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RAIF has issued a warning due to the high presence of red spider mites in Almeria's pepper under-cover crops

The Phytosanitary Alert and Information Network (RAIF) has reported that the presence of red spider mites is being detected in a high percentage of autumn cycle pepper crops in the province of Almeria.

"At first, it occurs in small spots (yellowish spots on the leaf bundle). In the plots where the mites were not detected early, one can find large yellow spots accompanied by desiccation and even defoliation."

"The weather conditions are ideal for its development, with temperatures of 30° C and a dry environment. They are completing their whole life cycle in a week."

"We've noticed that the incidence of this pest is higher in those plots where not enough Amblyseius Swirskii have been released, and no specific preventive plant protection product was applied a few weeks before the releases. High doses of Swirskii (100-150 ind/m²) should be released so they can establish themselves properly and thus better control the mites."

The preventive and cultural measures that the RAIF recommends to manage the red spider in the cultivation of pepper include:

  • Eliminating weeds and crop debris, as they can act as a reservoir for the pest.
  • In plots with a history of red spiders, producers should treat the structures and soil in the plots before carrying out a new planting and solarize in periods of at least 30 days.
  • Protecting the plants' first vegetative stages.
  • Avoid transporting the pest via the usual operations that are carried out in the crop, through clothes, shoes, or work tools.

"Chemical control is only carried out before the release of beneficial insects and only on fields with a history of spider mites. The crop protection products must respect the auxiliary fauna, and the treatment must be later enhanced with biological control organisms."

"The emergence of new outbreaks will be monitored by adding pest-specific OCBs such as Phytoseiulus persimilis (for control), Amblyseius californicus, and Amblyseius Andersoni (as prevention after the first detection). If the bulbs increased in size, producers should follow the same steps described above under technical criteria".



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