June 2024 - 31

DR. BUGS
flower thrips second instar larvae and
adults defend themselves by striking
N. cucumeris with their abdomen,
which is why N. cucumeris only feed
on Western flower thrips first instar
larvae. In addition, Western flower
thrips produce a liquid substance
that covers the body of N. cucumeris.
Consequently, N. cucumeris will not
attack Western flower thrips but
instead will spend time cleaning
(grooming) themselves.
Neoseiulus cucumeris feeds on
pollen as an alternative food source,
which sustains its populations when
Western flower thrips populations
are low or when they are not in a
susceptible life stage (first instar
larva). Temperature can affect the
number of Western flower thrips killed
by N. cucumeris with feeding reduced
when temperatures are less than 68° F.
COMMERCIAL AVAILABILITY
AND USE IN GREENHOUSES
Neoseiulus cucumeris are available
from most distributors or suppliers of
biological control agents as sachets
or slow release bags (Figure 2) that
contain eggs, immatures (larvae and
nymphs) and adults mixed with a bran
carrier. The sachets also contain bran
mites (Tyrophagus putrescentiae) as
a temporary food source. Sachets
are placed within greenhouse grown
crops (Figure 3). This predator
emerges over a 4-6 week period.
Most N. cucumeris emerge from
the sachets in the first week. Adults
emerge from the sachets through
small holes, and then disperse among
greenhouse crops when plant leaves
are touching. Sachets need to be in
contact with plant leaves or stems so
when predatory mites emerge from
the sachets they can move onto plants
and start searching for Western flower
thrips larvae.
It is also available in containers of
20,000 predatory mites mixed with
vermiculite (Figure 4). The predatory
mites are distributed onto crops
Figure 4. A container
of 20,000 Neoseiulus
cucumeris mixed
with vermiculite.
Figure 5. Neoseiulus cucumeris can be
applied by hand directly to leaves.
Figure 6. A mechanical sprayer can be
used to distribute Neoseiulus cucumeris
in the greenhouse.
by placing them onto plant leaves
(Figure 5) or using a mechanized
blower (Figure 6). Be sure to lightly
mist plants with water before
releasing so the predatory mites do
not fall off plants. N. cucumeris take
3-4 weeks to establish within a crop,
so releases should be made early
in the crop production cycle when
Western flower thrips populations
are low.
The ability of Neoseiulus cucumeris
to manage western flower thrips
populations depends on the length
of the crop production cycle. For
example, a short production cycle
(2-3 months), such as for bedding
plants, may not allow enough time
for populations of this predator to
establish an increase in numbers
to manage Western flower thrips
populations below plant-damaging
levels. Consequently, N. cucumeris
may be more effective in managing
Western flower thrips populations
on long production cycle crops
(greater than three months) such
as vegetables.
Raymond A. Cloyd is a professor and
Extension specialist in horticultural
entomology/plant protection at
Kansas State University, Department
of Entomology. He can be reached at
rcloyd@ksu.edu.
GREENHOUSE PRODUCT NEWS 31

June 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of June 2024

Table of Contents
Editor's Report | Labor updates
Legislation | Tackling ag labor
Management | All-in-one installation
Labor | Labor survey report
Labor | New H-2A worker protections will start this year
CAST 2024 | CAST crazes of 2024
Pest & Disease Management | Start clean, stay clean
Biologicals | Plant health and biologicals
Dr. Bugs | Biological control agent of Western flower thrips
Forty Under 40 Perspectives | Remote Sales success
Culture Report | Sparkling new Princettia varieties
Duets | Plant pathology perspective from floriculture royalty
AmericanHort | Dive deeper and gain an edge
Product Marketplace
Industry News
Classifieds/Ad Index
June 2024 - 1
June 2024 - 2
June 2024 - Table of Contents
June 2024 - Editor's Report | Labor updates
June 2024 - 5
June 2024 - 6
June 2024 - 7
June 2024 - Legislation | Tackling ag labor
June 2024 - 9
June 2024 - Management | All-in-one installation
June 2024 - 11
June 2024 - 12
June 2024 - 13
June 2024 - Labor | Labor survey report
June 2024 - 15
June 2024 - Labor | New H-2A worker protections will start this year
June 2024 - 17
June 2024 - CAST 2024 | CAST crazes of 2024
June 2024 - 19
June 2024 - 20
June 2024 - 21
June 2024 - 22
June 2024 - 23
June 2024 - Pest & Disease Management | Start clean, stay clean
June 2024 - 25
June 2024 - Biologicals | Plant health and biologicals
June 2024 - 27
June 2024 - 28
June 2024 - 29
June 2024 - Dr. Bugs | Biological control agent of Western flower thrips
June 2024 - 31
June 2024 - Forty Under 40 Perspectives | Remote Sales success
June 2024 - 33
June 2024 - Culture Report | Sparkling new Princettia varieties
June 2024 - 35
June 2024 - 36
June 2024 - 37
June 2024 - Duets | Plant pathology perspective from floriculture royalty
June 2024 - 39
June 2024 - 40
June 2024 - 41
June 2024 - AmericanHort | Dive deeper and gain an edge
June 2024 - 43
June 2024 - Product Marketplace
June 2024 - 45
June 2024 - 46
June 2024 - 47
June 2024 - Industry News
June 2024 - 49
June 2024 - Classifieds/Ad Index
June 2024 - 51
June 2024 - 52
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