Hypo mix Hypoaspis aculeifer + Hypoaspis miles
Hypo mix is a combination of two soil dwelling mites - Hypoaspis miles (Stratiolaeleps scimitus), and Hypoaspis aculeifer . The predators are harmless to plants and people. It gives excellent control of fungus gnats when used preventatively, and helps to control thrips by attacking thrips pupae in the soil. For additional information on each organism, please refer to the individual organisms info sheet.
Description and biology
The main targets for Hypo mix are the eggs and larvae of fungus gnats (sciarid flies), and the pupae of western flower thrips and onion thrips. Fungus gnat larvae are generally found in the upper level of soil close to the root zone. Sciarid larvae damage plants by tunnelling into the roots and occasionally plant stems. Hypo mix can also help reduce thrips populations by feeding on pupae in the soil. This is not sufficient to control thrips on its own, but can be very important when used in conjunction with Orius tantillus and Neoseiulus cucumeris which target thrips in the plant canopy.
Suitable crops include nurseries (for propagation, bedding plants, and new pots), vegetables (capsicum, tomatoes, eggplant, cucumber), ornamentals (gerbera, orchids, begonia, chrysanthemum, rose, poinsettia, cyclamen), and herbs. It is primarily used in greenhouse production, but is also used in the field in crops such as strawberries to restore beneficial activity after soil fumigation. Hypo mix will establish in most greenhouse conditions and most growing media, including potting mixes, soil, coconut coir, rock wool and perlite. It will not tolerate flooding or water logged areas, but will not be harmed by regular watering provided the media has good air porosity. Hypo mix should be used in conjunction with Dalotia coriaria (Rove beetles) which can tolerate saturated conditions.
When to release
Best results are achieved when used preventatively (before pests are observed) or when pest populations are low. Where there is a history of thrips or fungus gnat infestations, Hypo mix should be released into each container at the time of planting and again 2 weeks later. Monitor pest levels with yellow sticky traps and release at the first sign of pests. Areas of greater infestations must be identified as soon as possible for more concentrated treatment or possible alterations to practices. If fungus gnats are already high, lower the population level with treatments of parasitic nematodes (Steinernema feltiae) and Vectobac™ as well as releasing Hypo mix. Only use toxic insecticides as a last resort if pests levels are extreme, then revert back to preventative releases of beneficials after control is obtained.
How to release
Hypo mix is packaged in a pasteurised peat and vermiculite mix and is sold by the litre. Each litre contains at least 30,000 mites of all life stages. Thoroughly mix the contents of the bag to evenly distribute the mites. Place a small amount of material into each container.
Each litre will treat 40-100m² of seedlings or cuttings at propagation, 200-300m² of bedding plants, or 400 to 600 pots (150mm) preventatively. Double release rates if fungus gnats/thrips are already present. Repeat 2 weeks later. Each new batch of seedlings will require retreatment.
In strawberries and greenhouse crops release 12.5-20 litres per hectare, depending on pest levels.
Hypo mix should be released as soon as possible on receipt. If this is not possible, Hypo mix can be stored at 8-12°C for 1-2 days.
Hypo mix is more tolerant of many pesticides than most other beneficial species provided the chemicals are not drenched through the soil media. However some, particularly pyrethroids are toxic and should be avoided. Contact us for more information on chemical compatibility.
Ordering and accounts
Orders are sent via express courier services on Monday or Tuesday of each week, and usually arrive within a couple of days. Orders received after noon on Tuesday are sent the following Monday. Prices are on a sliding scale i.e. the more that is purchased over a monthly period, the lower the price will be per unit. Freight is charged at Express parcel cost.
Accounts are sent at the end of each month, and can be paid by EFT, BPay, cheque or postal order.