Mites can be a challenging problem for greenhouse growers to solve, and can cause a myriad of damage as they feed on plant tissues. But there are ways to for growers to deal with mites and keep their profits up. Below, Carlos E. Bográn, Ph.D, a technical manager at OHP, explains how miticides can help a grower combat mites in the greenhouse.
Greenhouse Management: What types of mites affect ornamental greenhouse growers? How do they affect the crops?
Carlos E. Bográn: There are several groups of mite pests in ornamental crop production: the spider mites, the most economically important, the false spider mites, the gall and rust mites, the broad mites and the acarid mites. They injure and damage crops by feeding on plant tissues, causing stunting, discoloration and leaf-drop, growth deformities, galling and reducing the aesthetic value of plants.
GM: What are some of the most commonly used preventative and treatment options for mites?
CB: The management of mite pests requires an integrated approach, including sanitation, early detection and constant monitoring of populations, environmental controls to avoid outbreak- favorable conditions, and the use of miticides and predatory/beneficial mites.
GM: What are some of the biggest challenges of mite control?
CB: Mites are very small in size — hard to see with the naked eye — and thrive in parts of the plants that are hard to reach with typical spray programs. Small populations often go unnoticed until favorable conditions lead to pest outbreaks and significant crop damage.
Due to their small size and quick reproduction, applications against mites require almost-perfect spray coverage in order to expose the mites to the miticides. When populations are moderate to low, even 50 percent coverage may be enough to keep them at bay. But when conditions are favorable, poor coverage can lead to pest resurgence and control failures.
GM: Tell me about OHP’s miticide options.
CB: We are fortunate to offer a complete portfolio of miticides for ornamental production targeting all mite pests and all stages of the mite life-cycle. Our portfolio includes both spider mite-selective and broad spectrum miticides such as Applause (controls eggs and early immatures), Floramite (controls immatures and adults), Shuttle O (controls all life-stages and may be used on vegetables), Sirocco (controls all pest- mite groups) and Triact 70 (botanical oil with no resistance development risk). Our selective miticides may be used in conjunction with predatory mites and other beneficial insects and as part of integrated pest management strategies.
GM: How does OHP differentiate itself from other companies in the market?
CB: What sets OHP apart, in addition to offering a complete portfolio of effective miticides, is the technical support behind the products and our focus on partnering with growers to develop real time solutions. Our goal is to help growers be successful by bringing the best technologies and most relevant expertise to the greenhouse and nursery industry. More information on our history, vision and products may be found at ohp.com