Adult Hypoaspis (Pronounced: HYPE-O-ASP-ISS) are soil-dwelling mites which grow up to 1mm in length, they are pale brown in colour. The younger, nymph stage is almost white.
Hypoaspis naturally inhabits the top layer of soil or compost. It is used for controlling Sciarid flies (also known as fungus gnats).
Hypoaspis Life Cycle
Egg to adult takes about 34 days at 15ºC (60ºF) and 9 days at 28ºC. Hypoaspis adults and larvae both feed on sciarid larvae, but prefer the younger stages.
They can live for several weeks without the presence of food, and therefore can be used as preventatively. Adults will remain active for 4 or 5 months with a ready food supply.
- They requires a minimum temperature of 10ºC (50ºF).
- They prefer moist conditions and temperatures between 15ºC and 30ºC.
- Hypoaspis should be used on the day of receipt.
- They can also be used to control mites on Reptiles and similar animals.
- Hypoaspis are harmless to children, pets and wildlife.
Sciarid Fly Control Products
Sciarid Fly Description
The young are small, 4-6mm long, white larvae (maggots) with black heads, these can be found in the top few millimetres of soil or compost.
Adult Sciarids are 3-4mm long, black, midge like flies that can be seen jumping or hovering over the soil surface.
They are likely to be found in the greenhouse or around houseplants where compost is moist and warm, and where algae may have developed on the soil surface.
Sciarid Fly Damage
Seedlings are nibbled off at the base of the stem or just below the soil level. Roots of cuttings are eaten away. Damaged plants may succumb to rot.
Sciarid Fly Life Cycle
Adult females lay their eggs in the surface layer of the soil, and although short-lived they can lay between 100 & 300 eggs during a week.
The eggs hatch into maggots, which will eat rotting algae, compost, seedlings and cuttings.
The whole life cycle takes about 4 weeks at 20ºC (68ºF).
Scairids can be present in the greenhouse or conservatory at any time of the year.
Biological Control of Sciarid Flies
Sciarid flies can be controlled biologically inside by using their natural enemy, the predatory mite Hypoaspis miles.