May. 11, 2021
From day one, Spidex from Koppert Biological Systems has formed the foundation of biological spider mite control. Over time, Spidex has grown to become one of the company’s most important products. After many years of research and fine-tuning, Spidex is now available in a new formulation that is even more effective at combating spider mites: Spidex Vital. KAS Magazine spoke to a producer, distributor, and grower about their experiences with this new product.
Arno van der Zwan - Koppert Account Manager
Arno van der Zwan, account manager at Koppert, is proud of Spidex Vital. He tells KAS Magazine that the company has improved its best-selling product to be able to offer growers a product that is even more effective. ‘This new formulation contains predatory mites in a wider range of development stages which makes it effective for longer. This leads to significantly better results among spider mite infestations.’
Spidex forms the foundation of Koppert Biological Systems. It all started 53 years ago, when the company’s founder Jan Koppert conducted research into the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis. ‘If you consider the product from a market perspective, you wouldn’t think that this is a product innovation,’ says Van der Zwan. ‘But it most certainly is. By improving the production process of Spidex Vital, we have brought a product onto the market that is energetic from the very start. Spidex Vital predatory mites are born spider mite fighters. The success lies in their speed.’
Spidex Vital offers improved hotspot control, improved egg-laying capacity, and proof of predation. The improved formulation ensures that our predatory mites have an energetic start and are better able to travel larger distances, Van der Zwan explains. ‘The product contains mites at various stages of life: eggs, larvae, nymphs, and adults. When applied in hotspots, the growing nymphs are followed up by adults and the Spidex eggs will hatch amidst an appropriate food source.’
Another benefit of an energetic start, Van de Zwan tells KAS Magazine, is that the Phytoseiulus females already have enough energy to develop their eggs and can immediately start laying eggs after release. ‘This is a huge advantage in terms of control and efficacy. Before, they had to search for food in the field first before they could develop their eggs. But that’s now a thing of the past.’
Proof of predation
The characteristic red-orange colour of Spidex mites is due to the pigments in spider mites. Spidex Vital mites are white but after eating spider mites, the colours are absorbed, causing them to change colour. Van der Zwan continues, ‘This is clear proof of predation: growers can be sure that spider mites are being eaten by the predatory mites.’
Koppert is constantly working on improving its production process, so that quality and delivery security can be guaranteed. ‘We will continue to develop further. This is a great first step for Spidex Vital,’ the account manager concludes.
This article is written by KAS Magazine