Author: Phil Phillips, Ben Faber, Pascal "Eve" Oevering

Avocado thrips, Scirtothrips perseae Nakahara (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) was discovered in California in July of 1996, and spread rapidly to most avocado orchards in Southern California. The economic impact of this pest has been estimated at an annual short-run loss of between $7.6 and $13.4 million in 1998 from the combined effects of losses in quality and increased production costs associated with avocado thrips management. Since the introduction, methods to
control this pest have been studied. Chemical, cultural and biological approaches to control have resulted in Section 18 registration of abamectin (Agri-Mek) for the last few years and full registration of spinosad (Success and Entrust) and sabadilla (Veratran D). The biological studies have not provided a single economically viable agent, but a range of cultural actions (use of mulch, time of pruning) that may be taken as part of a strategy to control avocado thrips.