The objective of the project is the development of alternative food for predatory mites which helps to increase the efficiency of biological control. This alternative food should be easy to produce, should be of help to lower culture costs, and should be practically applicable.
Successfull application of predatory mites for the control of plagues in horticulture is highly dependent on the fast and stable establishment of the predator population. In periods of low prey densities this may be accomplished by offering pollen as alternative food. This approach is not yet common practice because of low availability and low keeping qualities of pollen. There is a need for the development of alternative food which can be easily produced and which can be effectively applied in horticulture.
The project will produce fundamental knowledge on the relationship between diet and survival, oviposition and development of A. swirskii, alternative food for predatory mites, and a formulation enabling application in horticulture.