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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIOLOGICALLY BASED TECHNIQUES TO LIMIT THE DISPERSAL OF INVASIVE PESTS Title: Managing Thrips in Pepper and Eggplant

Authors
item Funderburk, Joe -
item Reitz, Stuart
item Stansly, Phil -
item Schuster, Dave -
item Nuessly, Greg -
item Leppla, Norm -

Submitted to: University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service Institute of Food and Agriculture Science
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: October 10, 2009
Publication Date: October 30, 2009
Citation: Funderburk, J., Reitz, S.R., Stansly, P., Schuster, D., Nuessly, G., Leppla, N. 2009. Managing Thrips in Pepper and Eggplant. University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service Institute of Food and Agriculture Science, Gainesville, FL. 9pp.

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, Gainesville, Florida, and the University of Florida have used their collaborative research findings to develop a set of guidelines for growers to effectively manage thrips in pepper and eggplant 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, and the avoidance of insecticides that induce western flower thrips populations, planting sunflowers and other refugia to provide a source for minute pirate bugs, vertical integration of management of western flower thrips with other pests, including pepper weevil and Lepidopteran 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 management in pepper and eggplant 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 2. Economic thresholds: about 6 adult western flower thrips and melon thrips per flower, 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. When peppers are flowering use insecticides for thrips and other pests that conserve minute pirate bugs 5. Never use insecticides that induce western flower thrips 6. Use ultra-violet reflective mulches when forming beds. 7. Sunflower and other refugia provide a source for minute pirate bugs 8. Vertically integrate management of western flower thrips with other pests, including pepper weevil and Lepidoptera species 9. Follow BMP's for fertility and irrigation management

Last Modified: 12/22/2014
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