Bountiful Gardens Begin with Voracious Mite Predators
Biocontrol Network offers several predatory mites to control pest mites, as well as thrips, fungus gnats, and fire ants. Predatory mites do not harm people, plants, pets, or other warm-blooded animals. As a general rule, mites are most effective when released at the first sign of mite infestation. Once leaf damage is serious, control is more difficult. If there is heavy infestation, remove the most affected plants and use a knock-down spray. (see Jungle Rain and Neem Soap) Then release predatory mites after 48 hours. Once the predators are on the leaves, they look for food on the underside of the leaves, where spider mites lurk. The female predators soon lay eggs which hatch within a few days. A light infestation can be controlled within 2-3 weeks. Repeat releases until infestation is under control.
Predatory mites thrive in humid environments, whereas pest mites enjoy dry surroundings. To increase humidity, moisten the soil or use a cool-mist vaporizer around plants in an enclosed area. High humidity is especially beneficial when you first release the predators.