Predator for thrips in no-spray garden ??

saldutJune 15, 2010

Does anyone know of a predator for thrips , for my no-spray garden.... I'm seeing the first signs of thrips and need a bug that eats thrips, I am in Central Florida and the predator needs to be acclimated to this climate.... also a source for this predator, mail-order ??? Thanks, sally

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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

Sally, on the Oklahoma Forum I was told to get a battery operated dust buster to go after the cucumber beetles and the squash bugs. I have been wondering if that would work for thrips.

(I'm not kidding even if the concept seems ridiculous. I use no sprays, and squash bugs are fast in all their forms.)


    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 5:21PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

What an interesting idea. I'm going to have to consider what else I could use that idea for. [g]

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 8:02PM
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Thanks Sammy, good idea ... but I doubt it would work on thrips, they burrow into the center of the bud and dust prob. wouldn't reach them.... so far, the only thing that worked for me was spraying Bayer 3-in-1 , twice... but I am trying to get away from the spraying.... also I cut off the buds with thrips and bag them into the trash, but then there are less flowers and the thrips just show up someplace else..... Thanks, sally

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 4:22PM
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plantloverkat zone 9a north Houston(zone 9a)

Here is a link for Hydro-Gardens in Colorado. Someone on some forum post (I can't remember exactly where I saw it - it was last winter sometime) recommended the Guardian Lawn Patrol nematodes they sell to help decrease thrip populations. They also sell several types of thrip predators. They are not inexpensive and shipping would add to the cost.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 9:34PM
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Thanks Kathy... I got a tip from a lady in Kansas, abt. a 'Hot Wax Pepper Spray' by Bonide, so am going to see if they carry it here, and also I'm going to HD tomorrow and read labels, and see what else is out there, I need something that's quick, and my thinking now is that 'beneficial insects' are a more long-term option... I went out this morning again and cut off and bagged the buds that look 'insect-y', so that should help.....I hope I can find something 'organic' that's quick.... Thanks to all the kind GWer's , I sure appreciate the help... sally

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 12:52PM
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Sally, I've also heard that green lacewings and their larve prey on thrips. I don't know how effective buying them is, though. Still, if their food is in your garden, why fly over to your neighbor's yard?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 2:50PM
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Hi, Sally,

I'm attaching a couple of links that might help a little.

One is an Organic Gardening article that talks about plants that attract and feed the beneficial insects that prey on thrips, aphids, etc. and the other is a list of plants that feed and attract beneficials. Diane's Seeds has a nice article also.

I've read of a couple of different insects that feed on thrips and know that you can order them.

In my last garden I didn't use any insecticides but got interested in attracting beneficials and planting companions to feed them.

I spent the last year experimenting by planting many of the beneficial plants listed, hoping to attract and keep ladybugs, lace wings, hover flies and some of the small wasps that eat aphids and other insects that bothered my garden. I think it helped a lot, but a year's time is not enough to judge anything. The roses seemed to thrive although Winter Sunset suffered from a lot of rose slugs. I do know that my insect and bee population was enormous, although I couldn't identify many of the insects that were constantly there. I left everything alone and didn't see much damage except for the rose slugs.

We were switching over our fescue lawn to clover as well. By not ever putting down grub killer, the grubs were consuming the grass roots. We found out that clover doesn't have to be mown very often and that grubs don't bother it.

Good luck, Gean

Here is a link that might be useful: Organic gardening article on feeding beneficial insects

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 1:44AM
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This is a list of beneficials and some of the plants they feed on.

Here is a link that might be useful: Plants for beneficial insects

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 1:47AM
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Flower thrips are usually under good biological control by this time of year. We get a huge population of them in April and early May, which is a real challenge with the first flush of blooms, but then the population crashes as the natural predators catch up to them. We have bought thrips predators in the past, to release in the greenhouses, and they do work, but outdoors, we've never needed to bother.
On the other hand, if the problem is chili thrips (more on foliage than flowers) there appears to be nothing available to control them, other than chemical means or choosing varieties based on natural resistance (e.g., Mrs. B. R. Cant, Trinity)

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 11:06AM
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Thank you Gean and harborrose, those Lists are great and I see some plants I already have, and some that don't do well here in our humidity, I have copied and saved the Links so I can refer back when I go to the Nursery or HD.. thanks... Thank you Dr. Manners, I went out and cut off what I could see that was damaged, and a lot was on the leaves, the leaves are twisted and reddish so I cut them off and bagged them into the dumpster.... I'm looking at the Hot Pepper Wax Spray that a gal recommended and may try that, can you give me your opinion on it? It is not available in local Nurseries and would have to be mail-ordered, it runs abt. $10. for a 22 - 24 oz. spray bottle plus postage, abt. $6 - $ 7. so is kind of pricey, but apparently the parrafin wax they put in it helps hold the cayenne-hot pepper onto the plant and the thrips are killed, also repelled... I do know bugs stay away from hot peppers in the yard, so it sounds like it might work, also it seems to be organic-control which is what I am trying to achieve... do you have any experience with this ? I sure appreciate all the help on this, I am trying to stay away from Insecticides and Fungicides and was thinking it was going quite well, until these dang thrips came along..... Thanks everyone, sally

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 1:14PM
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