|Hydroponic growers Tony and Brett Spurling are glad to have another predatory mite active in their greenhouse at Coldstream.
The Microsmiris mite appeared following a plague of sap-sucking thrip insects.
The mite consumed all the thrips in the Spurling’s greenhouse.
As a bonus, the mites have stayed long after the pests were consumed, surviving on plant pollen and guarding against future thrip problems.
Many Greenhouse operators are keen to avoid using pesticides, preferring to encourage a diversity of insect predators.
“Natural predators do a fantastic job controlling greenhouse pests and reduce our need for pesticides,” said Tony.
Spraying for any one pest in the greenhouse could wipe out millions of predators who are quietly working behind the scene, “taking care of lots of other pests”, said Tony.