Thrips favor hot and dry weather

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.

Hot and dry weather conditions are favorable for rapid increases of thrips populations. Adult thrips are very small (ca. 1/16 inch), yellowish, slender and have fringed wings. The immatures look like small wingless adults. Thrips reproduce very rapidly at high temperatures, and we may have five to eight generations per year.

Thrips have “rasping sucking” mouthparts and feed by scraping the surface of leaves and sucking plant juices, reducing photosynthetic capacity. Thrips prefer tight spaces and tend to spend most of their time hidden between leaves. This behavior makes it difficult for insecticides to come into contact with the insect. Use adequate gallonage and pressure when spraying insecticides to increase chemical contact with the insect. Extension bulletin E-12 lists registered insecticides for thrips control.

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