Predatory Mite

Spider Mite Predator

These predacious mites are the carnivorous cousins of leaf-feeding spider mites and other pestilent mites that feed on plants. Phytoseiulus persimilis is about the size of a spotted spider mite, is orange or tan in color, has no spots, and is shinier and more pear-shaped than their prey. They are also more active and have longer legs than spider mites. The mouth parts of predatory mites extend in front of their body while pest mite mouthparts extend downward to feed on plants.

Spider mite predators often occur naturally but seldom in numbers to eliminate large infestations. Their presence is often destroyed by pesticide use or dusty conditions. They are particularly effective when used in greenhouses or indoor gardens.

Once distributed in the garden, persimilis take to the underside of leaves where pest mites congregate. Females will lay eggs that are double the size of plant-eating mites eggs. Eggs hatch within days and go through a six-legged larval stage and two, eight-legged immature nymphal stages before becoming adults. The population of mite predators will continue to increase as long as there is prey. Once they’ve exhausted their food source, they move on or starve.

Feeding on Mite Eggs
Attacking Spider Mite
P. persimilis
Eating Mite Eggs
Mite Predator
Phytoseiulus persimilis

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