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Orius-System tackles adult thrips in strawberry

5/05/2021 - Over recent years, Biobest advisor Arno Hellemons has seen good results using a combination of cucumeris and Orius to control thrips in strawberry crops. "With this strategy strawberry growers are getting this challenging pest under control,” he says.

“Most growers already use Amblyseius-System and/or ABS-System,” explains Arno. ”This provides an excellent start as the cucumeris eats thrips larvae, efficiently tackling the first stage. Introducing this predatory mite into the crop regularly and preventatively provides an effective first line of defence. However, it doesn’t control adult thrips. Orius-System is a valuable addition to the control strategy as it eats all stages of thrips, while also tackling aphids, spider mites and whitefly.”

Pay attention to temperature

Arno advises growers to pay attention to the ambient temperature. "Orius develops considerably slower at low temperatures,” he explains. “Therefore, when cultivating in tunnels, I recommend to wait until night temperatures remain above 8°C before introducing Orius-System. Meanwhile, greenhouse growers can start introductions now.  

“Recommended introduction rates for Orius-System vary from 2 to 8 units per square metre - with the predator population reaching full strength within 1.5 to 2 months. To ensure the correct introduction rate for your crop, always contact your Biobest advisor.”

Orius in strawberry flower

Timely monitoring

Besides effective control, Arno says active scouting is crucial. "Our Crop-Scanner app can support growers in this,” he says. “This tool works on smartphones and tablets and is connected to an online web portal. This means all observations in the crop can be brought together and stored - enabling growers, and their advisers, to analyse data online and closely monitor pest outbreaks. In this way, we are able to develop a timely biological control strategy.”

Respond quickly

Arno also stressed the importance of sticky traps. He advises growers hang 1000 - 2000 Bug-Scan® Yellow NHS traps per hectare. "Thanks to our ‘New hanging system’ with clips, this task has been made easier and more efficient,” he says.

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