Management of Western Flower Thrips in Head Lettuce with Conventional and Botanical Insecticides
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AbstractStudies were conducted in three independent field trials to evaluate the efficacy of conventional and botanical insecticides against western flower thrips in head lettuce. Trials were conducted in spring lettuce under moderate and heavy populations pressures. Actara and Avaunt, two new experiential insecticides did not significantly control adults and provided only marginal activity against the larvae when applied alone. Combination of these products with either Lannate or Warrior significantly enhanced control, but usually not greater than that shown from the Lannate or Warrior applied alone. Several botanical products were evaluated (azadirachtin, pyrethrins, crop oils and garlic). Unfortunately, none of the botanical products significantly reduced thrips numbers to economically acceptable levels of control. Similar to previous studies, our results suggest that even the most efficacious products appeared to maintain thrips populations at constant levels and not necessarily reducing their numbers. More research needs to be conducted to determine the proper timing of applications to achieve optimal thrips using both conventional and botanical insecticides.