​​As plant feeding mites can develop resistance to pesticides, chemical control is very expensive and strict requirements are placed upon residue levels of pesticides in export commodities internationally, integrated pest control remains the only solution.

More than 300 predatory mite species are presently known from South Africa. So far five species of the family Phytoseiidae are known as potential biocontrol agents of other mites and insects to date. There is therefore, still a rich source of endemic biocontrol agents to be evaluated in future in our fight against pests in agroecosystems. However, the lack of applied scientists hampers the exploitation of local resources. This compelled growers to import predators, namely, Neoseiulus californicus, N. cucumeris and Phytoseiulus persimilis.



Euseius citri, a predatory mite
species of the Phytoseiidae

Research projects on predatory mites

  • ​Mite predators in agroecosystems
  • Taxonomic research on the following predatory mite families are being under taken:
    • Erythraeidae
    • Phytoseiidae
    • Stigmaeidae
    • Cunaxidae
    • Tydeidae
    • Iolinidae
    • Triophtydeidae

Contact: Dr Eddie Ueckermann, E-mail: ueckermanne@arc.agric.za