The common blossom thrips, Frankliniella schultzei (Trybom), has been recently reported as an agronomic pest in South Florida. It poses a serious threat to tomato and pepper growers due to its ability to transmit Groundnut ring spot virus (GRSV). In the wake of the current problem 3 trials were undertaken to control F. schultzei using conventional and novel insecticides of different modes of action. Specifically, the efficacies of neonicotinoid, diamides, spirotetramat, spinosyn/spinosad and Chenopodium ambrosioides were evaluated with the aim of controlling F. schultzei and minimizing the transmission of the virus. In the first trial, imidacloprid (IRAC Group 4) applied at planting as a soil drench followed by drip irrigation application of cyazypyr showed some reduction of the F. schultzei population and of the transmission of GRSV on tomato. The change in the method of application of cyazypyr from drip irrigation to direct application on the foliage in the second trial improved both the control of F. schultzei and the reduction of GRSV on tomato. In the third trial, the foliar applications of spirotetramat, spinetoram and Chenopodium ambrosioides did not control F. schultzei populations nor reduce the transmission of GRSV on pepper. Results from this study will help in the development of a management program using imidacloprid and cyazypyr in rotation with spirotetramat, spinetoram and Chenopodium ambrosioides. The development of such a program to suppress F. schultzei populations thrips and prevent transmission of GRSV will be challenging, but an effective IPM program would also serve as a strong insecticide resistance management program for F. schultzei.
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Vol. 97 • No. 2