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.
Today I want to share with you one of my favourite things of all time – the Bug Dorm. Basically a mini, insect-proof tent, Bug Dorms are an amazingly useful tool for conducting quick-and-dirty experiments in your greenhouse. By containing (or excluding) insects, they can help growers answer SPECIFIC pest questions in their SPECIFIC crop or operation, without needing to wait for researchers to find the answers.
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.
A Blog for Ontario Greenhouse Floriculture Growers
Welcome to the very first posting for the new ONfloriculture blog! With regular contriubtions from OMAFRA Floriculture Specialists, the goal of this blog is to provide Ontario greenhouse floriculture growers with timely, technical information to grow the best crops they can.
I encourage you to sign up using the “Follow” feature to your right: this way, new posts magically appear in your inbox. Alternatively, you can check back regularly for new information and helpful resources. The blog will cover such topics as new strides in floriculture IPM of both pests and diseases, new pesticide registrations, flower production, emerging pests, and industry events.
Looking for a Particular Topic?
See the Topic Word Cloud on the right side of the screen. Topics build themselves as we post blogs. By clicking on a particular topic (e.g. “Thrips”), you’ll be taken to all related posts. The most posted-about topics will be in larger font.
Short on time?
Feel like you don’t have time to really read a whole blog post? Hey, I know the feeling. So, for all posts, I’ll be doing my best to bold the most important parts, in case you only have time to skim.