Industry representative: Marion Regan, Hugh Lowe Farms Ltd
HDC project cost: £74,863
Predatory mites are widely used in soft fruit production to control a range of damaging pests, such as spider mites and thrips. For success the range of pesticides used in the crop need to be carefully chosen to allow survival of sufficient predators. However, some of the most successful pesticides recommended for use against Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) include the synthetic pyrethroids, and predatory mites are not resistant to these compounds, so their use to control SWD is likely to disrupt biocontrol of other pests.
If predatory mites could be selected for resistance to synthetic pyrethroids their use could be integrated into the programme for control of SWD.
The other main chemical control for SWD is spinosad. Spinosad is generally regarded as less toxic to predatory mites, but it is essential to verify this before SWD control starts, and to develop resistant strains if necessary.
This project aims therefore to identify suitable predatory mite species, with respect to their prey range, and to develop resistant populations suitable for bio control.
Aims and objectives:
(b) To select this population for resistance to regimes of lambda cyhalothrin or spinosad
(c) To ensure the fitness and durability of resistance of this population