Gaeolaelaps gillespiei

Gaeolaelaps gillespie predatory mite thrips

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Identification card icon Identification

The soil dwelling predatory mite Gaeolaelaps gillespiei is pear-shaped with long legs and is 1,0 mm long. Its color can vary from cream to brown. Male is thin while the famale has a larger body, thick front legs and long mouth parts. Female lay eggs into the top of soil. The eggs are oval and measure 0.5 mm and they hatch in about 2-3 days. The immature stages are usually paler almost semi-transparent. Gaeolaelaps gillespiei look very similar compared to Stratiolaelaps scimitus (Hypoaspis miles).

This predator is a native species, discovered and tested 30 years ago by Dave Gillespie of Agriculture Canada. While still not well know, it has proven very effective at controlling soil-dwelling flies. It consumes over 50% more fungus gnats (7 fungus gnats larvae per day) compared to Stratiolaelaps. Gaeolaelaps gillespiei will also feed on Thrips larvae which drop to the soil to pupate.

  • Market garden crops : cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, etc.c
  • Ornamental plants : diversified, poinsettia, etc.
  • Cannabis
  • Mushrooms
  • Plant nursery

  • Fungus gnats
  • Shore flies
  • Thrips

  • Optimum conditions are temperatures between 15 and 25 °C
  • Life cycle last approximately 18 days at 20 °C (68 °F).
  • Sex ratio is equivalent, 1 female for 1 male.
  • The eggs hatch after 2 to 3 days.
  • Each Gaeo eats 7 fungus gnats larvae per day.
  • For lack of food, it becomes a detritivore and feeds on algae and plant debris. On this diet, Gaeo will survive but they will not reproduce unless well fed.
  • Becomes inactive at 14 °C.


Bag of Gaeolaelaps gillespiei

Bag containing a mixture of adult and juvenile predatory mites in perlite/coconut fiber.


Tube of Gaeolaelaps gillespiei

Tube containing a mixture of adult and juvenile predatory mites in perlite/coconut fiber.

Sprinkle Gaeolaelaps on different type of substrates such as potting soil, coconut fiber, rock wool, etc. In indoor productions, it is known to settle well in bedding, potted plants and propagation trays. Gaeolaelaps adapts well to the various growth media and capillary mats used in plant production, but do not survive freezing or flooding conditions.

This predatory mite is very mobile and it can be found on the substrate surface and even on the first leaves of the plant; if food is lacking. To properly establish Gaeo, always introduce twice, 2-3 weeks apart. Reapply as needed if pest population increases. For best results, apply Gaeolaelaps to the soil before pest detection.

Application rate

Gaeolaelaps gillespiei
Introduction Quantity Surface Frequency Duration
Preventive 100 per m2 Repeat if necessary after 2 to 3 weeks as needed
Curative 200 per m2 Repeat if necessary after 2 to 3 weeks as needed

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    Gaeolaelaps gillespiei technical sheet

  1.   - The predatory soil mite, Gaeolaelaps gillespiei - Applied Bio-Nomics Ltd.
  2.   - Compatibility of soil-dwelling predators and microbial agents and their efficacy in controlling soil-dwelling stages of western flower thrips Frankliniella occidentalis (Biological control, 2016)

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Biological control products and beneficial insects for farmers and greenhouse growers