In our greenhouses the Areca palm grows under its natural conditions: tropical temperatures! A palm is prone to the spider mite, which can be tackled in different ways. By chemical control or by biological agents, also called natural enemies. Our company has consciously chosen to use to use natural enemies of the spider mite.
A piece of history:
Because of the wide assortment we grow and the large area of our greenhouses, the plague and the overall burden of disease are always reasonably high. That is why more than ten years ago we started working on a small scale with natural enemies on the Areca palm to gain experience. All this went well! By working systematically and scouting every week, unpleasant surprises during cultivation were prevented and we rolled out the strategy very quickly to other crops in our greenhouses. Even our supplier of chemical control products called us to ask what was going on. We cut down a lot on chemical control!
The production of natural enemies
The company ‘Koppert Biological’ specializes in the propagation of natural enemies. Koppert wants to make crops resistant in collaboration with nature. Nature is a fascinating world, which works circularly and has a solution for everything. Koppert works on the economic application of the solutions that nature has to offer.
There are different packages of Biological control products. The natural enemies against spider come in a bottle. The contents of these bottles can be put a can with holes on the side. This bus turns around, and the animals fall down through these holes. In order not to concentrate everything in one place, the animals are blown a bit further away the use of a fan. As a result, they end up scattered around the greenhouse (see video).
The natural enemies immediately start to work. They don’t take weekends off, so the spider is controlled 24/7. This video clearly shows how the spider mites are attacked. This goes on until the crops are spider mite free and there is nothing left to feed on. It requires a lot of knowledge (there are always new developments is this field of work) and patience to see if the natural enemies are effective. There is still a lot to discover, but it works for us. We now have preventive biological control by continuously expanding biological control in the crops so we can stop using chemical control.
By working with natural enemies you keep a healthy and vital crop and with this our company contributes to a more sustainable world.