Thrips are a common pest in the UK, but easily dealt with by using a combination of specialist predators.
We prefer to use both Orius Laevigatus & Amblyseius Cucumeris in combination for quick results!
It is obviously better to deploy the predators at the earliest sign of Thrip but this combo pack will do the job in most gardens up to 5m2
All you need to do is sprinkle some of the Cucumeris into every pot and let them go to work. They will hunt for emerging young.
The Orius can be just let out to roam, they will fly out and find prey.
They will establish a population and feed on the Thrips until they are back within a negligible level.
Predators can take some time to gain control if the infestation is bad so we recommend preparing the area by removing any marked leaves and maintaining max temps of 26c – Thrips breed twice as fast at each degree over 26c so environment control can actually help you control pest outbreaks too.
Once the Thrips have been eradicated, the predators will continue to live in your mulch layer waiting for anything else to show up. If you have any reoccurring outbreaks, the existing predators will come to the rescue. Of course, it will take time for them to re-establish their population so they may need a boost at certain times but by utilising predators you can avoid sprays completely.
Amblyseius Cucumeris x 50,000
Orius Laevigatus x 500
Some further reading on Thrips….
Adult thrips are small narrow bodies insects about 1/20 inch long and vary in colour from light to dark brown. The wings are narrow and fringed and adult thrips are capable of flying.
Nymphs are active, light-coloured, wingless insects. The mouthparts of adults and nymphs are designed to rasp plant tissues then suck the juices. The last nymphal stage is spent in the soil.
It’s the adults and nymphs that do most of the damage and what we mainly see on the plants themselves when infected. Eggs are laid in plant tissue and hatch in 3-5 days; nymphs feed for 1-3 weeks on your foliage, then rest in the soil or on leaves until they molt into adult form in 1-2 weeks.
Thrips are tiny, but you may notice signs of their presence, such as black, shiny speckles (droppings), silvery stippling (masses of tiny discoloured scars on leaves) or, in severe cases, deformed growth. Thrips feed by using their mouthparts to pierce plant cells and suck out their contents. Damaged plant cells collapse, resulting in deformed plant growth and silvered patches and flecking on leaves.
Thrips are like mites in that they prefer hot, dry conditions. When it is hot and dry populations will multiply rapidly. However, they can reproduce at almost all temperature and humidity levels in indoor garden. As with any bug that plagues our gardens, early detection is important because symptoms of feeding often go unnoticed until serious damage has occurred. Also, small populations are easier to control than large ones. An important detail to note is that thrips breed twice as fast at every incremental degree centigrade in temperature above 26c… so at 27c they double and 28c they double again!
Tapping the flowers or foliage of a few plants gently over a sheet of white paper will dislodge thrips and make them visible. Plant tapping can be used to determine if thrips are present, and to gain a rough estimate of their numbers.
The two most popular natural predators we recommended for thrips are the Amblyseius Cucumeris & Orius Laevigatus. This is the combination of species in our Thrip Predator Bundle.
Cucumeris are soil born predators that hunt out the Thrips as they try to find a home in the soil to transform from Nymph to Adult and continue the breeding cycle. The Cucumeris wait for any Nymphs making their way down from the plants and stop them finding a space to transform. They will also prevent any further Thrips from entering the garden and making their way up to the plants. The Orius will fly around and hunt any Adults on the actual leaves of the plants.