It is still the benchmark, the one pest control product that everyone else in the field automatically uses to compare other natural enemies, old or new. And there is still no reason for that to change. The generalistic predatory mite Amblyseius swirskii has brought growers around the world huge success.
‘The fact that Swirskii is so popular should not surprise you,’ says Tim Bossinga. The Product Manager has taken his time to point out what the power of Swirskii actually is. ‘The predatory mite is extremely effective and resistant to high temperatures. It makes short work of thrips and whitefly and also tackles spider mite and tarsonemid mite.’ In comparative research in the Netherlands and other countries, Amblyseius swirskii was, and continues to be number 1 in terms of effectivity.
Versatile and reliable
Amblyseius swirskii is not only an extremely effective glutton, it can also be used in many crops and under a great variety of circumstances. In the first instance, it can be used in large fruiting vegetable crops such as bell peppers, cucumber, aubergine, courgette and melon. Swirkii also proves its effectivity in soft fruit crops such as strawberry, raspberry and blackberry, as well as cutflowers and pot plants. ‘The predatory mite can also be introduced in a variety of circumstances. Think of factors such as humidity, day length and temperature range that play a role in determining whether a biocontrol agent is effective to a larger or lesser degree. We conduct a great deal of research into this mite’s use under all kinds of circumstances. In fact, this is how Swirskii is viewed by the market: as a natural enemy that does its work reliably in all kinds of situations. For growers on their farms, this is one less thing to worry about.’
Last but not least, more than two years ago now, Koppert introduced Swirski Ulti-Mite – a sachet with greater resistance to weather conditions such as moisture and drought in outdoor cultivation (although equally effective in greenhouses and tunnels), and which once again boosted the popularity of the predatory mite. The fact that the sachet is compostable is a further advantage for users. After use, you can clear away the sachets with the crop.
The robust basis
Koppert now sees attractive opportunities and markets in South America, Asia, and Africa. ‘Swirskii is versatile and reliable, which often makes it an extremely robust basis within integrated plant protection. This is certainly true for growers taking their first steps in biological plant protection. You could say that everything starts with Swirskii.’