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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIOLOGICALLY BASED MANAGEMENT OF INVASIVE INSECT PESTS AND WEEDS

Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research Unit

Title: Managing Thrips and Tospoviruses in Tomato

Authors
item Funderburk, Joe -
item Reitz, Stuart
item Olson, Steve -
item Stansly, Phil -
item Smith, Hugh -
item Mcavoy, Gene -
item Demirozer, Ozan -
item Snodgrass, Crystal -
item Paret, Mathews -
item Leppla, Norm -

Submitted to: University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service Institute of Food and Agriculture Science
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 2011
Publication Date: August 1, 2011
Citation: Funderburk, J., Reitz, S. R., Olson, Steve, Stansly, P., Smith, H., Mcavoy, G., Demirozer, O., Snodgrass, C., Paret, M., Leppla, N. 2011. Managing Thrips and Tospoviruses in Tomato. University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Science, University of Florida. Publication ENY859.

Interpretive Summary: Several invasive species of thrips have established in Florida and are causing serious economic losses to vegetable, ornamental, and agronomic crops. Damage to crops results from thrips feeding and egg-laying injury, thrips vectoring of plant diseases, the cost of using control tactics, and the loss of pesticides due to resistance. Therefore, scientists from the USDA/ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Tallahassee, Florida, and the University of Florida have used their collaborative research findings to develop a set of guidelines for growers to effectively manage thrips and tomato spotted wilt virus in tomato crops. These management guidelines are built around the use of realistic economic thresholds, scouting and identification of thrips species, conservation of natural enemies, ultraviolet reflective mulch, systemic acquired resistance, host plant resistance, the avoidance of insecticides that induce western flower thrips populations, vertical integration of management of western flower thrips with other pests, and following Best Management Plans for fertility and irrigation management.

Technical Abstract: Several invasive species of thrips have established in Florida and are causing serious economic losses to vegetable, ornamental, and agronomic crops. Damage to crops results from thrips feeding and egg-laying injury, thrips vectoring of plant diseases, the cost of using control tactics, and the loss of pesticides due to resistance. The following guidelines for thrips and tomato spotted wilt virus management in tomato have been developed based on research conducted by the University of Florida and USDA-ARS-CMAVE. 1. In scouting program, distinguish between adult and larval thrips and identify adult thrips to species, as not all species are pests, and some native thrips are beneficial by out-competing western flower thrips. 2. Economic thresholds: about 1 adult western flower thrips per blossom, and about 2 thrips larvae per fruit. 3. Do not treat for adult eastern flower thrips and Florida flower thrips as they out-compete western flower thrips. 4. Never use insecticides that induce western flower thrips. Certain organophosphate and carbamate insecticides have some level of efficacy against western flower thrips, but these should be used very selectively. Their use may be warranted but only in particular instances when nontarget effects would be minimal. 5. Use ultra-violet reflective mulches when forming beds. 6. Acibenzolar-S-methyl is a systemic acquired resistance inducer that can reduce TSWV symptom expression. 7. Fertilization above recommended rates of nitrogen for optimal production results in an increase in western flower thrips and an increased incidence of TSW. Where tomato spotted wilt is a concern, use of TSWV resistant cultivars can reduce losses to the virus, but does not prevent direct thrips damage. 8. Vertically integrate management of western flower thrips with other pests.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014