Ramping up thrips biocontrol BEFORE they get out of control!

WFT on hibiscus_Caitlin McDonald_1

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.

Continue reading “Ramping up thrips biocontrol BEFORE they get out of control!”

TSWV sysmptoms in mums

Sorry for the back-to-back posts, but I thought those of you growing chrysanthemums would be interested in this post from MSU on recognizing Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus symptoms in your crop.

To confirm the presence of TSWV, samples can be sent to Lab Services at the University of Guelph.

TSWV is vectored by thrips.  With temperatures between 25 and 28 C for the next 10 days, thrips reproduction will be rapid.  Control of thrips (and elimination of infected plant material) is necessary to reduce virus spread.

Thrips biological control can be achieved in floriculture greenhouses using the predatory mite Amblyseius swirskii and/or A. cucumeris in combination with the parasitic nematode S. felitiae and foliar applications of BotaniGard.  Registered chemicals for thrips in Ontario include:

  • Beleaf
  • BotaniGard
  • DDVP smoke
  • Dursban
  • Kontos
  • Malathion
  • Met 52
  • Pylon
  • Orthene
  • Success