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N. Californicus Predatory Mite

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Spider Mite Information

Spider mites are members of the Acari (mite) family Tetranychidae, which includes about 1,200 species. The most common in our area, are the "Two Spotted Mites" named for the two large black spots on either side of its abdomen during the adult phase. They generally live on the undersides of leaves of plants, where they may spin protective silk webs, and they can cause damage by puncturing the plant cells to feed. Spider mite development differs somewhat between species, but a typical life cycle is as follows. The eggs are attached to fine silk webbing and hatch in approximately three days. The life cycle is composed of the egg, the larva, two nymphal stages (protonymph and deutonymph) and the adult. Below are ALL NATURAL WAYS TO DEFEND AGAINST SPIDER MITE INFESTATION using biological controls. The use of pesticides should always be a last resort. 

Fungus GnatInformation (Sciarid flies)

Fungus gnats (or Sciarid Flies) infest soil and container media, where larvae feed on organic matter and roots, feeder roots and root hairs. Adult fungus gnats primarily are a nuisance. They can enter buildings as flying adults and develop indoors through all life stages. An adult fungus gnat lays up to 200 eggs during the one week it spends as an adult winged gnat. The adult then dies. Legless larvae hatch out in about four days. Aftertwo weeks of feeding, larvae spend about three to four days as pupae before emerging as the next generation of adults. Entomopathogenic nematodes, soil dwelling predatory mites, rove beetles are all part of a biological control program for fungus gnats. For growers just startingbiological controls, beginning with biological control of fungus gnats is often one of the easiest ways to begin.

ThripInformation

Thrips are minute (most are 1 mm long or less), slender insects with fringed wings and unique asymmetrical mouthparts. Different thrips species feed mostly on plants by puncturing and sucking up the contents, although a few are predators. Approximately 6,000 species have been described. They fly only weakly and their feathery wings are unsuitable for conventional flight; instead, thrips exploit an unusual mechanism, clap and fling, to create lift using an unsteady circulation pattern with transient vortices near the wings.

Many thrips species are pests of commercially important crops. A few species serve as vectors for over 20 viruses that cause plant disease, especially the Tospoviruses. Some species of thrips are beneficial as pollinators or as predators of other insects or mites. In the right conditions, such as in greenhouses, many species can exponentially increase in population size and form large swarms because of a lack of natural predators coupled with their ability to reproduce asexually, making them an irritation to humans. Their identification to species by standard morphological characters is often challenging.