Cucumeris, also known as Neoseiulus cucumeris or predatory mites, are often considered "superheroes for your plant" because they are beneficial insects that can help control pests in gardens, greenhouses, and other growing environments.
Cucumeris feed on small, soft-bodied pests such as thrips, spider mites, and whiteflies, which can cause significant damage to plants. By consuming these pests, cucumeris can help prevent plant damage and reduce the need for chemical pesticides.
In addition to their pest control abilities, cucumeris are also easy to use and relatively inexpensive compared to other methods of pest control. They can be introduced into growing environments in small sachets or bottles and will reproduce on their own as long as there is a sufficient supply of prey.
What are cucumeris used for?
Cucumeris are specialized predators that primarily target thrips. Thrips are one of their preferred prey species, and they are particularly effective at controlling thrips populations in growing environments.
Cucumeris use their sharp mouthparts to puncture and feed on the body fluids of their prey, causing them to die from dehydration and organ failure. They are also known to feed on the eggs and larvae of these pests, which helps to reduce their populations even further.
In addition to their effectiveness against thrips, cucumeris can also help control other pest species such as broad mites, spider mites, russet mites, and cyclamen mites. They are a natural and effective solution for pest control that can help reduce the need for chemical pesticides and promote healthier plants.
It's worth noting that while cucumeris are highly specialized predators, they may also consume other small arthropods such as springtails and aphids if their preferred prey is not available. However, their main target and highest efficiency are against thrips.
Should I open the sachet?
No, you should not open the cucumeris sachet and sprinkle the mites around the base of your plant. The sachet is designed to release the mites gradually over time, which helps ensure that they establish themselves in your growing environment and effectively control pest populations. Opening the sachet interrupts this process.
Instead, you should hang the sachet directly on the plant or place it near the infested area. The mites will then emerge from the sachet and disperse throughout the plant and surrounding area to search for prey.
It's also important to note that cucumeris require certain environmental conditions to thrive, such as high humidity and temperatures between 20-30°C (68-86°F). They will die at lower humidity levels and higher temperatures, so try to place them so they are sheltered by the leaves and close-ish to the base of the stalk.
Make sure to follow the instructions that you receive from IncrediGrow and create a suitable environment for the mites to establish themselves and control pest populations effectively.
How do I know if the sachets are still alive?
If you have recently purchased cucumeris sachets, you can assume that they are alive when you receive them as we keep them in a humidity-controlled environment. However, if you have had the sachets for a while and are unsure if the mites are still alive, there are a few things you can do to check:
Look for movement: Check the sachet for movement. If you can see mites crawling around the sachet, it's a good sign that they are still alive. Please be aware that cucumeris are smaller than the period at the end of this sentence and you will need to look VERY closely.
Check for moisture: Cucumeris require a humid environment to survive. If the sachet feels dry, the mites may not be alive. However, if the sachet feels damp or moist, this may indicate that the mites are still alive.
Contact the supplier: If you are still unsure if the mites are alive, contact the supplier or manufacturer for advice. They may be able to provide additional guidance on how to check if the mites are alive and what to do if they are not.
Even if you don't see any signs of life in your cucumeris sachet, it is possible that there are still mites inside, especially if the sachet is relatively new. Cucumeris reproduce quickly and can lay many eggs in a short amount of time, which can be difficult to see with the naked eye. If you have sachets to spare, you can rip one open and view the bran material under a low-powered microscope. It is likely you will see eggs.
In fact, cucumeris sachets are designed to contain both adult mites and eggs, which can ensure a steady supply of mites for pest control. The eggs will hatch into juvenile mites, which will then mature into adult mites and continue the reproductive cycle.
If you're not sure whether or not your cucumeris sachet is still alive, hang it anyway. The sachets are supposed to work for four weeks, but from experience they will continue reproducing for up to two months, especially if kept in a warm environment with a humidity over 60%.