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Introduce Swirski mites into the garden to bolster your beneficial insect count

We decide to embark on the journey of home-grown food to reduce the number of checmicals we are exposed to and pesticides we consume without us even knowing.

However, the home vegetable garden can be a challenging place to grow food due to insects and other animals that constantly want to eat our highly nutritious and yummy food.

The challenge with pests in the garden is to not use chemical sprays, and if at all possible, turn your garden into a spray-free zone which uses the natural balance of insects and beneficial insects to keep a healthy balance, in turn creating your own localised mini ecosystem that requires very little human intervention. To achieve this we sometime need to help nature along with predators, such as the Swirski mite. 

 

What are Swirski mites?

The Swirski Mite is a benficial predatory mite that consumes soft bodies pests in the arthropod pest species that include a range of different mites, including red spider mites and broad mites, thripes and whitefly. All of these pests can be very difficult to elimiate in the garden and require regular spraying to keep away, which is harmful to the beneficial insects in the garden.

They lay their eggs on the underside of leaves and larvae appear as little white worms

They change colour based on the prey they eat and are a mere 0.5m in size, or 1/150th of an inch. E.g

Even though their primary diet are arthropod pests they can also survive on pollens from the garden and nectar in flowers, making them a long term part of the garden once their primary food source has disappeared.

They prefer warmer and humid conditions and may be less effective in cold climates and areas with low relative humidity

They do not experience diapause, meaning they do not have a natural break in reproduction, given that daytime temps are regularly above 22 degrees ceclius, making them a year round pest fighter

It’s important to note that swirkii mites may be less effective when using multiple types of predatory insects

 

How to release the Swirski mite into the garden

Mites are released directly onto leaves or the base of problematic plants in the bran or vermiculite they come in. This is the. Ost effective and immediate option

There are also slow release sachets that mites emerge out of over time once the food in the sache starts to run out. This may be a good option for early identification, but not good for an infestation as the reaction may be too slow

 

Types of swirski mite packaging options

1. Immediate release: This option allows you to disperse the swirski mites throughout the garden immediately and also specifically where you want them. This is a powerful option if you are looking to get quick results for a larger infestation that needs urgent attention. 

https://www.koppert.co.za/swirski-mite/ 

2. Slow release: The slow release option is a great preventative measure during the seasons where red spider mites, thrives and white fly are problematic. With this option you hang a ‘nest’ of swirski mites up in the area you want them to appear and they slowly make their way out the packaging and onto the nearby plants. 

https://www.koppert.co.za/swirski-mite-plus/ 

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