In June, red spider mites will be a serious problem where preventive releases have not been carried out.
Koppert España is a pioneer in the introduction of biological control in citrus fruits. With head offices in Almeria, it offers natural enemies that effectively control the main pests and therefore, avoid the residue caused by agrichemical treatments. Juan Miguel Rodríguez, Citrus Manager at Koppert España took the time to explain this to Fruit Today magazine.
What are Koppert’s most important challenges for the current citrus fruit campaign?
In the first place, we must report the excellent results we have obtained for biological control of pests in citrus fruits. In the second place, we must continue working hard to develop new biological solutions.
What is the correct time to release natural enemies for biological control in citrus fruits?
Biological control does not have an immediate effect. The natural enemies must be released sometime before the pests start to appear.
What products does Koppert offer for biological control in citrus fruits?
The most important one is Spical UltiMite, which offers excellent results against red spider mites. Koppert’s advantage is that the sachet format of Spical UltiMite is unique on the market, because it is water and sun resistant. Inside the sachet, we manage to maintain a high level of humidity and thanks to this, the predator mites feed and reproduce in ideal conditions. The end result is that more mites are produced over a longer period than any other sachet on the market. We also have Aphytis, a parasitic wasp that effectively acts against Californian red scale, oleander scale and other scale insects. And Citripar against cochineal, with a package that is very easy to hang on the branches.
Therefore, you can confirm that biological control is an effective alternative to chemical treatments in citrus fruits?
Without any doubt. We have an effective protocol for controlling red spider mites using the Neoseiulus californicus mite. The introduction of this predator in the new sachet format of Spical UltiMite has been the keystone of the success in the control of this important pest, managing to reduce and at times, eliminate chemical treatments.