The predatory mite Amblydromalus limonicus - health and environmental risks
Report no: 2020:13
It is unlikely that under Norwegian climatic conditions the predatory mite Amblydromalus limonicus can survive and become established.
Thus concludes the Scientific Committee for Food and the Environment (VKM) in a risk assessment of the species. The conclusion is uncertain due to a lack of information about the predatory mite’s tolerance to temperature.
The assessment is needed for an application for approval of the pesticide Limonica for its use in Norway. Amblydromalus limonicus is the active organism in the pesticide.
The species Amblydromalus limonicus has never been observed in Norway. The only documented occurrence of the species in the wild in Europe is in northeastern Spain.
"VKM therefore sees it as unlikely that the species can survive and establish itself in areas with cold winters and cooler summers, conditions that characterise much of the Norway in the current climate," says Anders Nilsen, Scientific Leader of the project.
The risk of proliferation from greenhouses is low, because neither wind nor other biological vectors are effective for spreading the species to viable outdoor environments.
"VKM has not found reports of damage to people from Amblydromalus limonicus,” adds Anders Nilsen. He explains that mites can generally cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals who handle plant material with a lot of mites, and there is reason to believe this applies to Amblydromalus limonicus.
The risk assessment is approved by the Panel on Plant Health and was commissioned by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority