Traditional Californicus Horticulture recommendations:
Californicus are tiny (0.5mm long), pear-shaped and tan in color. Males are much smaller and darker in color (dark brown) than females. There are usually slightly more females in Californicus populations.
Available in one liter containers of 25,000.
Use in Biological Control
Californicus is a general predatory mite that primarily attacks spider mites, but will also feed on many other leaf inhabiting mites (even some microscopic species), other small insects and pollen. While Californicus is mainly used in greenhouse crops, it may also be used in the field.
Californicus is tolerant of various temperatures and low humidity, but works best under warm to hot conditions. It tolerates higher temperatures and lower humidity than Persimilis. When pests are low, Californicus will feed on pollen which keeps predatory populations around your crop. While some predators will actively seek out new prey in the absence of food, most will stay on the crop and wait for the arrival of new pests.
Californicus is a generalist mite and should be used on its own. When no food is available it may feed on other beneficial mites eggs, so is not recommended to use in conjunction with others. As a generalist, it has had an impact on eriophyid mites that we have seen, but control is a question mark at this point.
Females will lay about 60 eggs over a lifetime, at the rate of about 2-3 per day. The eggs are oval and pearly white in color, and laid on the underside of leaves where spider mite populations are high. The eggs hatch after 1-2 days, where they will pass through a 6 legged larval and two different 8 legged nymphal stages before adulthood. Depending on temperature, the cycle from egg to adult is roughly 4-10 days, and then another 20 days as an adult.
For Best Results
Keep containers horizontal and cool until use.
Do not expose to direct sunlight at any time.
Immediately before opening, gently rotate the container to distribute mites evenly throughout the carrier.
Open each container in the crop when ready to use.
Sprinkle the mixture onto the leaves of the crop, applying more into and around developing spider mite colonies.
Introduce Amblyseius californicus at 0.5 mites/1ft² as one or more applications.
Increase application to 2.5 mites/1ft in hot spots.
Keep out of direct sunlight.
Transport and store at 50-59°F and >65% humidity.
Use within 18 hours of receipt.
Californicus works best when used preventatively, or when spider mites are first noticed on the crop. Best results are seen when Californicus is allowed to build up before the spider mite populations are able to establish themselves.
Apply 5 - 15 per 10 square feet
The predators should be distributed evenly throughout the crop on the foliage, with higher concentrations at the end of row and in warmer areas that are prone to spider mites. They should be released as soon as possible after receipt.
Avoid releases in temperatures below 45° F. or above 85° F and during dry windy conditions. It is extremely important to release predators as soon as pest mites appear in the crop.