Thrips has a powerful new enemy - Anso-Mite® - or Amblyseius andersoni by its scientific name. Leading biocontrol innovator, Koppert Biological Systems, now has a predatory mite that is active at lower temperatures, making it suitable for use right at the start of the growing season. This generalised predator exhibits good feeding activity on thrips larvae and whitefly scales, but also attacks spider mites, gall mites and russet mites. It also feeds on pollen and fungi, which contributes to its survivability in the absence of prey. For strawberry producers, early releases of Anso-Mite® underpin the thrips control strategy, due to the predators’ high egg laying capacity and strong population growth under cool conditions.
New light at the end of the tunnel
The Koppert A. andersoni strain has been tested in several field experiments in the Netherlands, Spain and the UK. “We are able to exploit our high-performance predator in the most optimal way, by targeting thrips with Anso-Mite®,” commented Product Manager Tim Bossinga. Anso-Mite® will be available to Koppert subsidiaries following the initial launch in England. Koppert UK General Manager David Foster is convinced that Anso-Mite® will provide UK soft fruit growers with an effective biological solution as part of a new Koppert-driven approach against thrips this spring. “In our trials we have seen that A. andersoni was better at establishing itself in the crop, particularly under colder conditions when other predatory mites would struggle. I am sure that with the addition of A. andersoni, a more robust control program can be achieved, especially in situations where thrips and other pests such as whiteflies and spider mites are present.”
Strength to strength
As a consequence of Koppert’s new license extension from Defra for Swirski-Mite®, which was granted last November, strawberry growers can add even more strength to their thrips control programme. “We can now offer a novel ‘strength to strength’ strategy, by laying the foundations with Anso-Mite®, and adding fortification with Swirski-Mite. We are convinced that this approach will pay dividends for growers. Over the course of time, this approach will probably replace traditional programmes based on the less efficient predator N. cucumeris,” added Adrian Jackson, Koppert consultant for the Midlands.
“Against the background of an increasing threat from different species of thrips, coupled with an increasing number of whitefly outbreaks, strawberry growers will welcome the ‘Anso-Swirski’ approach as a long-awaited positive advance in biocontrol,” added Koppert strawberry consultant, Jasper Hubert. “The cooler temperature preferences for Anso-Mite and the warmer temperatures required by Swirski, predetermines their release positions in the programme. As the crop develops, the strong start by Anso-Mite makes way to the dominance of Swirski-Mite, ensuring that the most efficient predator species is in the right place at the right time.”
Koppert Anso-Mite® contains 125,000 Amblyseius andersoni in a 6 litre bucket.
Anso-Mite® provides a strong start to an IPM programme in strawberry crops grown in polythene tunnels.