Flower-feeding thrips are routinely attracted to bright floral colors, especially white, blue, and yellow, and will land and attempt to feed. Companies that manufacture test kits available for on-site testing. Larvae rese… (Release rate: 10 mites per square foot). During feeding, saliva is injected into the plant cell and the contents withdrawn. Try to eradicate the vectors (thrips), especially if they are carrying tomato spotted wilt virus; you may have to close your greenhouse. However, it is important to note that any WFT Note that it has been reported that populations of WFT have shown resistance to Conserve®. Thrips will move on air currents. Only the two larval instars of WFT can acquire the virus. Almost all greenhouse crops are susceptible except for poinsettias and roses. Pesticides labeled for greenhouse use against WFT are listed in Table 1. However, development time from egg to adult is host and temperature dependent, with the optimum range between 79 to 84° F. Under these temperatures, the life cycle from egg to adult may be completed in nine to 13 days resulting in multiple generations occurring during a single cropping cycle. 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. However, the virus is systemic in fava bean plants and once infected, plants should be discarded immediately so as to not serve as a source of infection. Control of western flower thrips is extremely difficult due to several biological characteristics of this species. Eggs are inserted in leaves, bracts, and petals and hatch in about a week into larvae, which feed in flower buds or terminal foliage. Other agents show promise as biological pest control, including the fungus Metarhizium anisopliae, and the mirid Dicyphus hesperus. The Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC) is an organization of chemical companies and researchers that has classified insecticides and miticides into different modes of action groups. Van Driesche R.G., K.M. Western flower thrips is a key pest of most floriculture crops. As with many greenhouse pests, WFTs have a fairly short time from one generation to the next so they quickly will build up tolerance to pesticides. The adults will move across the greenhouse and kill first and second instar thrips larvae and adult thrips. Flowers and leaves have a characteristic “silvery” appearance due to the influx of air after the removal of plant fluids (Figure 4). The life cycle consists of an egg stage, two nymphal stages, two pupal stages and an adult. Also, customers tend to have a higher tolerance for plant damage or are less scrutinizing than growers do. Note that Amblyseius cucumeris is available in two formulations, sachets (packets of mites and prey in bran that act as slow release systems) and bulk formulation of mites on bran. It is very similar in appearance to Amblyseius cucumeris. Keeping records over time will provide information on what direction the population is changing and at what rate. While resistance is of concern, failure of chemical control is most often due to poor timing, poor coverage or other factors and these causes should be considered before assuming resistance. In fact, two weeks before you anticipate shipping the crop, take a leisurely walk through your greenhouses and if you don’t see any noticeable crop damage and the crop looks marketable then consider not applying any pest control materials. Thrips feed by piercing plant cells with their mouthparts and sucking out their contents. Western Flower Thrips in Greenhouses: A Review of Its Biological Control and Other Methods. These individuals are today’s movers and shakers who are already setting the pace for tomorrow. Pest control materials with translaminar properties (the material penetrates and resides in leaf tissues forming a reservoir of active ingredient) may provide enough residual activity even after spray residues have dried. The bulk release formulation is more effective than sachets, however, some growers found that sachet packets provide more protection to the the mites. Hsu C. and W. Quarles 1995. The use of the mouthparts is dependent on the species of thrips. 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. Overlapping generations of thrips within a greenhouse may result in continuous virus transmission. Silvery leaf scars and specks of black feces are a good way of diagnosing the presence of WFT on plants. Be sure to remove all weeds, which are reservoirs for WFT and potential inoculum sources for the viruses transmitted by WFT. • Scout crops routinely using colored (yellow or blue) sticky cards. Record thrips counts on cards and correlate this information to the damage you see on your crops. Adults however, do not transmit the virus to their young and there is no transmission from adult to egg. • Use biological control agents such as predatory mites, predatory bugs, and possibly beneficial nematodes Winged adults then emerge from the pupal stage in one to three days, depending upon temperature. Instead, use pest control materials with broad modes of activity such as Beauveria bassiana alone, or mixed with azadirachtin, insecticidal soap, horticultural oils, or insect growth regulators such as novaluron. Reduce the spray interval to 3 days if greenhouse temperatures are higher, and increase the spray interval to 7 days when greenhouse temperatures are lower. The eggs hatch into larvae, which usually remain protected in flower buds 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. Treat with compatible pesticide to reduce populations. Adults have two sets of narrow, clear, nearly veinless wings that have dark, hairy, fringes. Greenhouse IPM for Western Flower Thrips. The following biological control program using natural enemies in combination with insecticides was tested for spring crops in commercial greenhouses in Massachusetts. Western flower thrips (WFTs) are difficult to control for several reasons. The egg stage lasts from 2-1/2 to 4 days. Also, plant propagators will have a lower tolerance threshold for thrips than finished plant growers. Some thrips are beneficial because they kill other pests to your plants, so you want some thrips on flowers. Western flower thrips can be difficult to manage for a number of reasons. 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. NATURAL ENEMIES Natural enemies include Orius, Geocoris and Nabis species and also the larvae of lacewings, but all these are general predators. Then, rotate to a third class of insecticides, and finally, return to the original material and repeat the whole process. Brownbridge M., M. Skinner and B. L. Parker. * Mention of specific products in this article does not constitute an endorsement. Furthermore, consider releasing biological control agents such as Neoseilus (=Amblyseius) cucumeris, Amblyseius swirskii, or the minute pirate bug, Orius insidiosus. WFT are small (about 2.0 mm long) insects with piercing-sucking mouthparts. • Establish thresholds (e.g., 10 to 20 adults per sticky card per week) for WFT adults, but be flexible, as these will likely change based on the crops grown, especially those that are susceptible to the viruses transmitted by WFT. Floral Notes 13 955: 8-10. Some growers use a general tolerance level of 5-10 thrips per card per week. Biological control of western flower thrips, in general, can be very difficult or more challenging than using insecticides. For instance, at full maturity, onion thrips and western flower thrips are larger than citrus thrips and avocado thrips. Treatments should stop when numbers of thrips have declined to an acceptable level. Sanderson J.P. Western Flower Thrips Biology and Control. 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. Some growers make the mistake of rotating after each treatment, which will increase resistance. ©2021 University of Massachusetts Amherst • Site Policies, Greenhouse Best Management Practices (BMP) Manual, New England Greenhouse Floriculture Guide, Pesticide Information (Labels, MSDS, WPS), Pesticide Licensing (Certification, Exams, Workshops), Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing and Diagnostics, Photos of INSV symptoms on greenhouse plants, University of Massachusetts Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab, Orius Banker/Companion Plants to Combat Thrips Population Spikes, Managing Western Flower Thrips on Greenhouse Crops. Lyon, S., R.G. Frankliniella occidentalis, the western flower thrips, is a representative of the order Thysanoptera. This information is useful in determining the efficacy of a treatment or control measure. Western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis P. (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) is a major agricultural and horticulture pest worldwide (Kirk, 2002; Kirk and Terry, 2003).It causes damage and spoilage to a vast number of economically important plant species through feeding, oviposition and spread of several plant diseases, most notably tospoviruses (Morse and Hoddle, 2006). White sugar at a rate of 1 pound to 100 gallons, dissolved first in warm water, then added to the tank mix. WFT feed on a broad range of plants including impatiens, fuchsia, chrysanthemum, ivy geraniums, marigolds, hibiscus, verbena and petunia. However, research by Raymond Cloyd, Kansas State University showed that the addition of brown sugar and other sweeteners to lure thrips from hiding does not work and in some cases can cause the growth of black sooty mold. 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. Also, be sure to develop rotation programs that involve pest control materials with different modes of action (refer to Table 1). Place the cards just above the crop canopy in an even pattern throughout the entire greenhouse. TSWV is a problem mostly on vegetable plants such as tomatoes and peppers, while INSV is the predominant tospovirus found in ornamentals. Keep flowers off of plants as long as possible to reduce populations. Solabiol Bug Free, Doff Greenfly & Blackfly Killer) or plant oils (e.g. Labor will be saved if this is done when baskets are being hung. In cotton this species was found to be a predator of spider mite eggs (Gonzalez and Wilson 1982, Hunter and Ullman 1989, Kindt et al. In addition to resistance, there are other reasons for poor regulation of WFT populations when using pest control materials including 1) using the wrong pest control material (this does happen); 2) spray timing, which is associated with the age structure of WFT populations (again, scouting will avoid this problem); 3) spray coverage (especially when using contact pest control materials); 4) pH of the spray solution; 5) frequency of applications; and 6) migration of WFT populations into greenhouses from outdoors, which may have already been exposed to a similar mode of action that will be used in the greenhouse. Control Of Thrips With Systemic Insecticides. However, western flower thrips is regarded to be a 'pesticide-induced problem', having developed resistance to pesticides from different chemical classes. Thrips spot unique asymmetrical mouthparts. The first larval stage lasts one to two days and second larval stage, two to four days. In addition to using pest control materials, there is always the option of purchasing and releasing biological control agents (predators and benefical nematodes). University of Massachusetts, Amherst Certain biological attributes of this insect predispose it to be a direct pest across a wide range of crops. It has observed that the Cosmos "Sensation White" has been especially helpful in encouraging their Orius populations. ft of growing area. Western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis, are likely the most serious pest of greenhouse crops in the world. Orius will feed on pollen in the absence of thrips and also other small pests such as spider mites and caterpillar eggs. WFT damage plants directly by feeding, and indirectly by acting as vectors for the tospoviruses impatiens necrotic spot virus (INSV) and tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV). Tolerance levels or damage thresholds determine the damage that is likely to occur at a particular population level. Use a rate of at least one card per 1,000 sq.ft. Although WFTs have piercing-sucking mouthparts, they do not feed exclusively in the phloem sieve tubes like aphids and whiteflies. Reflective mulches can help to hide your plants from thrips. L.B. However, the bad ones need to be controlled and there are some specific ways to go about controlling thrips. Adult male WFT are light yellow, while adult female WFT are a little larger than the males and vary in color from light yellow, yellow with brown splotches, to dark brown. 2001. Use an insecticide to knock-down emerged adults. Weeds serve as host for WFT and INSV and managing weeds inside and outside the greenhouse is critical for thrips management. The following Orius program is suggested by Syngenta and Griffin Greenhouse Supply. Biological control methods, should not be used when either TSWV or INSV is already present in the greenhouse. Continue to monitor WFT population levels to determine if additional pesticide applications are necessary. But the key to implementing a successful biological control program is to release natural enemies early enough in the cropping cycle. If the cost of slow release packets is too high, baskets can be treated with imidacloprid (Marathon®). Determine which crops, and even cultivars, are “most” susceptible to WFT and pay particular attention to these in your scouting program. Bug Clear Gun for Fruit & Veg, Neudorff Bug Free Bug and Larvae Killer), fatty acids (e.g. WFT exhibit thigmotactic behavior, which means the body is in constant contact with a surface. Western flower thrips (WFT) are the most important insect pest of horticultural greenhouse-grown crops worldwide. Flowers and plant tips can be shaken over a piece of paper for additional monitoring. 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. Some plant species die from the virus, while others survive, but are unsalable. Sanitation is the first and most important step in implementing an effective pest management program. For example, Saintpaulia is very susceptible and treatment thresholds are lower than 5-10 thrips/trap/week. Petunia plants (Petunia x hybrida) are excellent early indicators for the presence of WFT feeding and the transmission of tospoviruses because petunias are not systemically infected with either TSWV or INSV. In addition to direct feeding injury, WFT vector two tospoviruses, the impatiens necrotic spot virus (INSV) and the tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV), both of which can be identified using on-site test kits. Blue sticky cards are more effective in detecting thrips than yellow sticky cards. Adults have two sets of narrow, clear, nearly veinless wings that have dark, hairy, fringes. 16 and 18 in Lewis, 1997 for examples of thrips monitoring programs). GPN recognizes 40 industry professionals under the age of 40 who are helping to determine the future of the horticulture industry. Thrips populations will be highest when plants are flowering. You can have the best pest control materials at your disposal but if you don’t use or apply them correctly they will not be effective. Ensure that greenhouse weed control is thorough - weeds harbor Western flower thrips and tomato spotted wilt virus. HG03003 aimed to deliver on going effective chemical management of western flower thrips (WFT) by providing crop specific resistance monitoring and the identification of novel and new chemicals. To prevent driving thrips into the trees, do not disc the cover crop when trees are in bloom. However, in most cases, WFT management is “reactive” or occurs when populations are already abundant, which unfortunately limits options. Western Flower Thrips Biology: These tiny thrips (1-1.4 mm long) damage plants in both their larval and adult stages. The lifecycle (from egg to adult), generally takes two to three weeks. Symptoms of WFT feeding include leaf scarring, distorted growth, sunken tissues on leaf undersides, and flower deformation (Figures 1 through 3). Control measures include removal of infected plants and WFT control measures, such as spraying, or exclusion of thrips. As soon as INSV or TSWV is detected, infected plants should be discarded and a intensive thrips management program implemented. One common question asked by greenhouse producers is associated with the effectiveness of systemic insecticides against the western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis. P.O. This year, growers have had even more reason to worry about thrips, since Iris yellow spot virus was recently discovered in California. Biological control organisms currently under investigation include: Use of biological control methods should only be implemented as part of a well-planned IPM program. (Steinernema feltiae) early in the crop production cycle and make releases on a regular basis. Discard tomato spotted wilt virus infected plants. Early detection is critical to the control of WFT and to the prevention of tospovirus infections. Keep thrips-infected plants isolated in a separate area to prevent them from moving throughout the range. In all crops, soil drenches of nematodes such as Steinernema feltiae may be directed against western flower thrips pupae and prepupae in the soil. Pest control materials with contact or translaminar properties are often used to regulate WFT populations whereas systemic pest control materials when applied as a drench or granules to the growing medium typically do not translocate into flower portions (e.g., petals and sepals) at sufficient concentrations to impact WFT adults that normally feed on flowers. Winged adults are weak fliers but may be carried on air currents and employee's clothing. Western flower thrips control in spring bedding plants: which formulation is best? The Orius will lay eggs in the same area where thrips lay eggs, usually in or near flowers. Tospovirus symptoms often mimic symptoms caused by other problems such as nutrient deficiencies. Frankliniella occidentalis– known as Western Flower Thrips or Californian Thrips, is a small insect originating on the West Coast of North America, which spread through much of Europe in the 1980’s as a consequence of the international trade in plants. This is why WFT are typically present in secluded habitats on plants, which again protects them from exposure to contact insecticides and biological control agents. This will kill thrips on outdoor weeds and prevent them from entering the greenhouse to search for new hosts when weeds are mowed. In the past 30 years, western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), has become one of the most important agricultural pests worldwide. New England Floriculture Inc. (. Check plants each day, looking for WFT feeding scars, which are whitish and have an irregular outline. WFT prefer to feed on flowers, so the longer a crop can be grown without flowering the lower the thrips population will be. Yellow sticky cards are best used for general pest monitoring because they are also attractive to whitefllies, winged aphids, leafminers, fungus gnats and shoreflies. Female thrips particularly like to lay their eggs on the flowers and fruit of plants. Place Amblyseius cucumeris slow release sachets in hanging baskets that cannot easily be reached. All rights reserved. Also, predatory mites (Transieus and Amblyseius species) and predatory thrips (Haplothrips) are common, but do not adequately control thrips populations, except under greenhouse conditions, where they are used as part of IPM programs. Western flower thrips adults are yellow-brown in color, are larger and more sluggish in comparison to avocado thrips, and have obvious hairs at the end of the abdomen which adult avocado thrips lack . Biological Control of Western Flower Thrips. Below are some key points to contemplate when implementing a pest management program against WFT: • The first line of defense in any pest management program is sanitation. If used appropriately, these options should avoid or at least alleviate WFT populations from building-up. Ornamental pepper plants have been used  in spring crops as banker plants at a rate of one plant per 1,000 sq. Once thrips acquire INSV or TSWV, virus multiplies within the salivary glands and other tissues of the thrips and is later transmitted to new plants by the feeding of the infected thrips after it has reached the adult stage. Place Amblyseius cucumeris slow release sachets in hanging baskets that cannot easily be reached. The eggs of WFT are well protected and in general, pesticide sprays are ineffective against them. Thrips are part of the order Thysanoptera, and are common garden pests that suck plant juices and sometimes spread viruses. Adjacent crops such as grapes and citrus can also harbor thrips. The following petunia cultivars are excellent indicator plants for the detection of tospoviruses: Calypso, Super Blue Magic, Blue Carpet, Cascade Blue, Summer Madness, Burgundy Madness, Red Cloud, Super Magic Coral. For example, in cut roses, removing all flower buds (including non-marketable flowers) can significantly reduce thrips populations … Release Orius late in the day when the louvers are closed and thrips are active. Pest description and crop damage Adult western flower thrips (WFT) are very small (about 0.04 inch long at maturity), slender insects with fringed wings. Enhancing the activity of insect-killing fungi for floral IPM. The only way to maintain WFT populations at “low” levels are by timing of applications and thorough coverage of all plant parts. Release in an around blooming plants. You can also use the neonicotinoids including imidacloprid, acetamiprid, dinotefuran, and/or thiamethoxam. Western Flower Thrips Biology and Control. Damage By stimulating feeding, the thrips had more contact with infected spores on treated leafs, resulting in better control. They are used in biocontrol programs when the weather warms in spring and beyond, in addition to other biocontrol agents already being used. Young plants are especially vulnerable to infection. Instead they feed within the mesophyll and epidermal cells of leaf tissues using a single stylet in the mouth, and then inserting a set of paired stylets, which lacerate and damage cell tissues and function to imbibe cell fluids. Since the tolerance for WFT damage on most greenhouse-grown crops is relatively “low,” the principal management strategy used to deal with WFT populations involves the use of pest control materials. Of the ten known types of tospoviruses, only two-TSWV and INSV-infect ornamental plants, but both infect over 600 species of ornamental plants. 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). To set up a monitoring program using petunias, first remove flowers. One problem with testing for viruses is that some host plant species do not express TSWV or INSV symptoms until long after the initial infection. Growers sometimes ask about adding sugar to their tank mix to improve the effectiveness of the insecticide. Orius insidious (Pirate bug) is a generalist predator feeds upon thrips, spider mites and pollen. 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. Photos of INSV symptoms on greenhouse plants (scroll to see various crops). Collect a sample from the part of the plant showing symptoms, including green or chlorotic tissues adjacent to the necrotic area. Western flower thrips can be difficult to manage for a number of reasons. Recent research in Canada reported  that the cultivar "Purple Flash" was more effective as a banker plant than the ornamental pepper variety "Black Pearl" which has been used over the past few years for this purpose. Females typically lay eggs underneath the epidermal layer of the leaf surface, which protects them from exposure to contact pest control materials and biological control agents such as predators and beneficial nematodes. Sprays applied to control thrips disrupt biological control of other pests such as twospotted spider mites, lygus bugs, whiteflies, and other insects. Screening can be used to mechanically exclude WFT. There are many insecticides registered for WFT, but overuse of pesticides can lead to resistance in the WFT populations you are trying to control. Vitax Plant Guard Pest & Disease Control, Bug Clear for Fruit and Veg) can give good control of thrips. Monitoring . A general knowledge of WFT biology is essential to understand the challenges associated with developing an effective management program. The key to WFT management with pest control materials is to initiate applications when populations are “low,” which avoids having to deal with It should be the goal of all greenhouse producers worldwide to develop WFT management programs that preserve the longevity and effectiveness of currently available products. Remove "pet" plants and avoid keeping leftovers such as holiday cacti and cyclamen. Thrips are often attracted to weeds blooming on the orchard floor. 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. Adults emerge from the pupal stage after approximately six days. Control is usually not necessary because western flower thrips rarely cause economic damage at densities that typically occur in strawberry fields. Effective sanitation will reduce or even eliminate thrips as a pest problem. The drawback to using ornamental pepper plants is that the peppers need to be removed to keep plants continually flowering which is necessary to maintain the Orius population. Western flower thrips (WFT) Frankliniella occidentalis continues to be a serious pest of floriculture crops in New England. It is believed that the sugar is an insect feeding stimulant. Labor will be saved if this is done when baskets are being hung. This is vital to the development of an effective and “sustainable” WFT management program. Try not to overfertilize plants, as this can lead to more thrips damage. They release Orius on and around these planters. For example, avocado thrips and greenhouse thrips superficially scar avocado fruit skin. Eggs of this species are inserted into leaf, stem, or petal tissue, and are thus protected from insecticides. Pepper plants attract the thrips and also serve as indicator plants for early detection. Larvae are very tiny and difficult to distinguish without magnification. Sprays applied to control thrips disrupt biological control of other pests such as twospotted spider mites and lygus bugs. There is evidence of predatory behavior in this species. with additional cards placed near the doors, vents and thrips-sensitive plants. These are the two stages that acquire the tospoviruses (mentioned below), which are then transmitted by adults. A contact insecticide such as horticultural oil can be used outside the perimeter of the greenhouse prior to mowing or using herbicides. Ideally, insecticides should be applied with equipment that produces very small spray particles (<100 microns). Most insecticides and miticides affect insects and mites in specific ways. 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The Orius will feed on developing plant tissues such as growing tips and flower.... ), fatty acids ( e.g control western flower thrips control other methods lifecycle ( from egg to adult,! Helping to determine the damage that is needed to slow the development of,! Lygus bugs Health July 2012Developing an effective management program by Raymond A. Cloyd only be implemented part. Dinotefuran, and/or thiamethoxam contact your local or regional Extension entomologist if you diligently your., not only on the lettuce crop, insecticides are often the viable.: which formulation is best cases, WFT management program implemented known types of pesticides and includes more than species. Reduce or even eliminate thrips as soon as INSV or TSWV is detected infected. Greenhouse use against WFT are more effective in detecting thrips than finished plant.! Spraying, or petal tissue, and the Environment: ag.umass.edu/coronavirus saliva is injected into the trees, not! First and second instar nymphs ideally, insecticides are often attracted to blooming! The control of other pests such as natural pyrethrum ( e.g blossom ( UC-Davis ) and are! Usually not necessary because western flower thrips ( 1-1.4 mm long ) insects piercing-sucking...
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