Predatory mites to control coconut mite damage
Coconut mite (Aceria guerreronis) is a pest that damages coconuts. The adult coconut mite is very small, measuring 255 and 52 micrometers in length and width, respectively. We cannot see it with the naked eye and live in groups that look like silver spots. A 10x (10 power) lens is required for normal eye observation.
Coconut mite damage
Coconut mites complete the life cycle in 7-10 days in four stages, mainly adult, two larval stages and an egg stage. Growing in such a short period of time causes the mite population to spread rapidly. Mites feed by piercing the surface tissue of the coconut and sucking the sap.
Coconut mites – Aceria guerreronis
The release of predatory mites into the field is recommended for biological control of coconut mites. This predatory mite species of “Neocylus barakai”, is mass-multiplied at a specialized breeding center and released to growers for release into damaged trees.
Predatory mites – Neocylus barakai
While coconut mites are not completely destroyed by predatory mites, coconut mites can be expected to minimize damage to the crop by sucking the juice from the fruit.
How to apply predatory mites to trees.
- Recommends the release of predatory mites during the period from February to October.
- One month after application of Sulfur-Palm-Oil mixture for severely damaged crops, better results can be
obtained by applying predatory mites.
- Predatory mites are multiplied in small polypropylene packets and released to growers.
- Fold the packet into four and cut one end and place it between the small twigs of the damaged coconut tree so that the material does not disperse inside.
- The assistance of a climber should be sought to retain predatory mite packets. In addition, predatory mite packets can be retained using a long stick.
- Pest predatory mite packets for damage management should be kept in the damaged trees once in 3 months after the first application.
- When applying predatory mites to control mite damage in coconut lands, further instructions and obtaining Predatory Mite Packets can be obtained by notifying the Coconut Development Officer or Regional Manager in the area.