- Worldwide distribution. On more than 250 plants in 65 families; these include: soft fruit (plums, peaches, strawberries, grapes); flowers (Gladiolus, Impatiens, Gerbera, Chrysanthemum, poinsettia); vegetables (cucumber, tomato, capsicum, cabbages, beans), and wild flowers. An important pest.
- Eggs laid in flowers or leaves; nymphs and adults cause distortions, spots and silvering, and spread viruses (e.g., Tomato spotted wilt virus).
- Spread by short flights, and by the plant trade.
- Cultural control: check seedlings in nurseries – if necessary, use thrips-grade screen; 10 m grass strips around nurseries; avoid planting new crops near old; weed; use yellow or blue sticky traps to monitor thrips; rogue plants with virus; collect and burn trash after harvest; crop rotation.
- Chemical control: soap, white or horticultural oils, neem or spinosad; note, thrips has resistance to many synthetic pesticides.
Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides
Western flower thrips (183)
Photo 2. Spotting on poinsettia leavers caused by western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis.
Western flower thrips
AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from CABI (2020) Frankliniella occidentallis (western flower thrips). Invasive Species Compendium. (https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/24426); and Western flower thrips. Plant Health Australia. (https://www.planthealthaustralia.com.au/pests/western-flower-thrips/); and from DPIRD (2016) Chemical control of western flower thrips. Agriculture and Food. Government of western Australia. (https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/fruit/chemical-control-western-flower-thrips). Photo 1 T Smith, University of Massachusetts.Bugwood.org. Photo 2 L Pundt, University of Connecticut. Photo 3 William M Brown Jt., Bugwood.org. Photo 4 Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org. Photo 5 Jack T Reed, Mississippi State University. Bugwood.org. Diagram Life cycle western flower thrips. University of Massachusetts.
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.