What Are Predatory Thrips?
Predatory thrip (amblyseius cucumeris) is a small insect that lives in moist places such as soil or damp woodpiles. They feed on the blood of their prey, which they catch with their long mouthparts. Their diet consists mainly of insects and other arthropods, but they have been known to consume birds and mammals too.
The adult female thrips feeds from May to September. She lays her eggs in the soil or wood pile where she was feeding. The larvae hatch after three months and develop into adults in four years. There are two generations per year, one in spring and another one in autumn.
They are very difficult to kill because they reproduce so rapidly. A single female can lay up to 100,000 eggs each day! If you want to control them effectively, you need to treat the area where they live regularly. You can use pesticides, baits or traps. Traps work best if placed at intervals of at least 1 metre around the affected area.
If you want to learn more about amblyseius cucumeris and how to get rid of them, contact a pest control company in your area.
What Are Thrips?
Thrips are very small insects, they are about the same size as a comma on paper. They are yellowish brown or grey in colour, with a dark stripe along their sides. They have fringes on their legs and wing covers which help them to move quickly, jump and fly.
Thrips feed on plant sap, which leaves them with a foul taste. They pierce the plant cells with their mouthparts and suck out the sap which drips out of them. They also spread disease and viruses from plant to plant.
The eggs are laid in clusters, which hatch into nymphs. Each nymph passes through several stages before becoming an adult. The eggs, larvae, pupae and adults all have to be destroyed to make sure that they don’t reinfest the plants again.
There are many different species of thrips, some of which are predatory. The best known are the western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis), onion thrips (Thrips tabaci) and the strawberry thrips (F. Fragariae). They feed on a wide variety of plants, especially tomatoes, roses, beans, peppers, potatoes and strawberries.
Control Measures For Thrips
The best way to deal with thrips is to catch them in a large glass jar. This is easy if you spray the affected plants with soapy water. The suds trap the thrips and stops them from escaping. Cover the top of the jar with tissue paper to prevent the thrips from escaping and seal the top of the jar. Place it in the sun or somewhere else warm, they will die if they are not kept warm.
Empty the jar every day and destroy the thrips.
You can wash the plants with warm water to remove all the dead insects and deposit them in a soapy bath to kill them. This is the best control measure for thrips because it will get all of the insects and their eggs.
If you have a lot of plants, you might want to consider using a pesticide. Use one that is safe for plants, as some insecticides are harmful to flowers and vegetables.
You can also release predatory mites in your garden. The presence of the predator keeps thrips populations low. The predatory mites also feed on other insects and will help keep them under control. These mites are not readily available and you will need to get them from a specialist supplier.
You can find a list of these suppliers on the internet. Make sure that you buy the right ones, as there are many types of mite. It is best to buy a mixture that has several different types in it.
If you want to learn more about thrips and how to control them, contact a pest control company in your area. You can also find a lot of useful information on the internet. There are many good sites that have a lot of information on these pests and how to control them.
Sources & references used in this article:
What omnivores eat: direct effects of induced plant resistance on herbivores and indirect consequences for diet selection by omnivores by AA Agrawal, CN Klein – Journal of Animal Ecology, 2000 – Wiley Online Library
… FLOWER THRIPS, FRANKLINIELLA OCCIDENTALS (PERGANDE)(THYSANOPTERA: THRIPIDAE), IN GREENHOUSES USING A SOIL-DWELLING PREDATORY … by DR Gillespie, DMJ Quiring – The Canadian Entomologist, 1990 – cambridge.org
Amblyseius swirskii: What made this predatory mite such a successful biocontrol agent? by FJ Calvo, M Knapp, YM van Houten… – … and Applied Acarology, 2015 – Springer
Preselection of predatory mites to improve year‐round biological control of western flower thrips in greenhouse crops by YM van Houten, PCJ van Rijn… – Entomologia …, 1995 – Wiley Online Library
Supplemental food affects thrips predation and movement of Orius laevigatus (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) and Neoseiulus cucumeris (Acari: Phytoseiidae) by DJ Skirvin, L Kravar-Garde, K Reynolds… – Bulletin of …, 2007 – cambridge.org
Predation by insects and mites by MW Sabelis, PCJ Van Rijn – Thrips as crop pests, 1997 – pure.uva.nl