In the past 2-3 years, production nurseries and plant retailers have reported a dramatic increase in the damage being caused by the chilli thrips (Scirtothrips dorsalis) across a range of hosts. Greenlife Industry Australia’s (GIA) National Biosecurity and Sustainable Plant Production project team have produced a technical fact sheet to help you to mitigate the damage this pest can cause to your nursery crops.
Chilli thrips (S. dorsalis) is widely distributed along its native range in Asia including Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Thailand. It was first reported in north-western Australia approximately twenty years ago.
Chilli thrips (Scirtothrips dorsalis): an emerging endemic plant pest
S. dorsalis are sap-sucking insects that can cause deformities in ﬂowers, leaves, stems, and shoots and a known vector of groundnut chlorotic fan-spot virus, groundnut yellow spot virus, tomato spotted wilt virus, and tobacco streak virus. Also known as strawberry and/or yellow tea thrips, S. dorsalis feeds on roses, all citrus (and their hybrids), as well as a wide range of fruit, vegetable, and home garden/indoor ornamental plants. The host list is quite extensive, however in Western Australia the damage has been mostly reported on roses.
How to deal with chilli thrips
The technical fact sheet mentioned above has been developed to help production nurseries and plant retailers better recognise and deal with this pest threat. Detailed pest information is also available in the Pest Id Tool.
This fact sheet includes important information on the chilli thrips’ background and life cycle, as well as tips to help you identify this pest. It also includes a range of management strategies, including recommended cultural and biological controls, to help you minimise the threat posed by chilli thrips to your nursery.