It’s harvest season for Florida’s $300 million-per-year strawberry season, so those who grow this fruit need help to control pests such as the tiny (up to 2-millimeters long), destructive chilli thrips.
Farmers often use pesticides to control thrips, but they would like to use minimal chemicals. University of Florida scientists may have found a good reason to use pesticides at lower volumes and less frequently.
Chilli thrips usually arrive in Florida strawberry fields after plants bear new leaves, a couple of weeks after they are planted. Adult thrips come to the strawberry field from nearby crop fields or from vegetation. They feed on new strawberry plants and cause bronzing and darkening of leaves, which stunts the plant’s growth and reduces yield.
When these bugs feed on strawberry plants, they don’t stay in one place.
Learn more about how this UF/IFAS Study Shows Less Need for Pesticides to Control Pests on the VSC News website.