping facilities. Finally, Ancora’s improved formulation consists of the same potent microbial strain in a less bulky, easier-to-mix formulation that works particularly well on spider mite eggs without disrupting predatory mite biological control programs.

Revised SuffOil-X label with cannabis section for Canada by BioWorks

BioWorks’ SuffOil-X has a new revamped label for Canada that includes a dip for ornamental plants and a special section for cannabis. For the USA, the new label is currently being examined by the EPA and will hopefully be updated by the end of 2021.

SuffOil-X contains an 80% pre-emulsified formulation with a small particle size that stays in solution longer (compared to 90+% oil products), easily penetrates plant roofs and spreads thinly and evenly on plant leaves, choking insects, mites, and diseases .

NuFarm’s control option is tough against mite pests and friendly to beneficial insects

The new Engulf GHN from Nufarm offers powerful mite control with an advanced, higher concentration formula. Engulf GHN is marked for low consumption rates and offers mixing convenience and reduced residue potential without impairing effectiveness. Its novel mode of action works with fast knockdown and sustained 28-day power against 18 common mite pests. Engulf GHN can be used in ornamental plants in the greenhouse and shade house as well as in tomatoes grown in the greenhouse.

Vestaron updates Spear-T label

Vestaron released an updated Spear-T label in April 2020, expanding its use patterns for mites both in the greenhouse and in the field. This is the EPA’s first insecticide derived from a naturally occurring peptide and it has all of the benefits of a bioinsecticide: 4 hour re-entry interval, 0 day pre-harvest interval, and maximum residue limit exemption.

Spear-T also meets the demands of breeders for new modes of action (IRAC Group 32) and for versatility to control not only mites, but also aphids, thrips and whiteflies. The label says common mite, Lewis mite, and two-spotted spider mite, but because of its contact activity, Spear-T will be a valuable tool for any herbivorous mite. With its short residue, predatory mites and other biological control agents (BCAs) can be safely released once the product dries.

Biobest offers a new scouting app

It is important to preserve beneficial insect populations when they are not feeding, which is why the Biobest Group has included Nutrimite in their program. Nutrimit is small enough to get into crevices and helps establish predatory mite populations.

Biobest also launched the new crop scanner app, which enables fast and accurate scouting so farmers can track pest outbreaks and make quick adjustments.


Janeen Wright is an editor for Greenhouse Grower. You can email her at [email protected] See all author stories here.

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