Release of the Predator Mite, Amblyseius fallacis to Control Spider Mites in Red Raspberries and Reduce Reliance on Pesticides
Although raspberry growers have shown interest in releasing predator mites to control destructive spider mites, pre-harvest field releases did not appear to effect sufficient control of the pests, probably because of incorrect timing or rate of releases. Most growers apply broad-spectrum insecticides before harvest to control fruit-contaminating insects, but researchers suspect this clean-up spray disrupts biological control of spider mites, leading to late-season outbreaks of spider mites that then require one or two miticide applications. This project proposes to release higher rates of predator mites at the beginning of the harvest period when spider mites typically begin to increase. This release would follow pre-harvest clean-up sprays. This tactic may provide an alternative strategy for spider mite control that would reduce reliance on chemical pesticides usually needed for late-season control.