This is one of the older Biological Controls, but still one of the best. It replaced A. barkeri about 20 years ago as the better compromise. Although not as effective on thrips as barkeri, cucumeris was chosen because it does not interfere with other Beneficials, most notably, P. persimilis.
On a cost basis, there is no other thrips predator that even comes close. A. cucumeris prefers to feed on first instar thrips larvae. They can sense the thrips emerging from the leaf tissue and wait to bite the heads off the emerging thrips. They can also eat second instar larvae. Like many of its’ cousins, cucumeris is a true generalist, capable of providing preventative control against the 2-Spotted Spider Mite, and still an effective Biocontrol for the Broad and Straw Mites. Cucumeris also eats whitefly eggs and can survive on wind-blown pollen.
We sell cucumeris in three packages:
- Slow Release packet: this small packet is designed to hang in the crop. It has a balanced population of A. cucumeris and the food mite Tyrophagus. When protected from sunlight and excessive moisture, the packet will release cucumeris every day for up to 6 weeks, usually yielding about 5,000 cucumeris. This product was originally developed in England for use in the Hybrid Cucumbers because they do not produce pollen. It is important to remove these bags after 6 weeks as there is a chance that the food mite may persist, potentially causing damage to susceptible flowers.
- 1,000 packet: this product is the same formulation as the tube and was created for hobbyists who could not justify the 1 liter tube.
- Bulk sizes:
Our cucumeris is re-cultured and packaged immediately prior to shipping, thus ensuring a healthy logarithmic culture with a balanced sex ratio. If this product cannot be used immediately upon receipt, it should be laid upon its’ side and kept in a cool, dark place. Any storage beyond a few days will result in an impaired culture, although mite counts will be acceptable for up to 2 weeks.