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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #217670

Title: INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT TACTICS FOR FRANKLINIELLA THRIPS IN FIELD-GROWN PEPPER

Author
item YEARBY, ERIKA
item REITZ, STUART
item FUNDERBURK, JOSEPH
item STAVISKY, JULIANNE
item OLSON, STEVE
item MOMOL, M. TIMUR

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/31/2007
Publication Date: 10/25/2007
Citation: Yearby, E.L., Reitz, S.R., Funderburk, J.E., Stavisky, J., Olson, S.M., Momol, M. 2007. Integrated management tactics for frankliniella thrips in field-grown pepper. Proceedings of the CESTA 2007 Research Forum. p.45-46. . Meeting Abstract.

Interpretive Summary: Thrips are the most significant insect pests of vegetable crops in the southeastern USA. Feeding by thrips reduces the quality and yield of crops, and some species, such as the western flower thrips, transmit a devastating plant disease, tomato spotted wilt virus.Because vegetable crops in the southeast are grown primarily in beds covered with plastic mulches, USDA-ARS scientists at the Center for Biological Control in Tallahassee, FL are collaborating with scientists from the University of Florida to examine how different types of plastic mulch can be incorporated into integrated pest management programs for thrips and tomato spotted wilt virus in field-grown peppers. These studies show that the use of metalized mulches that reflect ultraviolet (UV) radiation can lead to significant reductions in the numbers of thrips and tomato spotted wilt infections in peppers compared with the use of standard black plastic mulches. Consequently, the use of UV reflective mulches can lead to increased yields. This research also shows that the western flower thrips, which is the most serious thrips pest, also can be managed successfully in peppers grown on black plastic mulches by using one to three early season applications of biorational insecticides, such as spinosad. This type of approach reduces peaks in early season populations of western flower thrips without disrupting naturally occurring biological control agents. These naturally occurring biological control agents then are able to keep thrips populations low through the remainder of the growing season. Additional studies are being conducted to refine these management strategies, further improve IPM programs, and reduce the use of insecticides in vegetable crops.

Technical Abstract: Thrips are the most significant insect pests of vegetable crops in the southeastern USA. Feeding by thrips reduces the quality and yield of crops, and some species, such as the western flower thrips, transmit a devastating plant disease, tomato spotted wilt virus. Because vegetable crops in the southeast are grown primarily in beds covered with plastic mulches, USDA-ARS scientists at the Center for Biological Control in Tallahassee, FL are collaborating with scientists from the University of Florida to examine how different types of plastic mulch can be incorporated into integrated pest management programs for thrips and tomato spotted wilt virus in field-grown peppers. These studies show that the use of metalized mulches that reflect ultraviolet (UV) radiation can lead to significant reductions in the numbers of thrips and tomato spotted wilt infections in peppers compared with the use of standard black plastic mulches. Consequently, the use of UV reflective mulches can lead to increased yields. This research also shows that the western flower thrips, which is the most serious thrips pest, also can be managed successfully in peppers grown on black plastic mulches by using one to three early season applications of biorational insecticides, such as spinosad. This type of approach reduces peaks in early season populations of western flower thrips without disrupting naturally occurring biological control agents. These naturally occurring biological control agents then are able to keep thrips populations low through the remainder of the growing season. Additional studies are being conducted to refine these management strategies, further improve IPM programs, and reduce the use of insecticides in vegetable crops.