Sweet pepper growers benefit from multi-target Macrolophus-System
Mar. 6, 2020
The right timing is important, explains John. “This predatory bug is extremely sensitive to chemical crop protection products, so it is important to take spray residues into account. Growers should not introduce Macrolophus-System too soon after the start of the growing season, or too late - as they need time to build up a population: between week 7 and week 15 is ideal.”
The use of a supplementary food source is a must for the healthy build-up of the Macrolophus-System. “We advise adding Nutrimac™ with the introduction of the bugs,” says John. “Nutrimac™ consists of sterilised, protein-rich Ephestia eggs. Another option is Nutrimac™-Plus which in addition contains Artemia - brine shrimp cysts. Later in the growing season, most growers switch to 100% Artemia to ensure conditions are ideal for Macrolophus to succeed. The supplement may be applied in feeding rows by scattering or blowing.”
Once the Macrolophus population is well established, sweet pepper growers can reap the benefits throughout the entire season. John van Eijk says: “In the summer, we sometimes see several predatory bugs on a single flower. Whitefly, aphids, moth eggs (from caterpillars), spider mites, thrips – Macrolophus gobbles them all up making it an excellent addition to your biological pest control programme.”
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