Agricura PVT Limited, the farmers best friend presents a technical dose for the day!

Topic: Red Spider Mites!

Red Spider Mites (Tetranychus spp) are a major pest in tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicon, formerly lycopersicon esculuntum) they can ruin the tomato plant to the greatest extent, they colonise mainly the underside of the leaves and suck plant juices severely. Tiny arachnids , spider mites are in the same family as spiders and ticks and are one of the major pest problems of tomato plants.

Spider Mites is a particularly difficult pest to eradicate as it readily develops tolerance to chemical controll and therefore generally requires several applications of chemicals belonging to different groups of chemistry in order to get rid of all stages of the life cycle ( mites, eggs, nymphs).

There are various controll options for Red Spider Mites such as the use of predatory mites as biological control, also the use of natural predators such as lacewings and ladybugs, sanity issues in terms of keeping plants healthy and areas around the plants must be kept free from debris and dust.

There are several chemicals that can be used to controll Red spider mites , such as Monocrotophos (banned product), Tetradifon which is good for eggs, sterilising the female red spider and the larval stage, the popular Abamectin 1.8 EC, Profenophos, Dicofol 18.5 EC and Mitac 20EC.

Red Spider Mites are so quick to develop tolerance to insecticides especially if the same insecticide is used time and again hence the need to use several insecticides belonging to different chemical groups, in terms of different active ingredients, since Abamectin 1.8EC is already a popular product, there is also the need to consider more acaricides to the insecticide basket that farmers already have in as much as Red Spider Mites are concerned and today we shall look at two more products namely Dicofol 18.5 EC and Mitac 20EC.

Dicofol belongs to the chemical group organochlorine, the active ingredient is dicofol about 18.5 % emulsifiable concentrate, this is a highly effective contact accaricide for the controll of Red spider mites, red mites, flat mites and grey mites, this chemical have a long residual effect and is of low toxicity to beneficial insects such as pollinating insects. The product can be used in Citrus as well. Dilution is generally 22 mls per 10 litres of water. The chemical is compatible with other chemicals. Waiting period before harvesting for all crops is 7 days.

Amitraz or Mitac 20, the active ingredient is amitraz, it belongs to the chemical group Amidine, as highlighted above dicofol is an organochlorine, mitac is an amidine, so these two accaricides belong to different chemical groups and they have different active ingredients. Mitac 20 is a translaminar accaricide which is effective against ALL STAGES of Red Spider Mites, in tomatoes, cotton, chrysanthemums, and its relatively non toxic to beneficial insects, application rate as per label is about 1.5 litres per hectare, applicable as a full cover spray, Pre-harvest interval is about 3 days.


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