This project was focussed on the establishment of predatory mites that are used for the control of spider mites and western flower thrips in carnation and potted plants. The waxy layer on carnation leaves seem to hamper predatory mites, as oviposition rates were much lower on carnation leaves than on sweet pepper leaves. A greenhouse trial showed the potential of using a mulch with bark, bran and yeast to maintain populations of prey mites for 11 weeks. However, this did not enhance the establishment of predatory mites in the crop. Several species of predatory mites were released in Chamaedorae with low densities of spider mites, but none of them established for more than 2 weeks. Therefor a new method was developed to establish populations of Phytoseiulus persimilis by adding every 3 days dead stages of spider mites as an additional food source. This resulted in a significant better control of spider mites compared to treatments without this additional food source. More research is needed to further develop this method and to explore the potential for practical application.
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