ATTRA's exhaustive "Pest Management Technical Note" on. Furthermore, consider releasing biological control agents such as Neoseilus (=Amblyseius) cucumeris, Amblyseius swirskii, or the minute pirate bug, Orius insidiosus. However, western flower thrips is regarded to be a 'pesticide-induced problem', having developed resistance to pesticides from different chemical classes. Winged adults are weak fliers but may be carried on air currents and employee's clothing. W… Different crops have different susceptibilities. Tospovirus symptoms often mimic symptoms caused by other problems such as nutrient deficiencies. If thrips feed within developing buds, the damaged cells fail to grow as the leaf or flower expands, resulting in deformed leaves or flowers. Vitax Plant Guard Pest & Disease Control, Bug Clear for Fruit and Veg) can give good control of thrips. In Massachusetts greenhouses, WFT can be found year-round whenever temperatures are favorable for their development and plants, including weeds are available for food. Lyon S. 2002. Read on for some practical and effective suggestions to manage these destructive pests. If there is a very big thrips problem in your area, some plants have resistant varieties. To accelerate the development of WFT pupae in the soil, and eliminate the emerging adults, close greenhouse vents and keep the house heated and empty for a week or more between crops. Record thrips counts on cards and correlate this information to the damage you see on your crops. This will kill thrips on outdoor weeds and prevent them from entering the greenhouse to search for new hosts when weeds are mowed. Control of western flower thrips is extremely difficult due to several biological characteristics of this species. Adult WFT are about 1/16th of an inch long, and are long and narrow shaped, like grass seed. Flowers and plant tips can be shaken over a piece of paper for additional monitoring. It is important to understand that the biological control agents do not feed on all life stages (larvae, pupae and adults) of the Western flower thrips. Biological control organisms currently under investigation include: Use of biological control methods should only be implemented as part of a well-planned IPM program. Consider treating only if populations reach 10 thrips per blossom (UC-Davis). Release Orius late in the day when the louvers are closed and thrips are active. First and foremost, to effectively manage WFT, it is critical to develop a scouting program, which combines the use of yellow or blue sticky cards to monitor adult population trends, and visual inspection of crops to assess infestation levels of the nymphal stages. This is vital to the development of an effective and “sustainable” WFT management program. Place the cards just above the crop canopy in an even pattern throughout the entire greenhouse. Western flower thrips has a punching-sucking feeding habit, using the mandible to punch a hole into the host and then inserting the maxillae into the opening. Growers sometimes ask about adding sugar to their tank mix to improve the effectiveness of the insecticide. 1998. Also, be sure to develop rotation programs that involve pest control materials with different modes of action (refer to Table 1). Of the ten known types of tospoviruses, only two-TSWV and INSV-infect ornamental plants, but both infect over 600 species of ornamental plants. How to Kill Thrips. Early in the cropping cycle, and when plants are primarily in the vegetable stage, try to avoid using the “big guns” or those pest control materials with specific modes of action. Once you start seeing an increase in numbers on the sticky cards, which may be above your established threshold (e.g., 10 to 20 adult WFT per sticky card per week), then you may need to use a different set of pest control materials including abamectin, acephate, methiocarb, spinosad, chlorfenapyr and/or pyridalyl to ‘knock down’ populations. Biological control of western flower thrips, in general, can be very difficult or more challenging than using insecticides. The vigour of the plant is reduced by loss of chlorophyll. The eggs of WFT are well protected and in general, pesticide sprays are ineffective against them. • Use biological control agents such as predatory mites, predatory bugs, and possibly beneficial nematodes WFT exhibit thigmotactic behavior, which means the body is in constant contact with a surface. Ornamental pepper plants have been used  in spring crops as banker plants at a rate of one plant per 1,000 sq. A successful WFT management program does not require “eradication” of the pest, but instead maintaining WFT populations at levels such that no “major” damage is noticeable. A 10 or 20x hand lens will help to distinguish adult thrips from pieces of peat moss or other debris. Biological control of western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis with Orius species in eggplant greenhouses in Turkey 470 Although the thrips number per leaf in 6 O. laevigatus-released plots was statistically different from the other plots after 7th of April, it was above the economical threshold (p<0.05) (Table 1). WFT are small (about 2.0 mm long) insects with piercing-sucking mouthparts. Western flower thrips (WFT), Frankliniella occidentalis, is still one of the most destructive insect pests of commercial greenhouses feeding on a wide variety of horticultural crops. If soil is present under greenhouse benches, treat the soil with a pesticide to eliminate the developmental stages of WFT. Treatments should stop when numbers of thrips have declined to an acceptable level. WFT may also pupate in the open flowers of certain plants with complex floral architectures, such as chrysanthemum. Identifying the species of thrips may reveal that it is harmless in certain situations and no control action is needed. An adult female can live 2-5 weeks (sometimes more, depending on temperatures) and will lay 40-100 eggs on the plants in their lifetimes. The maxillae then ingest the fluids from the cells, but not directly from the vascular tissue. Once WFT populations reach “high” levels, then growers rely on pest control materials, and more frequent applications (at three- to six-day intervals) may be required; however, this may promote the onset of resistance. Remove "pet" plants and avoid keeping leftovers such as holiday cacti and cyclamen. Continue to monitor WFT population levels to determine if additional pesticide applications are necessary. Keeping records over time will provide information on what direction the population is changing and at what rate. Stack New England Greenhouse Floriculture Guide, A Management Guide for Insects, Diseases, Weeds and Growth Regulators. Read on for some practical and effective suggestions to manage these destructive pests. Pirate bugs are released onto ornamental pepper plants that are in flower which serve as a banker plant attracting the thrips and harboring the predators. Most currently available pest control materials only directly kill the nymphs or adult, with no activity on either the egg or pupae stages because these stages are typically located in the leaf or growing medium; thus escaping exposure from applications of pest control materials. Tospovirus infections may be systemic (i.e., virus symptoms occur throughout the plant) or non-systemic (i.e., the virus symptoms are confined to a specific part of the plant). TSWV is a problem mostly on vegetable plants such as tomatoes and peppers, while INSV is the predominant tospovirus found in ornamentals. Overlapping generations of thrips within a greenhouse may result in continuous virus transmission. Western Flower Thrips in Greenhouses: A Review of Its Biological Control and Other Methods. Sprays applied to control thrips disrupt biological control of other pests such as twospotted spider mites, lygus bugs, whiteflies, and other insects. The first larval stage lasts one to two days and second larval stage, two to four days. The western flower thrips were originally from the western US, but began to spread in the 1960s and are now a global pest. Small droplet sizes are best because they penetrate better into the protected areas of the plant where the thrips are found and can provide better control if coverage is thorough. 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