Thrips Levels Mostly Low in Florida

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Thrips populations remain at low levels across most of southern Florida, according to the South Florida Pest and Disease Hotline.

Thrips pressure

Thrips in Southwest Florida are unanimously at low populations. Reports include thrips in peppers, Asian bean thrips and flower thrips.

They are mostly at low levels on the east coast, but there was one report of a moderate infestation on pepper with larval feeding found on fruit.

There is increasing thrips damage in beans in Homestead, especially from Asian bean thrips (ABT). The damage was more obvious following rainfall. ABT remain the dominant species, followed by Florida flower thrips and melon thrips. Thrips are high on eggplant, while they remain low on pepper and tomato.

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences provide recommendations for growers managing thrips. These include cultural practices like implementing reflective plastic mulch on field margins or planting a non-host crop as a barrier.

Producers should not use insecticides unless that are certain about the pest status of thrips on their crop. Growers should also scout their fields regularly to confirm the level of infestation.