Thrips are minute, slender insects less than two millimetres long and feed on flowers and leaves of plants using piercing and sucking mouthparts. High populations of thrips can cause physical damage to leaves, buds and fruit.
A small number of thrips species are also the sole vectors or carriers of all viruses in the Tospovirus or tomato spotted wilt group of plant viruses. Tospoviruses are among the most damaging viruses worldwide in many vegetable, field and ornamental crops.
This 6 page factsheet describes major plant viruses transmitted by thrips and the best management strategies to minimise crop damage.
Key Points :
Infected plants cannot be cured. Virus management aims to prevent or reduce levels of disease in crops by removing or avoiding sources of virus infection and minimising spread by thrips.
Although no single method is likely to provide adequate control, integrating several management options will often provide effective control.
See Also :
This technical reference note has been produced by Denis Persley and Cherie Gambley (DEEDI) as part of the Horticulture Australia Limited project VG-07128-Integrated management of viral diseases in vegetables.
This project has been facilitated by State Governments, and Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) in partnership with AUSVEG through the National Vegetable Research and Development Levy. The Australian Government provides matched funding for all HALs R&D activities.