Organic Pest Control: Thrips

Welcome to Growing Spaces, I’m Kyle, a product
specialist here at Growing Spaces. We are here today to talk about organic pest control.
We’re going to be investigating thrips today on some bean plants that we have in the 15.
So here we are in the 15 foot Growing Dome. We came in the other day and noticed that
the pole beans that we planted actually are not doing so well. As you can see there are
a couple beans on there, some of them have died and there is basically no green left.
Alright, so. If we take a look at this bean you can see that there is just nothing left
here. On some of these other bean plants where there is just a few brown leaves, we might
go ahead and prune them, but this one in particular we are just going to go ahead and pull this
out. Just go along, these ones are severly infected. So with these beans here, there
are just a few leaves here really suffering You can see some damage, some little spots
on there from there feces. I’m just going to go ahead and prune these back a little.
Any spent blossoms, it’s a good idea to go ahead and prune these back as well. Because
thrips actually like to hang out inside of the blossom. It’s a real good cool humid environment
for the thrips to live. They are super small insects so often times like we found in here,
they are about .3 millimeters. So they are nearly microscopic. Now identifying thrips,
it’s important to look for their cigar shaped body. they are slender insects with fringed
wings. So they are soft bodied insects. They puncture the plant and suck the contents out,
the phloem. Not all thrips are pests, because there are some thrips in here that we actually
want to keep around because they are eating other pests around the greenhouse. So really
when we’re managing the thrip population we want to think about how we can control them,
not necessarily eradicate them completely. One thing about thrips, is that they are similar
to spider mites, they do like really dry environments. So, if you have a lack of water, you could
potentially see an outbreak of thrips. So, here we have a mixture of water and Dr.Bronners.
we went ahead and did the same ratio that we did for spider mites, which is 2 tablespoons
per gallon. Neem oil is really good to add to the Dr. Bronner’s water mixture because
the Dr. Bronner’s acts as an emulsifier. It will kind of help the Neem oil stick a little
better. Whenever I am spraying, I just go along and get the undersides of all of the
leaves. One thing to keep in mind with spraying, is you got to keep up on it. So, I’ll go ahead
and do an initial dose today. It’s Monday and probably come Wednesday we’ll do another
dose of some spraying just because the population is pretty bad in here. We’ll get some more
beneficial mites and some other predators going along in here. The life cycle of thrips.
You have larval, or pupal stage, where the thrips live underground in the soil. And then
they have the adult life where they live and feed on the plants. So this makes thrips really
tricky in controlling because you might be able to control the adult population and then
the next thing you know, there’s a whole another round of thrips that were bred from the soil.
Essentially, if you want to really control the population, beneficials are the way to
go. There are a few different methods of organic pest control that you can use. You can use
a shop vacuum to vacuum them up. If they are real concentrated in one particular area.
There is a fungus spray available on the market. Go ahead and check out our blog for the details
on all of the sprays. You can blast them with the spray of water. There is also other beneficial
insects. There we have it. Organic pest control. How to deal with thrips. Check out our blog.
And thank’s for watching. Please subscribe and have a good day.

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