Labor will be saved if this is done when baskets are being hung. Continue to monitor WFT population levels to determine if additional pesticide applications are necessary. Brown or black-edged lesions will develop on the edges of thrips feeding scars within three days if a tospovirus has been transmitted. 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. Note that it has been reported that populations of WFT have shown resistance to Conserve®. 2001. 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. Western Flower Thrips Biology and Control. Managing vegetation in and around lettuce, biological control, and cultural practices are important in reducing the potential for damage from western flower thrips. WFT is the most prevalent species of thrips in Massachusetts greenhouses. Although WFTs have piercing-sucking mouthparts, they do not feed exclusively in the phloem sieve tubes like aphids and whiteflies. Western Flower Thrips in Greenhouses: A Review of Its Biological Control and Other Methods. Remove "pet" plants and avoid keeping leftovers such as holiday cacti and cyclamen. Flowers and plant tips can be shaken over a piece of paper for additional monitoring. Read on for some practical and effective suggestions to manage these destructive pests. 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. Only the two larval instars of WFT can acquire the virus. Use a blue non-sticky card to attract thrips to indicator plants since WFT are more strongly attracted to blue than to other colors. When chemical control is necessary, spray pesticides two to three times five days apart based on greenhouse temperatures ranging from 70-85°F. P.O. Corporation) for his feedback regarding the industry perspective on managing WFT. (Release rate: 10 mites per square foot). Photos of INSV symptoms on greenhouse plants (scroll to see various crops). Some growers use a general tolerance level of 5-10 thrips per card per week. 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. Females can live up to 45 days and lay 150 to 300 eggs during their lifetime. In one study, white sugar added to Beauveria bassiana (Botanigard) increased mortality by 20 percent. Adults have two sets of narrow, clear, nearly veinless wings that have dark, hairy, fringes. Orius will feed on pollen in the absence of thrips and also other small pests such as spider mites and caterpillar eggs. Western flower thrips can be difficult to manage for a number of reasons. Thrips can also be collected from sticky traps and tested using the test kits. 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). Biological control of western flower thrips, in general, can be very difficult or more challenging than using insecticides. It is difficult to manage WFT in greenhouses for a number of reasons, including its ability to feed on a broad range of plant types, high female reproductive capacity, rapid lifecycle (egg to adult), small size (_ 2.0 mm long), feeding habit, cryptic habitats (e.g., unopened flower buds) and resistance to pest control materials. The second instar nymphs migrate to the base of a plant and enter the growing medium to pupate. The use of yellow sticky traps will help to detect emerging adults. Fact Sheet. If the cost of slow release packets is too high, baskets can be treated with imidacloprid (Marathon®). Adults however, do not transmit the virus to their young and there is no transmission from adult to egg. WFT feed on a broad range of plants including impatiens, fuchsia, chrysanthemum, ivy geraniums, marigolds, hibiscus, verbena and petunia. Thrips can devastate fields and reduce yields as much as 50 percent. WFT damage potential is due not only to its ability to directly damage greenhouse-grown crops by feeding on leaves and flowers, but also because they may vector destructive tospoviruses. This is vital to the development of an effective and “sustainable” WFT management program. Floral Facts, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. Pest control materials must be applied before WFT enter terminal or flower buds because once they do, it is very difficult to obtain adequate regulation and prevent injury. Symptoms of WFT feeding include leaf scarring, distorted growth, sunken tissues on leaf undersides, and flower deformation (Figures 1 through 3). Van Driesche, T. Smith, P. Lopes, J. Sanderson, S. MacAvery, T. Rusinec, and G. Couch. Fecal deposits (“thrips poop”) may be present on leaf undersides (Figure 5). Box 128 Sanderson J.P. Western Flower Thrips Biology and Control. Good sanitation controls Tospoviruses. with additional cards placed near the doors, vents and thrips-sensitive plants. p. 14-16. For example, avocado thrips and greenhouse thrips superficially scar avocado fruit skin. Also, screening will only be helpful if the source of infestation is from thrips migrating in from the outside and not from infected plant material within the greenhouse, which is most common. ImmunoStrips from Agdia Inc 30380 County Rd. If a plant is suspected of being infected with a tospovirus because the plant is showing symptoms of virus infection, a tissue sample can be collected from those parts of the plant showing symptoms. For example, Saintpaulia is very susceptible and treatment thresholds are lower than 5-10 thrips/trap/week. Thrips populations will be highest when plants are flowering. There is no cure. Begonias and poinsettias are much less susceptible to damage and thresholds are much higher. WFT prefer to feed on flowers, so the longer a crop can be grown without flowering the lower the thrips population will be. Long Island Horticulture News. These individuals are today’s movers and shakers who are already setting the pace for tomorrow. Therefore, repeat applications are typically warranted to kill the life stages that were not affected by previous applications. Thrips will preferentially feed on flowers, but flowers do not show virus symptoms and will attract WFT away from the leaves. Toward the end of the second larval stage, the thrips stops feeding and drops or enters the soil or leaf litter and becomes a prepupa, which is a nonfeeding stage that lasts one or two days before pupation. Release Orius late in the day when the louvers are closed and thrips are active. Information on pesticide use is available in the current New England Greenhouse Floriculture Guide, A Management Guide for Insects, Diseases, Weeds and Growth Regulators. If the cost of slow release packets is too high, baskets can be treated with Marathon®. Ohio Florists' Association Bulletin. Bug Clear Gun for Fruit & Veg, Neudorff Bug Free Bug and Larvae Killer), fatty acids (e.g. Samples may be sent to the University of Massachusetts Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab, 101 University Drive, UMass, Amherst, MA 01003 (a fee will be charged). Three to five applications in a seven to 10-day period may be needed to obtain sufficient kill when WFT populations are “high” and there are different life stages (eggs, nymphs, pupae, and adults) and/or overlapping generations present, which occurs mainly from spring through late fall. Screening can be used to mechanically exclude WFT. It is very similar in appearance to Amblyseius cucumeris. Biological control agents must be released before Western flower thrips populations establish or reach outbreak proportions. 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. Sanitation is the first and most important step in implementing an effective pest management program. 75 Applewood Drive, Suite A As such, those materials with translaminar properties are more likely to be effective in killing WFT in terminal or flower buds. 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. Eggs of this species are inserted into leaf, stem, or petal tissue, and are thus protected from insecticides. Some plant species die from the virus, while others survive, but are unsalable. 1998. The table shows the mode of action of each pesticide to help you plan your pesticide rotation schedule. The pesticide label is the ultimate authority for pesticide use. Maintain a 15 foot weed-free barrier around the greenhouse to help reduce thrips entry. The use of the mouthparts is dependent on the species of thrips. 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. **The author would like to acknowledge Joe Chamberlin (Valent U.S.A. However, the bad ones need to be controlled and there are some specific ways to go about controlling thrips. Mention of a pesticide does not constitute an endorsement of any product and any omission from this list is unintentional. Get one year of Greenhouse Product News in both print and digital editions for free. Thrips spot unique asymmetrical mouthparts. Then, rotate to a third class of insecticides, and finally, return to the original material and repeat the whole process. Western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis) prefer to feed on developing plant tissues such as growing tips and flower buds. University of Massachusetts, Amherst Keep flowers off of plants as long as possible to reduce populations. Trap counts and keeping records are meaningful in two ways. The spread of WFT and TSWV or INSV from grower to grower is caused in two ways: by shipping tospovirus-infected plants (both propagative and pre-finished) and by shipping plant materials infested with tospovirus-carrying WFT. Place Amblyseius cucumeris slow release sachets in hanging baskets that cannot easily be reached. Yellow sticky cards are best used for general pest monitoring because they are also attractive to whitefllies, winged aphids, leafminers, fungus gnats and shoreflies. Check plants each day, looking for WFT feeding scars, which are whitish and have an irregular outline. WFT population monitoring is necessary to detect incipient WFT problems in crops and to determine if control actions have been effective (see Chs. Sprays applied to control thrips disrupt biological control of other pests such as twospotted spider mites, lygus bugs, whiteflies, and other insects. • Scout crops routinely using colored (yellow or blue) sticky cards. Brownbridge M., M. Skinner and B. L. Parker. Tospovirus symptoms often mimic symptoms caused by other problems such as nutrient deficiencies. Sparta, MI 49345. Blue sticky cards are more effective in detecting thrips than yellow sticky cards. Flower-feeding thrips are routinely attracted to bright floral colors, especially white, blue, and yellow, and will land and attempt to feed. Early detection is critical to the control of WFT and to the prevention of tospovirus infections. It is now established as a major pest in most parts of the world. By stimulating feeding, the thrips had more contact with infected spores on treated leafs, resulting in better control. Pepper plants attract the thrips and also serve as indicator plants for early detection. If there is a very big thrips problem in your area, some plants have resistant varieties. There are many insecticides registered for WFT, but overuse of pesticides can lead to resistance in the WFT populations you are trying to control. Be sure to remove all weeds, which are reservoirs for WFT and potential inoculum sources for the viruses transmitted by WFT. Western flower thrips can be distinguished by their red eyes, while onion thrips have gray eyes. Sometimes flower buds abort. Photo of larvae. However, western flower thrips is regarded to be a 'pesticide-induced problem', having developed resistance to pesticides from different chemical classes. 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. Check indicator plants for virus symptoms, which appear as dark-ringed lesions that develop around thrips feeding scars. Read on for some practical and effective suggestions to manage these destructive pests. Biological Control of Western Flower Thrips. Iris Yellow Spot is transmitted by onion thrips. Depending on environmental conditions and nutrient levels, WFT females lay 150-300 eggs during their lifetime. About 60-80 pirate bugs can be released per flowering pepper plant. 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. As the weather warms, make 3-4 weekly releases of 1 Orius per 10 sq. To delay development of resistance, a standard recommendation is to use long-term rotations among types of pesticides. Because the prepupae and pupae are mostly in the soil, these stages are not affected by insecticides applied to the foliage. Western flower thrips (WFT), Frankliniella occidentalis, is still one of the most destructive insect pests of commercial … Hsu C. and W. Quarles 1995. Collect a sample from the part of the plant showing symptoms, including green or chlorotic tissues adjacent to the necrotic area. January. The mode of action and activity type (contact, translaminar, systemic, and stomach poison) of the pest control materials registered for use against WFT are presented in Table 1. Heinz, J.C. van Lenteren, A. Loomans, R. Wick, T. Smith, P. Lopes, J.P. Sanderson, M. Daughtrey, and M. Brownbridge. Eggs and pupal stages are unaffected by pesticide sprays, so make sure the spraying program lasts long enough to control newly emerged larvae and adults. WFT damage plants by feeding on leaves and flowers. Control is not usually necessary because western flower thrips rarely cause economic damage. Growers are encouraged to choose plant vendors with care. Western flower thrips (WFT) are the most important insect pest of horticultural greenhouse-grown crops worldwide. A 10 or 20x hand lens will help to distinguish adult thrips from pieces of peat moss or other debris. Resources from UMass Extension and the Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment: ag.umass.edu/coronavirus. 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. • Use biological control agents such as predatory mites, predatory bugs, and possibly beneficial nematodes For more information on using biological control agents on WFT, consult the publication Western Flower Thrips: Management on Greenhouse-Grown Crops, which is available at http:www.ksre.ksu.edu/library/entml2/mf2922.pdf. 16 and 18 in Lewis, 1997 for examples of thrips monitoring programs). Certain biological attributes of this insect predispose it to be a direct pest across a wide range of crops. 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. Keeping records over time will provide information on what direction the population is changing and at what rate. Using Predatory Mites to Manage Western flower Thrips in Bedding Plant Greenhouses. We believe that WFT do not overwinter outdoors in Massachusetts but WFT are known to overwinter in soil and clover in the Mid-Atlantic states and southern Pennsylvania. Consider treating only if populations reach 10 thrips per blossom (UC-Davis). Photos of feeding injury. The maxillae then ingest the fluids from the cells, but not directly from the vascular tissue. In addition to the direct damage caused by WFT feeding, they may cause indirect damage by vectoring the tospoviruses: Impatiens Necrotic Spot Virus (Figure 6) and tomato spotted wilt virus. Pesticides labeled for greenhouse use against WFT are listed in Table 1. 2003). The following Orius program is suggested by Syngenta and Griffin Greenhouse Supply. Floral Notes 13 955: 8-10. 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. This insect order is composed exclusively of tiny insects commonly called thrips, and includes more than 7,000 species. Control measures include removal of infected plants and WFT control measures, such as spraying, or exclusion of thrips. In the past 30 years, western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), has become one of the most important agricultural pests worldwide. Thrips have spread throughout the horticulture industry on plugs, cuttings, and small plants. Also, customers tend to have a higher tolerance for plant damage or are less scrutinizing than growers do. When thrips are present on the lettuce crop, insecticides are often the only viable control alternative. • Use pest control materials with broad modes of action early in the crop production cycle and if populations are starting to increase (based on numbers of WFT captured on sticky cards) then incorporate pest control materials with site-specific modes of action. Western flower thrips (WFT) Frankliniella occidentalis continues to be a serious pest of floriculture crops in New England. For onion and western flower thrips, try releasing minute pirate bugs or the predatory mite Amblyseius cucumeris. Monitor for thrips as soon as plants or cuttings are received. The adults will move across the greenhouse and kill first and second instar thrips larvae and adult thrips. Other agents show promise as biological pest control, including the fungus Metarhizium anisopliae, and the mirid Dicyphus hesperus. It is difficult to diagnose tospovirus infections of greenhouse plants using visual symptoms alone. Plant Health July 2012Developing an Effective Western Flower Thrips Management Program By Raymond A. Cloyd. Larvae rese… But the key to implementing a successful biological control program is to release natural enemies early enough in the cropping cycle. Winged adults then emerge from the pupal stage in one to three days, depending upon temperature. A general knowledge of WFT biology is essential to understand the challenges associated with developing an effective management program. Indicator plants and sticky cards are the best available means of providing early warning of thrips and TSWV/INSV in greenhouse production areas. One common question asked by greenhouse producers is associated with the effectiveness of systemic insecticides against the western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis. 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. This information is useful in determining the efficacy of a treatment or control measure. 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. These ways may be called the pesticides "mode of action". Usually one release onto the banker plants is all that is needed. Ornamental pepper plants have been used  in spring crops as banker plants at a rate of one plant per 1,000 sq. WFT is the most prevalent species of thrips in Massachusetts greenhouses. Greenhouse IPM for Western Flower Thrips. Cyclamen, for example, can show no symptoms for up to two months after infection. Also, plant propagators will have a lower tolerance threshold for thrips than finished plant growers. Pesticides labeled for WFT in greenhouses. 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. Different crops have different susceptibilities. 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. 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 is a key pest of most floriculture crops. 1. Use sticky cards to monitor adult thrips. WFT exhibit thigmotactic behavior, which means the body is in constant contact with a surface. 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. Connect with UMass Extension Greenhouse Crops & Floriculture Program: UMass Research and Education Center Farms, Conservation Assessment Prioritization System (CAPS), Extension Risk Management/Crop Insurance Education, North American Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative, Civil Rights and Non-Discrimination Information. Both companies have separate kits available for testing for INSV and TSWV. Place Amblyseius cucumeris slow release sachets in hanging baskets that cannot easily be reached. Give yourself some credit, at this point, you have done all you can to maintain WFT populations low enough to avoid economic crop damage. If used appropriately, these options should avoid or at least alleviate WFT populations from building-up. Attach cards to a stake with a clothespin so that cards may be raised as the plants grow. If soil is present under greenhouse benches, treat the soil with a pesticide to eliminate the developmental stages of WFT. New England Floriculture Inc. (. R. Chris Williamson, Turf and Ornamental Specialist Revised: 4/25/2004 Item number: XHT1022 . ft of growing area. Eggs are inserted in leaves, bracts, and petals and hatch in about a week into larvae, which feed in flower buds or terminal foliage. W… The pupal stage does not feed and is very tolerate or immune to most pest control materials used to regulate WFT nymph and adult populations. The vigour of the plant is reduced by loss of chlorophyll. 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. Monitoring and Controlling Western Flower Thrips. Each MoA group is assigned an Insecticide Resistance Action Committee Group number (IRAC code). updated 2012, 2015. Control Of Thrips With Systemic Insecticides. Applications conducted after flowers open are, in general, too late since damage has already occurred. Thrips transmit both types of viruses in greenhouse and field crops. © 2021 Great American Media Services & Greenhouse Product News. Thrips feed by piercing plant cells with their mouthparts and sucking out their contents. 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. Another thing to consider is once plants are purchased and placed into gardens or landscapes then WFT populations are subject to a variety of factors that cause mortality (death) including natural enemies (e.g., predators) and weather (e.g., rainfall). Adults have two sets of narrow, clear, nearly veinless wings that have dark, hairy, fringes. The Orius will lay eggs in the same area where thrips lay eggs, usually in or near flowers. NATURAL ENEMIES Natural enemies include Orius, Geocoris and Nabis species and also the larvae of lacewings, but all these are general predators. Damaged plant cells collapse, resulting in deformed plant growth, flower deformation, or silvered patches and flecking on expanded leaves. Reflective mulches can help to hide your plants from thrips. Tospoviruses, however, may be present even though the plant shows no symptoms. Adult WFT are about 1/16th of an inch long, and are long and narrow shaped, like grass seed. • 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. Place the cards just above the crop canopy in an even pattern throughout the entire greenhouse. Larvae are very tiny and difficult to distinguish without magnification. 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. Without viable alternatives for WFT control, the only means to prevent damage is … Companies that manufacture test kits available for on-site testing. Enhancing the activity of insect-killing fungi for floral IPM. (Steinernema feltiae) early in the crop production cycle and make releases on a regular basis. Solabiol Bug Free, Doff Greenfly & Blackfly Killer) or plant oils (e.g. • Be sure to contact your local or regional extension entomologist if you have questions or require assistance regarding management of WFT. Even, when plants are systemically infected, tospoviruses do not spread evenly throughout the plant, so careful selection of tissues is crucial to the success of the test. However, in most cases, WFT management is “reactive” or occurs when populations are already abundant, which unfortunately limits options. The egg stage lasts from 2-1/2 to 4 days. They are used in biocontrol programs when the weather warms in spring and beyond, in addition to other biocontrol agents already being used. Effective sanitation will reduce or even eliminate thrips as a pest problem. Some thrips are beneficial because they kill other pests to your plants, so you want some thrips on flowers. 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