Thrips on loose in your farms and gardens

Thrips (order Thysanoptera) are minute, slender insects with fringed wings. Other common names for thrips include thunder flies, thunder bugs, storm flies, thunder lights, storm bugs, corn flies and corn lice. Thrips species feed on a large variety of plants and thrips 1animals by puncturing them and sucking up the contents. Some species of thrips feed on other insects or mites and are considered beneficial, while some feed on fungal spores or pollen. More than 6,000 species of thrips are known around the world, with over 300 of these in Europe and only around 150 natives to Britain. Thrips are small hemimetabolic insects with a distinctive cigar-shaped bauplan. They are elongated with transversely constricted bodies. They range in size from 0.5 to 14 millimeters (0.020 to 0.551 in) in length for the larger predatory thrips, but most thrips are about 1 mm in length.

thrips 2Many thrips are pests of commercial crops due to the damage caused by feeding on developing flowers or vegetables, causing discoloration, deformities, and reduced marketability of the crop. These tiny insects pierce hundreds of species of plants, sucking the nutrients and causing billions of dollars in damage to U.S. agricultural crops. Barely visible to the naked eye, they heavily damage fruits, vegetable, and horticultural crops, so much so that they can and do pose a biosecurity threat. In 1996, Cuba’s Fidel Castro accused the United States of aerially releasing Thrips palmi over potato fields. Thrips may also serve as vectors for plant diseases, such as Tospoviruses. Over 20 plant-infecting viruses are known to be transmitted by thrips. These enveloped viruses are considered among some of the most damaging of emerging plant pathogens around the world.

Herbaceous ornamental, and certain vegetable crops are more susceptible to serious injury from thrips feeding and thrips-vectored viruses, especially when plants are young. Thrips feeding can stunt plant growth and can cause damaged leaves to become papery and distorted, develop tiny pale spots (stippling), and drop prematurely. Infested terminals may discolor and become rolled. Petals may exhibit “color break,” which is pale or dark discoloring of petal tissue that was killed by thrips feeding before buds opened. On some plants, thrips can cause severe stunting to the early season flush of terminal growth.

Western flower thrips is primarily a pest of herbaceous plants; but high populations can damage flowers on woody plants, such as roses. Rose petals may develop dark streaks and spots from feeding injury that occurred before the buds opened, or the flower buds may deform and fail to open. Western flower thrips also vectors Impatiens necrotic spot virus and Tomato spotted wilt virus, which can severely damage or kill certain vegetable crops and herbaceous ornamentals.

thrips 4In the April issue of “Greenhouse Management”, Kansas State University professor and extension specialist in horticultural entomology and plant protection Ray Cloyd wrote that, “Western flower thrips are still the most destructive insect pest of greenhouse-grown horticultural crops, the reason being that western flower thrips cause both direct feeding damage to leaves and flowers and indirect damage by vectoring viruses. This results in a very low tolerance for this insect pest.”

As stated earlier some species of thrips feed on other insects or mites and are considered beneficial, while some feed on fungal spores or pollen. Hence they hold a lot of ecological importance in our ecosystem. In many thrips species, by the time their damage is observed, such as after buds open, the thrips may no longer be present. Thus instead of taking controlling remedies, one must look for effective preventive measures. Thrips can be difficult to control effectively with insecticides and pesticides, partly because of their mobility, feeding behavior, and protected egg and pupal stages. Also use of insecticides and pesticides are harmful to them as well to the ecological system.

At C Tech Corporation, we offer a safe and effective solution to deal with these insects. Termirepel™ is a non-toxic, non-hazardous product that primarily repels insects from the application. It is a broad spectrum repellent which works against almost 500 species of pestering bugs thus efficaciously repulse them away from the application. The best feature of this product is that it is environmentally safe and causes no harm to the insect as well as humans and the environment. It is available in masterbatch and lacquer form and as a liquid solution. For prevention of damage caused by Thrips, films incorporated with Termirepel™ can be used to cover the area or mulches can also be used to save the plants. Such films can also be wrapped around big fruits to prevent damage. This product work on the mechanism of sustainability and green technology and therefore significant in today’s time and date as ecology salvation has become the prime focus.