Ambylseius cucumeris is a predatory mite that feeds on immature thrips, broad mites, russet mites, and spider mite eggs. Adults are pear-shaped, tan in color, and less than 0.5mm long. Eggs are round, transparent, and 0.14mm in diameter.
A. cucumeris prefers to feed on first instar thrips larvae but will also feed on second instars. Being a generalist, it is also capable of feeding on other mites such as broad mites, the eggs of two-spotted spider mites, and pollen in the absence of prey. It works well on low to moderate infestations of thrips and as a preventative measure but should be used with other thrips predators such as Orius, or A. swirskii for improved control of serious infestations. Apply with Stratiolaelaps scimitus (formerly called Hypoaspis miles) to control thrips pupae in the growth media.
A complete life cycle takes 10-12 days at 68°F (20°C ). Optimum conditions are 68-77°F (20-25°C) with a relative humidity of 66-70%. A. cucumeris populations typically have somewhat more females than males (64% females).
25-40 mites per sq ft depending on pest severity. If dealing with broad or russet mites, 60 per sq ft.
If using sachets it is recommended to use 1 sachet per 6-8 sq ft or 1-2 per plant as needed. In balanced humidity and out of direct sunlight sachets will have continuous emergence for up to 5 weeks
Sachets: Make sure the crop and floor are dry when applying to avoid moisture entering the sachet packaging. Do not hang adjacent to heating pipes or where exposed to direct sunlight. Mites emerge for 3-6 weeks.
Loose on vermiculite: Do not expose to direct sunlight or allow to overheat at any time. Immediately before opening, gently rotate the container to distribute mites evenly throughout the carrier material. Continue rotating during application, keeping material mixed.
Use within 18 hours of receipt.
Keep out of direct sunlight.
Do not refrigerate.
For loose material, keep horizontal until use.
Transport and store at 50-59° F and at >65% humidity.