Explore tips for managing thrips in citrus, courtesy of the UF/IFAS Tip of the Week for Florida citrus growers.

The UF/IFAS Tip of the Week for Florida citrus growers maintains that it’s time to focus on managing thrips in citrus as the spring bloom approaches. Thrips cause damage to developing flowers in sweet oranges, with damage so severe at times it can cause “abortion of the flower or developing fruitlet,” according to the accompanying Citrus Industry article. See tips for thrip management in citrus, below.

Managing Thrips in Citrus

The following tips were supplied by an article on UF/IFAS’s Tip of the Week by Lauren M. Diepenbrock, an assistant professor at the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred. Tips for managing thrips in citrus include:

  • Thrips are “most likely to be causing damage during bloom, when management options are severely restricted.”
  • “it is recommended to scout blocks twice weekly prior to bud swell and treat between bud swell and full bloom to prevent flower or fruitlet loss if the pest population is increasing.”
  • the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Production Guide has information on thrips.
  • Chilli thrips have been found causing damage to new growth in CUPS growing environments, and the recommendation is to use materials effective in treating flower and orchid thrips, if they can be used in screen houses or greenhouses.
  • “Several predatory insects (lacewings, ladybeetles and predatory thrips) and mites (phytoseiids) could be used to manage outbreaks” in CUPS growing environments.

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