According to the data collected by the Andalusian Phytosanitary Warning and Information Network (RAIF), an anomalous presence of red spider has been detected in tomato crops in Almeria. The pest has been found in 1 out of every 25 plants on most farms, while the infection rate last year was 1 in 100.
The red spider causes the necrosis of the leaves of the tomato plants, in a process that goes from the drying of the leaves to the plant's defoliation, which is why an early detection of the pest is very important.
In the plots where a lower dose than recommended of Biological Control Organisms (BCO) has been released, and no specific pesticide has been applied for a few weeks before the releases, it has been observed that the pest's incidence is greater.
If the presence of small foci is detected in the crop, it is recommended to tackle them, partly with the release of BCO.
The BCO allowed to be used are those identified in the province of Almeria by the Entomology Unit (Plant Health Laboratory, Almeria), and those mentioned by the marketing companies. The list of natural enemies of the red spider includes the Amblyseius andersoni or Amblyseius californicus, the Macrolophus pygmeus or the Therodiplosis persicae.