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Report On Thrips Biological Control Demonstration In Orange And Ulster Counties 2000

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Project Leaders: Susan MacAvery, Extension Educator, Commercial Horticulture; Teresa Rusinek, Orange County IPM Coordinator; Gary Couch, IPM Area Specialist.

Cooperators: Rod Ferrentino, NY State Ornamentals IPM Coordinator; John Sanderson, Associate Professor, Entomology; Margery L. Daughtrey, Senior Extension Associate, Plant Pathology.


Since 1992, the educational focus of the Orange/Ulster IPM program has addressed current issues in greenhouse production while facilitating a bi-directional flow of information between growers and Cornell staff. The relationships that have developed have allowed us to identify cooperators for the demonstration of biological controls.

The predatory mite Neoseiulus cucumeris has been successfully used to control thrips for three consecutive seasons in the retail portion of a greenhouse range participating in the scouting program. Demonstrations over the past four years with N. cucumeris in Orange County have provided educational opportunities for growers, extension staff and researchers. In 1999, we expanded the thrips predator demonstration from one retail greenhouse to three production greenhouse operations, in Ulster and Orange Counties. We worked closely with growers and cooperators to share our past experience as well as to gain information on biological control systems using N. cucumeris in commercial greenhouse settings. In 2000 we compared two application methods, sprinkle vs. sachet, and also investigated the use of Hypoaspis miles in combination with N. cucumeris. Preliminary results suggest that the sprinkle method provided better thrips control than the sachet method, and the addition of Hypoaspis provided improved control of thrips at one greenhouse operation.