Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #342858

Research Project: Exotic Whitefly Pests of Vegetables and Ornamental Plants

Location: Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research

Title: Thrips management program for ornamental plants

item Kumar, Vivek - University Of Florida
item Kakkar, Garima - University Of Florida
item Palmer, Cristi - Rutgers University
item Myers, Wayne - American Public Gardens
item Mckenzie, Cindy
item Osborne, Lance - University Of Florida

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/30/2017
Publication Date: 7/2/2017
Citation: Kumar, V., Kakkar, G., Palmer, C., Myers, W., McKenzie, C.L., Osborne, L.S. 2017. Thrips management program for ornamental plants [abstract]. International Society of Horticultural Science, VII International Symposium on Rose Research and Cultivation. VII:125.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Among the 5,500 (or more) well-described species of thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) worldwide, nearly 1% are known as economically important pests Owing to their polyphagous nature and damage potential to nursery and greenhouse production, thrips inflict millions of dollars loss annually. Thrips can reduce yield and/or the aesthetic or economic value of plants directly by causing feeding and egg laying injury, and indirectly by transmitting plant-damaging viruses to their hosts. Their small size (1–2 mm), tendency to hide in tiny spaces, high reproductive rate, and ability to survive in a wide range of climatic conditions help explain their significant representation on invasive pest lists of many countries. Thrips infestations can greatly impact regional and international trade of plant materials and products, due to the quarantine risks and damage associated with several species in the order. There are multiple thrips species known to cause economic damage to rose production in the United States, among which in recent years chilli thrips, Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood has been a frequent invader. Based on the available record in Global Pest and Disease Database, S. dorsalis is extremely polyphagous, feeding on more than 200 different plant taxa, and is one of the only 14 species in the order Thysanoptera known to transmit plant damaging tospoviruses. Their small size (>2 mm), high reproductive potential, multivoltine nature, ability to feed and reproduce on multiple hosts and adaptation to a wide range of climatic conditions makes S. dorsalis a major concern for agriculture in many countries. After the United States invasion in 2005, established populations of S. dorsalis have been reported on numerous hosts from 30 different counties in Florida, 8 counties in Texas, 2 counties in California with detections in Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, New York and Massachusetts. In recent years, it has emerged as a major problem for local rose growers in Florida, Texas, and California. In the wake of the economic importance of this pest on the United States rose industry, we developed a management program to control S. dorsalis along with another thrips species, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) known to attack different cultivars of rose in the region. The Thrips Management Program does not recommend insecticide applications when thrips are first detected. Instead, the program outlines steps to manage and maintain thrips populations throughout initial plant propagation and growth stages at levels that allow the final plant material to be shipped. The program provides guidance on best management practices, including scouting, sanitation, exclusion, biological control, and chemical control.