Thripex Plus is nothing to be afraid of, unless you're a pest.
Have you recently been to your local nursery looking for just the perfect flower or plant to add to your garden? Perhaps you received a hanging basket from a friend or a family member to brighten up your day. If you have in one way or another come across a potted plant you may have noticed a small pouch hanging on the plant or on a stick in the soil. Don’t panic the pouch is harmless to you, your loved ones, and your pets.
The reason for the pouch is that it has been fighting off pests that want to feed off your new plant. This pouch is more commonly known as a sachet. Inside of each paper sachet is an army of 1,000 predatory mites mixed with bran. Additionally, the sachet contains grain mites which the predatory mite feeds on before it leaves the sachet.
These predatory mites, which are the “good bugs”, are called Neoseiulus cucumeris. It is just one of many biological control solutions many growers use to limit the amount of chemical pesticide applications. The “bad bugs” that this mite seeks out and feeds on are part of a group of pests called thrips. These pests are minute black winged insects that suck plant sap and can be a serious pest of ornamental and food plants when present in large numbers. They come in many various species depending on the environment and location the plant was grown in.
The cucumeris is part of an integrated pest management (IPM) program that the grower or nursery used to defeat pests. One reason to use an IPM program is to reduce the chemical pesticides sprays that once dry may linger on the plant for days. Sometimes the chemical residue stays with the plant for long enough that a child or pet may encounter it. This encounter does not necessarily mean that there is danger but it is always best to avoid these encounters. A second reason for using biological control is that pests are building immunity against many of today’s chemicals. In these situations, growers may spray more of a specific chemical or try to use a large arsenal of many different chemicals. At the end of the day it is important to rid the plant of pests.
Neoseiulus cucumeris is produced and packaged by Koppert Biological Systems under the product name of Thripex Plus. This product not only feeds on thrips but is also effective against spider mites, another pest that causes significant damage if not controlled early enough. Thripex Plus and other biocontrol agents are the future of a more sustainable and responsible approach in ridding plants of pests.
To conclude, Thripex Plus, that sachet you found in your new plant is not dangerous to you, your loved ones, or your pets. It is there to eat “bad bugs” that may damage the plant. Most of the predatory mites by the time of arrival to your garden are dead but so are the pests. There is nothing you need to do with the sachet. Now, as for the plant you do need to plant it or find a nice spot for it and water it accordingly.
This is how Koppert Biological Systems “Partners with Nature” to contribute to better health of people and the planet. In this partnership with nature, we make agriculture and horticulture healthier, safer and more productive.
We provide an integrated system of specialist knowledge and natural, safe solutions that improves crop health, resilience and production.