Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Thrips - general (086)

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  • Worldwide distribution. On tomato, capsicum (see Fact Sheet no. 106), melon, onion (see Fact Sheet no. 117), and many other crops. An important pest.
  • Thrips are small insects, living within the buds of leaves and fruit, sucking the sap; leaves become brown on the underside, and fruit show silver scars.
  • Eggplant, tomato, melon, onion, and many other hosts are attacked, as well as weeds.
  • Natural enemies: predatory thrips prey on plant-eating thrips, and there are other predators.
  • Cultural control: avoid over-lapping crops; rotate crops; grow yard-long beans between rows to stop spread; destroy weeds; burn, or bury crop remains after harvest.
  • Chemical control: PDPs: derris, chilli, or neem; or soap, horticultural or white oils; use the biopesticide, spinosad. Alternatively, synthetic pyrethroids, but they are likely to kill natural enemies.
Common Name

Thrips are named after the plants that they live on, e.g., bean thrips, chilli thrips, western flower thrips, melon thrips, onion thrips, tobacco thrips. Some species are predators.

Scientific Name

Thrips and Frankliniella species. A number of thrips have been identified on vegetables and flowers in Pacific island countries.

AUTHORS Suzanne Neave & Grahame Jackson
Information from Trips (2021) Wikipedia. (' and J. Bethke JA (2014) Thrips. How to manage pests in gardens and landscapes. UC/IPM. (; and from Which thrips is that? A guide to the key species transmitting Tomato spotted wilt virus in NSW. Complied by Marilyn Steiner. NSW Department of Primary Industries. ( Photos 4-7 Mani Mua, SPC, Sigatoka Research Station, Fiji. Photo 10 Diane Alston, Utah State University, Photo 11 Wikipedia. ( It is not known if this insect is in Pacific island countries; it is given as an example of this type of bug.

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project PC/2010/090: Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific Islands in support of sustainable intensification of high-value crop production, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

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