The project C-IPM Eranet (EU): Control of mites in berries, soft fruits and woody ornamentals focusses on biological control of mites in soft fruit and ornamental plants. In cooperation with other EU countries (België, Spanje, Zwitzerland) Wageningen Plant Research works on the biological control of the blackberry mite.
Blackberry mite Acalitus essigi causes red-berry disease in blackberries. Infested fruits ripen unevenly with affected drupelets becoming hard, inedible and bright red. These fruits are unmarketable.
In this project we aim at identification of potentially suitable predatory mites, evaluation of these mites in laboratory and field tests and developing methods to support permanent presence of predatory mites in the crop.