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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: Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) integrated pest management programs for fruiting vegetables in Florida

Authors
item Demirozer, Ozan -
item Tyler-Julian, Kara -
item Funderburk, Joe -
item Leppla, Norm -
item Reitz, Stuart

Submitted to: Pest Management Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 4, 2012
Publication Date: July 26, 2012
Citation: Demirozer, O., Tyler-Julian, K., Funderburk, J., Leppla, N., Reitz, S.R. 2012. Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) integrated pest management programs for fruiting vegetables in Florida. Pest Management Science. 68:1537-1545.

Interpretive Summary: There are over 5000 species of thrips, yet only 87 are considered pests of commercial crops. Of these, the Western flower thrips is the most injurious species. Since the 1970s Western flower thrips have invaded most of the major horticultural production areas of the world. Direct feeding and oviposition damage reduces crop quality and yield, and virus transmission by Western flower thrips can lead to plant death. Growers have unsuccessfully attempted to manage Western flower thrips populations with intensive insecticide applications, which have also disrupted integrated pest management (IPM) programs for other pests. Based on numerous field and laboratory experiments, scientists with Suleyman Demirel University, Turkey, the University of Florida, and the USDA, Agriculture Research Service, Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, Florida, have developed IPM programs for fruiting vegetables to improve management of Western flower thrips and integrate its management with management of other pests in these cropping systems. The components of these IPM programs include the following: define pest status (economic thresholds), increase biotic resistance (natural enemies and competition), integrate preventive and therapeutic tactics (scouting, ultraviolet-reflective technologies, biological control, compatible insecticides, companion plants, and fertility), integrate the programs with other pests, and continuously communicate with growers. The programs are economical, environmentally friendly and sustainable, and they have been widely implemented in Florida. Their implementation by growers has led to significant improvements in the management of Western flower thrips and thrips-transmitted viruses.

Technical Abstract: The spread of the western flower thrips Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) resulted in the worldwide destabilization of established integrated pest management programs for many crops. Efforts to control the pest and the thrips-vectored tospoviruses with calendar applications of broad-spectrum insecticides have been unsuccessful. The result has been a classic 3-R situation: resistance to numerous insecticides, resurgence of the western flower thrips populations as a result of natural predators and native competitor thrips being eliminated, and replacement by various other pests. Here we report on integrated pest management programs for fruiting vegetables that are effective, economical, ecologically sound, and sustainable. The components include the following: define pest status (economic thresholds), increase biotic resistance (natural enemies and competition), integrate preventive and therapeutic tactics (scouting, ultraviolet-reflective technologies, biological control, compatible insecticides, companion plants, and fertility), vertically integrate the programs with other pests, and continuously communicate with end-users. The programs have been widely implemented in Florida, and have significantly improved management of western flower thrips and thrips-transmitted viruses.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014
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