Thrips Pest Solution: Amblyseius cucumeris

Amblyseius Description

Amblyseius (Pronounced: AM-BLI-SAY-US) are small very active predatory mites, about 1mm long, pale brown in colour with slightly flattened pear shaped bodies, their eggs are white.

Amblyseius are used to control thrips by growers in commercial horticulture.

Amblyseius cucumeris Life Cycle

Amblyseius adults produce several eggs a day and are quite long lived. Both the adults and young mites eat thrips and may also eat young spider mites.

Amblyseius cucumeris Usage

  • Amblyseius requires a temperature of 18°C (64°F).
  • Amblyseius should be introduced to the greenhouse/conservatory on the day of receipt.
  • Amblyseius are sensitive to long hot dry spells, so damping down or misting can help at these times.
  • Amblyseius sachets should not be placed in direct sunlight or near to heating pipes.
  • Like all Defenders biological controls, Amblyseius is harmless to children, pets and wildlife and will not become a pest in its own right.

Thrips Control Products

Pest Problems Explained – THRIPS (Thunder Flies)

Thrip Description

Small, slender insects about 2-3mm long when fully grown. The adults have two pairs of narrow wings fringed with long hairs, the wings are held along the back when at rest.

Colours range from pale yellow to black, dependant on species.

Thrip Damage

Thrips feed on cell sap by piercing the leaf or flower bud with their mouthparts. These tissues then become mottled or flecked and are subject to dehydration, in severe cases they appear to have been scorched.

When leaves or buds expand they may become distorted or torn, forming “Windows” in the tissue.

Thrips can often be found in large groups near the veins on the under-side of leaves.

Thrip Life Cycle

A single female can lay about 60 eggs throughout the summer. Eggs are laid on the underside of leaves.

The larval stage lasts for about 10-14 days, after which the larva falls to the ground to pupate beneath the soil surface.

The pupal stage lasts between 4 to 7 days.

Biological Control of Thrips

Thrips can be controlled biologically by using their natural enemies such as the predatory mite Amblyseius cucumeris and several other species.