Hotraco Agri has developed an automated Red Mite Monitoring System in collaboration with Wageningen University. This innovation, which has been given the name MiteAlert®, was presented on the first VIV exhibition day in Utrecht with great interest from the press and visitors. The unveiling was done by Iris Odink, chairwoman of the Sector Advisory Committee for Eggs at the Dutch Poultry Farmers’ Union, Hugo Bens, chairman of the layers section of LTO Netherlands and NPO and Erik Helmink, director Hotraco Agri.
MiteAlert® provides perfect insight into red mite population size
Red mites are one of the major threats to poultry in Europe. They can cause anemia and increase mortality and susceptibility to diseases in the animals. Feed efficiency, egg production, egg quality and weight decrease significantly. Rapid treatment is of vital importance in a red mite infestation, because every seven to ten days new generations of mites are introduced, causing the population to grow exponentially. If a red mite has eight eggs per litter, you will get about 250 million mites in a 12-week period. This little problem can get out of hand quickly if it is not treated in the right way and at an early stage. With Hotraco Agri’s MiteAlert® system, a poultry farmer can get and keep track of the size and development of a red mite population in the house, and determine a treatment moment on that basis. This also provides insight into the effect of a treatment on the decrease in the population.
MiteAlert®, as an important component within Integrated Pest Management
Integrated Pest Management is a sustainable method for limiting economic losses caused by pests and diseases. By having a rapid insight into the size of a red mite population and responding to it adequately, it is possible to prevent and control pests, in which pesticides (chemical, synthetic means against pests) are only used if other possibilities give insufficient results. This can reduce the number of problems related to the presence of pesticide residues and resistance development.