Chilli thrips infestations started popping up in late Spring this year, with several severe cases observed in October. Last year chilli thrips populations seemed to explode in October as well and persisted well into January and even February in some parts of Florida. Cold snaps were short and sandwiched in between 80 degree days allowing them to survive in bark cracks and crevices, and in mulch.
This invasive pest has no natural enemies, feeds on over 100 plant species, is extremely small and can re-infest very quickly from adjacent landscapes. Symptoms may include leaf curling, twisting,stunting, bunching, scarring, and/or loss of leaves.
In most cases our GreenUP Landscape Program can keep populations suppressed to avoid significant damage and plant loss. There may be “hot spots” where populations get out of control and control is difficult. We aren’t able to predict where these may occur at this time, but we have a more intensive treatment regimen available for use in such situations which can prevent plant loss.
Recovery from chilli thrips damage is very slow going into the winter months, but if treatments are successful, new spring growth will improve the appearance of plants dramatically.
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