Thripes Do you just live with them or try to get rid of them?

momof2luv2garden(Z8Summerville,SC)April 21, 2011

Stupid annoying thripes!!!!! Ugh I hate them!!!!!

They seem to be really bad this year. Spring flush was beautiful but they have now taken over and I still have or shall I say had so many blooms left. I went and dead headed most of what was left including many buds that I could see looked infested with them.

I even used Bayer liquid 3 in 1 in Feb. (before the buds budded) but that didn't seem to do anything. I tried the oil spray but I don't know how often I should keep doing it or if it really even works to get rid of them. I bought 1 bottle by Bayer to try but one bottle was hardly enough, I would need to use my 1 gal. sprayer if it is even worth it.

What do you do? Do you just say oh the heck with it and what will be will be and just live with them? ~Meghan

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Ladybugs eat thrips.I find that my garden maintains a balance if I just leave things alone.

Ladybugs will eat aphids, mealybugs, mites, scale insects, and thrips

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 8:29PM
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Thrips wreak their havoc during a relatively short season, so I just live with them.

I've no idea what strategies I'd employ if I wanted to mount a serious anti-thrips campaign. I'll be interested in learning about what others do.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 8:36PM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

I have just one rose in my garden that is a thrips magnet, Frederic Mistral, and boy do the thrips love him. Last year was the worst, and they infested him from late spring until the first week in September, at which time they suddenly and entirely disappeared. I resolved to try Spinosad on Frederic, but it is very expensive, too costly for one rose, until I tried, and found a dealer that offered Spinosad for very little. I will be trying it soon. It's the ready to spray stuff, which is what I wanted for a single rose. This same product in the same form sells for big bucks in an upscale catalog, so if you want to try it, do some searching for a good price. Maybe it will work! Diane

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 9:14PM
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Sheesh! Who knows? Two years ago I put out blue plastic drinking cups (upside down) painted with STP fuel additive. The blue attracts the flying thrips and the STP won't let them go. The situation seemed to get better after I put them out. After walking through the garden this evening I've decided to put them out this weekend. Thrips season here is supposed to be the end of April until the beginning of June. Well, they're quite early this year, and I've had enough. I will also be de-blooming and de-budding much of the garden this weekend. I'd rather have NO flowers than these awful things.


Here is a link that might be useful: If only sweat were irrigation...

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 9:38PM
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BTW, getting rid of the flowers & buds also gets rid of the thrips, preventing the larvae that have been eating on the flowers from falling to the ground to pupate and become adults which then lay eggs in the buds again. Collect the flowers in a bag that seals and throw it away it in the trash can not the compost pile. "The time from the egg to the adult stage varies with many factors but has been measured at 14 days at 85 degrees F for western flower thrips", according to the Univ of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. So you can see that several generations are produced during the season.


Here is a link that might be useful: If only sweat were irrigation...

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 9:56PM
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"Thrips" is actually an entire order of animals (in the same way that "Carnivora" is an entire order of meat-eating mammals, including not only dogs & cats, but also all the other dogs (foxes, jackals, wolves, etc.), cats (bobcats, jaguars, leopards, lions, tigers, etc.), and also all bears, all the various weasels, all "pinnipeds", and many other mammals who only eat other animals).

Consequently because different thrips species live in different parts of the USA different control strategies for different thrips in different parts of the country are inevitable. In some places thrips are only going to be a relatively minor pest (unless you're an enthusiast who competes in rose shows), while in other parts of the country (such as, for example where chilli thrips is established) dealing with thrips is a much bigger problem (& presently not necessarily one with an easy answer... :((( )

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 10:34PM
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I do have lady bugs in the garden but not nearly enough to combat them. They do seem worse this year for some reason. I have pruned most of my larger flowers but the cluster noisettes I couldn't. I also debudded many. I'm like you Sherry would rather have no flowers then those little scummers.

They are even crawling all over pretty much every rose I have even the pink roses. You can stand there looking at the roses not holding it up to your face and see them crawling all over them! My neighbor came over asking if I wouldn't mind her taking some roses for there church. Great not good timing! I cut the best ones I could and even ones that had thripes and tried to blow them off but had to explain that they weren't at their best right now due to a thripe invasion. *sigh* I wonder how long they last here? I never really paid it much attention. Last year I was invaded by leafhoppers and stink bugs.

I was kind of surprised that the liquid Bayer didn't do anything. Has anyone had the same results?

York there is no sure fire way to get rid of them? That is sad! :o( ~Meghan

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 8:32AM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

"Got thrips on your roses? Get aphids." That's the title of a fascinating Paul Zimmerman article I just found linked from Paul Bardman's site.

The discussion forum linked from it is very interesting also. It has photos of the players involved showing how it works.

My roses used to be absolutely crawling alive with thrips before I stopped spraying a few years ago. I hesitated to sniff a fragrant rose for fear I'd enhale them. Now I rarely see one. However, I rarely see an aphid either. So there are probably many beneficial insects that will keep thrips under control, or maybe the drama is somehow escaping my senses.

Happy gardening!

Here is a link that might be useful: How aphids combat thrips -- in a round about way ...

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 1:43PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

I have to say, I've never sprayed for bugs and didn't have thrips until a few years ago. Now I have them and I still don't spray. I think some roses are just thrip magnets and no matter what you do, those roses will have them.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 6:48PM
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Last year I bought lady bugs and green lacewings at a local nursery. I couldn't tell any difference. I decided not to buy any this year and just wait for the season to pass.

I like Sherry's idea of de-budding and throwing away. I'll try that this year, instead.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 7:15PM
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oldblush(8a, MS)

Aphids are NOT seasonal here in central Mississippi, they stay all season long with brief lax periods. I have lady beetles but way too many thrips for them to control. Whoever said that thrips didn't bother single roses should see my Sally Holmes, devastated! The only control I've found is to eliminate roses that the thrips damage most and try to tolerate the others. There are several chemicals on the marked that are 'said' to help control thrips but for obvious reasons I choose not to go this route. I agree with buford, some roses are just thrips magnets and no matter what you do, those roses will have them. Good luck and if you find the magic cure let me know.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 6:05AM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

I won't spray, and regardless of how many thrips I get, I won't spray. But I intend to try using a Dust Buster of sorts. We have a couple of them. I intend to test them, see what kind of power I will need, and try to get a battery one.

Thrips bother me, but not like cucumber beetles, and a couple of bugs that get on my tomatoes. One is the squash bug, and I forget the name of the other, but it looks like a lightning bug.

If I have good results, I will post them. (I also intend to put Borax in the bag or whatever collects them, so they will die. I have no problem with killing them, but don't want chemicals in my garden.)


    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 7:20AM
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oldblush(8a, MS)

Dadgum! It must have been early or maybe I'm just gettin' old! I meant to say, "THRIPS are NOT seasonal here in Mississippi".
One of the 'obvious' reasons I won't spray is because I don't like chemicals in my garden but the other and equally as important to me is that I can't see treating each and every bloom on so many huge roses.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 5:12AM
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Thanks for posting that link! Well, I am amazed. I suspect we have a healthy population of hoverflies, as I see a lot of somewhat bee-like flies around our roses. I've never sprayed, in over twenty years of growing roses, and even with all the beetles and aphids have always had enough flowers to make me happy. It's encouraging to come across another piece of evidence that a garden can reach a healthy equilibrium if the gardener doesn't interfere with various poisons.
Although I must say, I've written off lilies until a lily beetle predator shows up, which so far hasn't happened. Fortunately lilies weren't an important element in the garden.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 1:53AM
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Thank you for this post, its good to know that I am not the only one who lost a good portion of my first flush to thrips. I am not spraying anything. It was just the first flush last year, the following bloom cycles were OK. I am going to wait it out.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 2:31PM
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Brace yourself....this is going to be ugly.

I get these green seems they eat the thrips. They never build a web, only frequent roses with thrips and just get bigger and bigger all summer.

Each year I have them (since I stopped chemical control). If you see one....he is your friend.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 3:38PM
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I say live and let live.
By the time you "fix" the problem with insecticides, the thrips are long gone anyway. My thrip problem wiped out a lot of my spring flush, but I still had a beautiful garden and now the thrips are gone with no work on my part or damage to the butterflies and other insects.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 3:48PM
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If the beneficial insects that feed on thrips and aphids are attracted to certain plants, it makes sense (to me, anyway) to plant those beneficial- insect attractors as some of the companion plants to roses.

I tried doing this in Alabama, and it either worked pretty well or I didn't have much of a thrips problem anyway. I don't ever use pesticides in the garden either, as I am aware that there is an entire universe going on at the insect level that I don't see or much understand.

I also do believe what Hamp and buford say, that there are some roses that are thrip magnets. It would be fun to make a list of those sometime.

So, here are a couple of links that list plants that attract hoverflies, tachnid wasps, ladybugs, lacewings, etc. in case anyone is interested.

Here is a link that might be useful: plants that attract beneficial insects

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 5:53PM
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Ronda, I hope that's what he's doing. Unfortunately, though I've seen a few of those spiders, I think I'd have to see a whole bunch more for them to be doing any good. It also seems like he should be down inside the flower where the thrips are. What kind of spider is that? I'm really curious. How do you know he's eating thrips? I'm gonna go google this. Thanks for the heads up, Ronda. Actually, for me it's a moot point since all my buds and flowers are gone.


Here is a link that might be useful: If only sweat were irrigation...

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 5:56PM
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I tried to find out what kind he is but had no success. He can be found head down in a bud on occasion but 'rests' opened over the rose surface. He never has a web and I never see any 'wrapped' dinner victims. I figure he must eat thrips because I have never seen one on a rose that didn't get thrips but his 'bud' always has less. These spiders love the white and pale pink thripped roses and I have never seen them elsewhere.

Its an unscientific determination....but I take it for what its worth. (free)

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 7:20PM
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I get those beautiful green spiders too. In fact one laid a large egg sac in one of my Belinda's Dream. I have decided to just debud and dead head all the flowers on all but the cluster/spray roses. I used a white trash bag to put all the clippings into and the outside of the bag was crawling with them as they were being attracted to the bag. And boy do those things bite!

I don't like to spray either and if I have to I only spray the worst with a hand held sprayer. I did try for the first time the liquid 3 in 1 Bayer in Feb. but that didn't seem to do anything. So I won't be doing it again.

By the way I believe that green spider is called a green lynx spider. ~Meghan

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 9:12AM
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Gean, thanks for that link. Looks like I'm a sittin' duck. I don't have any of those plants. I'll have to see which ones will grow here.

Ronda, I hope you're right!!


Here is a link that might be useful: If only sweat were irrigation...

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 7:12PM
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Soapy water in a spray bottle kills them every time. Actually, I mix liquid dish soap, vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spray my roses. The soap dries out and kills the thrips, and the vinegar tends to change the PH of leaves, helping prevent blackspot. I could just be crazy though.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 10:16PM
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