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Biological solutions key for managing thrips

Growers are being urged to carefully consider the role for biological controls as the first line of defence in the armoury against thrips.

Growers are being urged to carefully consider the role for biological controls as the first line of defence in the armoury against thrips.

“Thrips are one of the key pests for soft fruit growers, particularly in strawberry crops,” comments Colin Govett, BCP Certis’ Technical Account Manager. “It is important not to solely rely on insecticides, as has historically been the case

“Incorporating other control options will reduce the chance of the pest building up a resistance to the available chemical options, and with those options becoming increasingly limited, a broader, IPM approach is more important than ever,” says Colin.

Putting this into operation requires BCP Certis account managers to maintain a regular dialogue with their customers, so that they can deliver on the spot advice and a tailored pest control solution. “As well as having an Integrated Pest Management plan in place, fast action is usually the secret to keeping on top of a thrips population,” notes Colin.

“Amblyseius cucumeris is a predatory mite which can be used to help control thrips. As Amblyseius only feed on - the immature stages of the pest, Orius Laevigatus should also be added to the programme to control the adult stage. Understanding this kind of information is important, as it clearly demonstrates why the bio controls deliver a more effective defence when introduced preventatively rather than when the pest has established.

“It’s also why monitoring for thrips is so important. Depending on the number of people in the team on the nursery, it is advisable to have a dedicated person or group to focus on monitoring pest activity.”