Integrated Pest Management of Western Flower Thrips
Facun Sarmiento, H.K.
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Western flower thrips (WFT), Frankliniella occidentalis, is one of the most serious pests in agri- and horticulture worldwide. It is a highly polyphagous insect causing direct damage by feeding on plant parts such as foliage and flowers. In addition, it is a major vector for several plant viruses which leads to indirect damage. IPM programme for F. occidentalis already exist but has not led to full control of this pest. The overuse of pesticides in ornamental crops due to low tolerance to damage and pests characteristics such as short generation time, high fecundity, and parthenogenesis has led to resistance development in F. occidentalis. Moreover, its thigmotactic and cryptic behaviour makes it hard to combat chemically. Strategies that are essential part of IPM are biological, chemical and cultural control. Biotechnological advancement has made it easier to detect resistant cultivars against F. occidentalis. Moreover, host plant resistance has shown promising use and can be combined with biological control to strengthen IPM. Chemicals are still unavoidable in the horticulture for example spinosad therefore alternative natural insecticide such as pyrethrins are being used. For biological control predatory mites, bugs and entomopathogens are used while for cultural control mechanical trapping and trap plants are used. In addition, plant volatiles are combined to use pull-push strategies and to increase the efficiency of mechanical practices. The best control would be to eventually use all tactics of IPM to combat F. occidentalis on all angles. Awareness and education on IPM are necessary to fill the gaps in knowledge. Improvement in techniques in identifying the pest and identifying resistance within cultivars will also help breeding programs. Furthermore, evaluations of the success of IPM need to be followed up.