NOTE: This is a re-post because it now comes with an awesome new video of how to monitor you mite sachets!
Recently, I had an interaction with a grower where their long-standing biocontrol program for thrips suddenly seemed to be failing. After a (too long) investigation by myself, the grower, and several consultants, we found out the horrible truth: their predatory mite were being MURDERED (Duh dun DUHNNN!)… By improper storage.
This post focuses on whether YOU might also be guilty of mite murder. (And yes, I’ve stooped to the level of click-bait titles).
Can patterned tapes significantly improve thrips catches?
You’ve likely noticed by now that thrips populations are especially high because of thehot, dry summer. Many growers are noticing their usual biocontrol programs can’t keep up, and further defenses are needed this year.
The use of mass trapping strategies may be the key to getting an edge over thrips. This post discusses the latest research on mass trapping of thrips in ornamentals, including patterned sticky tapes and the use of pheromones.
Western flower thrips adult on an open Mandevilla flower. Photo credit: Caitlin MacDonald, USEL student.
Now that the warm weather is finally upon us, it’s time to start worrying about thrips control.
What we’ve learned over the years is that pesticides just don’t cut it – the only reliable chemical for western flower thrips in Ontario is DDVP, which requires constant application. This means biological control is your best bet. Here’s a summary of the most effective tools, tricks, and timing, to ensure your biocontrol dollars are well spent.
Entomopathogenic nematodes – used to control fungus gnats, shoreflies and thrips – are often a “gateway bio” into biocontrol use in greenhouses. This is because not only are they effective and easy to use, but they’re generally compatible with insecticide use. Readily applied with regular spray equipment or through drip lines, nematodes can even be tanked mixed with pesticides to save on labour costs.
In this post, I’ll share some of my research at NC State, looking at which commonly used pesticides in Canadian and U.S. greenhouses are safe to use with nematodes.
Effective biocontrol programs for western flower thrips often usemultiple natural enemies. These includepredatory mites like N. cucumeris or A. swirskii, but also generalist predators like Atheta and Orius, which can feed on mite eggs and nymphs.
It’s an exciting time for Floriculture IPM! I am VERY pleased to announce the launch of the all newGreenhouseIPM website! GreenhouseIPM.org presents a compilation of up-to-date information on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and biological control in greenhouses.
And, as part of the website launch, we are holding a FREE THRIPS WORKSHOP (with a free lunch!). The workshop will cover all the components of thrips IPM and how they fit into a greenhouse production system.
Dates are Nov 23rd (8:30-1pm) OR Nov 30th (8:30-1pm) at Rittenhouse Hall. Please RSVP Rose Buitenhuis: (firstname.lastname@example.org or 905-562-0320 x749). SPACE IS LIMITED SO RESERVE YOUR SPOT NOW!
The most current information on thrips and whitefly IPM is now at your fingertips at greenhouseipm.org.
GreenhouseIPM.org provides detailed descriptions of pests, biocontrol agents and detailed instructions on how best to use biocontrols within an IPM program.
Its initial format it focuses on two key pests – whiteflies and thrips – and their control. The site will evolve to encompass all common insect and mite pests, as well as diseases, in greenhouse crops.