Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Biocontrol For Wide-Ranging Thrips

Date:
May 12, 2009
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
A pest with a voracious appetite may have met its match in a predatory mite being evaluated as a biocontrol agent.

The chilli thrips attacks 150 crops.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Lance S. Osborne, Mid-Florida Research & Education Center

A pest with a voracious appetite may have met its match in a predatory mite being evaluated as a biocontrol agent by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in Fort Pierce, Fla. in collaboration with University of Florida researchers.

The chilli thrips is an invasive pest that feeds on leaves, turns them brown, kills new growth and attacks up to 150 crops, including peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, peanuts, cotton and a variety of ornamentals.

Detected in Palm Beach County, Fla. in 2005, it has spread to 24 Florida counties and parts of Texas, damaging roses and other ornamentals in both states. Left unchecked, it could reach west to California and north along the Pacific Coast to Canada, causing losses of up to $3.8 billion annually.

Pesticides are effective, but the chilli thrips may develop resistance with repeated treatments, and pesticides are not an option for organic nurseries and gardeners, according to entomologist Cindy L. McKenzie, at the ARS U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory in Fort Pierce.

Researchers at Fort Pierce and the University of Florida have turned to two mites, Neoseiulus cucumeris and Amblyseius swirskii, which have been used commercially to combat other pests since at least 2005. The researchers put 30 adult chilli thrips on ornamental pepper plants in greenhouse and outdoor settings, waited a week for thrips larvae to hatch and, in separate treatments, released 30 mites of each species on the plants. They checked the plants weekly for four weeks.

Their results, published in Biological Control, showed that the mites--particularly A. swirskii--significantly reduced the number of thrips. A. swirskii left no more than one thrips insect per leaf. That compared with up to 60 thrips larva found on leaves of untreated pepper plants. The work was funded in part by the American Floral Endowment and the Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative.

The researchers have set up a chilli thrips website for gardeners and commercial growers at http://www.mrec.ifas.ufl.edu/lso/thripslinks.htm.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Biocontrol For Wide-Ranging Thrips." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090502083628.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2009, May 12). Biocontrol For Wide-Ranging Thrips. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090502083628.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Biocontrol For Wide-Ranging Thrips." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090502083628.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) The study weighs in on a debate over whether chimps are naturally violent or become that way due to human interference in the environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins