Category: News
Date published: May 13, 2024

How to tackle the global threat of invasive thrips

In recent years, the threat posed by invasive thrips species has escalated worldwide, driven by the increased global movement of goods, resistance to pesticides, and other factors. These tiny insects are capable of causing significant damage to a wide range of crops. As they continue to spread, Koppert sees an increasing need to find effective and sustainable solutions.

Among the most problematic thrips species are Echinothrips americanus, Thrips parvispinus, and various Scirtothrips species. Echinothrips americanus and Thrips parvispinus are known to infest greenhouse vegetables and ornamentals, while Scirtothrips species often cause significant damage to vegetables, berries, and citrus crops.

Given the global scope of this problem, Koppert, leader in biological crop protection, is taking a proactive approach to address the challenge of invasive thrips species. Koppert's Research and Development (R&D) units from various global regions are joining forces to identify the most effective natural enemies and strategies to combat these pests. Their research focuses on existing natural enemies in Koppert's thrips solutions portfolio while exploring additional candidate species to expand their arsenal of biological control agents.

One of the promising candidates for controlling these new thrips species is Franklinothrips vespiformis. This predatory thrips species is known for its voracious appetite for other thrips, making it a valuable ally in the battle against these crop-damaging pests. Although Franklinothrips vespiformis is not new to the market, its use has been limited due to production scale constraints and high price. Koppert is exploring ways to overcome these limitations, investigating possibilities of this predator to become more accessible to growers. Koppert's R&D teams are investigating Franklinothrips vespiformis's effectiveness in controlling the emerging thrips threats and examining how its production and distribution can be scaled to meet global demand

By focusing on innovative biological solutions and leveraging the expertise of R&D units across the globe, Koppert is leading the way in developing sustainable approaches to managing invasive thrips species. Their commitment to finding natural solutions that reduce the reliance on chemical pesticides aligns with the broader shift towards environmentally conscious agriculture.

As Koppert continues to research and refine its biological control strategies, growers can look forward to more effective and sustainable tools to combat the rising tide of invasive thrips. This collaborative effort underscores the importance of global cooperation and innovation in addressing agricultural challenges and ensuring food security in the face of ever-evolving threats.