Western flower thrips can be a big issue for certain growers, especially lettuce producers. There are a few biological tools available to growers but they require some planning. “Definitely, we can use entomopathogenic fungi or nematodes,” UC Cooperative Extension’s Dr. Surendra Dara said. “And there are a number of biocontrol agents. They all can attack thrips life stages.”
In the latest Making Sense of Biologicals episode, Dara details some of those western flower thrip control options with timing considerations. For instance, if using entomopathogenic nematodes. “They can actually attack all life stages but pupae are well suited in this case as they are just sitting there in the soil,” he said.
Because of those considerations, biological options fit well into integrated pest management systems. Dara reminds growers that there isn’t a silver bullet product for any issue. “It’s always an integrated approach. Trying to take advantage of multiple control options or improving cultural practices that generally improve the health of the plant,” he said.
Listen to the full episode with Dr. Surendra Dara.
‘Making Sense of Biologicals’ is a series from AgNet West that dives into various topics with unbiased experts in the field of biologics to help the industry better understand the product category.
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