It’s that time of year again where two of the biggest crops cross over: fall pot mums and poinsettia. This means growers have to simultaneously keep an eye on the two biggest pests in the industry: thrips (usually western flower thrips) and Bemisia whitefly.
by Sarah Jandricic, Greenhouse Floriculture IPM Specialist, OMAFRA
Due to OMAFRA/UofG’s ongoing project looking at onion thrips (Thrips tabaci) as a pest of flower crops, we’ve been monitoring thrips species levels both inside and outside several local mum operations in Southwestern Ontario for the last few months.
The good news is that all thrips levels (both onion and WFT) seem unusually low right now and don’t show any sign of going up again as temperatures cool. This is likely a result of a combination of things.
Low outside thrips pressure is likely due to a relatively wet spring/summer: thrips have lots of weeds to eat this year (ask any allergy sufferer) and don’t need to seek out your greenhouse crops. Low inside thrips pressure points to better grower awareness and management of thrips on cuttings. This includes the wide-spread use of cutting dips, thanks to efforts by VRIC, and a focus on biocontrol in propagation/early sticking.