It’s tiny, frenetic and voracious, a single gram of it can cost $600, and for years Israel has been considered its top exporter. Meet Phytoseiulus persimilis, a predatory mite, and member of the arachnida class. In the Beit She’an Valley in northern Israel, thousands of them are packed in small salt shaker-type containers or tea bag-like packets for dispatch to strawberry fields in California, clementine orchards in Spain, berry bushes in Mexico and greenhouses in Colombia and Canada where roses and cannabis are cultivated. Thanks to the superb predatory abilities of persimilis, farmers raising these crops prefer deploying it over use of chemical pesticides.
Paid by Ulpan Bayit