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Thrips Biological Control Demonstration in Orange and Ulster Counties 1999

Project Leaders: Susan MacAvery, Extension Educator, Commercial Horticulture; Teresa Rusinek, Orange County IPM Coordinator; Karen E. Dean, Extension Educator, Commercial Horticulture; 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; Debra Armstrong, Area Extension Specialist, Wallkill/Rondout Watershed USDA Demonstration Project.


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 with which to demonstrate biological controls.

The predatory mite Neoseiulus cucumeris has been successfully used to control thrips for two consecutive seasons in the retail portion of a greenhouse range participating in the scouting program. Demonstrations over the past three years with N. cucumeris in Orange County have provided educational opportunities for growers, extension staff and researchers. Our experience has allowed us to take the demonstration a step further, into mainstream greenhouse production. 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.