As temperatures rise, thrips pressure in strawberry crops is increasing rapidly. Now is the ideal time to start using Orius-System, as well as predatory mites, says Eline Braet - Berries Crop Specialist at Biobest.
“Particularly in summer, thrips populations in everbearers can literally explode,” she warns. “ABS-System and Swirskii-Breeding-System are then no longer sufficient. Although great pest controllers, they only feed on the pest larvae. To tackle the thrips adults, we recommend growers use Orius-System.”
Thrips attack strawberry plant flowers which become deformed, resulting in bronze-coloured fruit. A persistent pest, it is best controlled using a combination of natural enemies introduced regularly, and in good time, to enable populations to remain at an appropriate level. Introduction rates depend on the pest pressure.
“As soon as the crop reaches 10 cm, we advise distributing predatory mites weekly,” says Eline. “The effectiveness depends on the temperature and day length.
“From May to September conditions are perfect for Orius predatory bugs,” she says. “When growers detect adult thrips in flowers, they should start using Orius-System right away."
Orius-System is now available in Biobest’s redesigned 100% biodegradable packaging. This ensures the predatory bugs arrive in optimal condition and the cardboard cups and lid can be left behind in the crop - enabling any remaining adults to escape. At the end of cultivation, the cartons are removed together with the plant remains – saving time.
Curious about the possibilities for your crop? Please contact your Biobest advisor.