New Zealand: Poinsettia thrips detected in Auckland greenhouse

In August 2017, Poinsettia thrips, Echinothrips americanus, were detected in an Auckland greenhouse. NZPPI are asking growers and retailers to check house plants and greenhouse vegetable and fruit plants to help determine if the thrips have spread.

If you detect, or suspect that you have seen Poinsettia thrips, contact MPI on 0800 90 80 66.
  • Poinsettia thrips are an Unwanted Organism in New Zealand, and can feed on a wide range of host plants, causing damage to greenhouse crops such as house plants and cut flowers, tomatoes, and capsicums. Overseas it's also been reported on impatiens and chrysanthemum.
  • This species is already widespread throughout the USA, and parts of Europe and Asia. No previous incursions of E. americanus into New Zealand have been recorded.
  • Poinsettia thrips cause mechanical chewing and feeding damage to host plants, particularly on older leaves.
  • Greenhouse plants with woody stems (eg houseplants) seem to be more affected than softer stemmed plants such as vegetables.
  • Due to New Zealand’s cooler climate, we understand that Poinsettia thrips will not survive outside greenhouses.
  • So far, no Poinsettia thrips have been detected in any other part of New Zealand.
NZPPI are seeking the assistance of all greenhouse growers and retailers to undertake surveillance for thrips to find out whether or not it is more widely distributed.

See the Poinsettia thrips fact sheet on what to look for, and actions to take if thrips are detected.

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