Category: News
Date published: April 09, 2020

Keeping thrips under control: plenty of options!

Western Flower Thrips Frankliniella occidentalis on a leaf Western Flower Thrips Frankliniella occidentalis on a leaf

Thrips can cause severe problems for growers in many crops. Combating this pest is therefore an important focal point in the field of biological control. Koppert has developed a whole range of products to help you tackle thrips. You don't have to go into battle alone!

When tackling a pest such as thrips, it is vital to work systematically. While there is a whole range of products available to control thrips, not all products can be used together without causing other issues. For example, the simultaneous use of different species of predatory mites is not a good idea, and if the use of chemicals proves necessary, be sure to tailor them to the biological control methods you are using too. If you don't, you run the risk of disrupting the biological balance within the crop.

A choice of predatory mites

In ornamental crops, predatory mites are the foot soldiers in the battle against thrips. You can choose from three commonly-used species: Swirskii, Montdorensis, and Cucumeris. The predatory mite that would be most effective within your business depends on various factors: the crop, the climate, previous experiences, your own preference, and statutory requirements. A fourth predatory mite option is Limonicus. This mite deals with both whitefly and thrips. Other useful predatory mites include Stratiolaelaps scimitus and Macrocheles robustulus. For fruiting vegetables such as sweet peppers and aubergines, the preventative introduction of the predatory bug Orius is an important basis in the fight against thrips. But beware: this predatory bug is very sensitive to chemicals.

Pupae require a special approach

An additional problem is the fact that the thrips pupae, which are often in the ground, are difficult to tackle. However, certain beneficials are perfect for the job. There are parasitic nematodes such as Steinernema feltiae. Or a product like Mycotal, which is especially effective against larvae. The spores of the fungus Lecanicillium muscarium in this product germinate on the insect and the mycelia then penetrate the body. The larva then dies.

Lastly, sticky traps and Rollertraps are important tools in ascertaining whether thrips are present, and – in the case of the Rollertraps – also to capture and remove as many flying specimens as possible. Of course, you have to make sure that the thrips can find the sticky traps and Rollertraps. The attractant Lurem TR is the perfect aid in this regard.

Further information

Want to learn more about the options for controlling thrips in your crop? Please contact your Koppert consultant.