NZ: Experience of thrip control with predators

Thrips are present in numerous crops and can quickly increase in numbers. The main species of thrips in NZ are Western Flower Thrips and Onion Thrips. This insect develops very quickly, and under warm conditions, it can go from an egg to an adult in 9 days, whereas under normal conditions, it takes 10 to 14 days.

Western Flower Thrips are mainly found on the top of a plant and often feed in the flowers. Onion Thrips stay lower in the crop and do not feed on flowers.

Over the years, there has been a lot of positive experience with Neoseiulus cucumeris (Thripex), which is widely regarded as a solid base in thrip control for Western Flower Thrips and Onion Thrips. Thripex prefers high humidity and lives below the top of a plant. When the humidity is too low, they will hide under veins on a leaf and will come out when conditions are right again, like evening, night-time, and early morning.

Thripex is used in many crops indoor and outdoor. It has been the standard in thrips control in capsicums for many years but also in cucumber, strawberries, and raspberries.

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