Thrips Parvispinus Species Damaging Peppers in Palm Beach County

Jim Rogers Pests

The thrips parvispinus species that was first detected in the United States in 2020 is wreaking havoc on pepper plantings in eastern Palm Beach County, Florida, according to the South Florida Pest and Disease Hotline.

thrips species
Photo courtesy of UF/IFAS.

Scouts have observed that the species is causing substantial damage in young and mature plantings in the region. Other fields have experienced low levels of crop damage. Insecticide rotations are helping to reduce populations.

Samples submitted for species identification from southwest Florida have yet to be positively identified as T. parvispinus.

Farmers and scouts will notice that the injury on pepper leaves is similar to injury caused by broad mites. In regions where the species has long been established, the crops most vulnerable to T. parvispinus are papaya, peppers, potatoes, eggplants, beans, shallots and strawberries. Pepper yield losses associated with T. parvispinus could reach 23% in Indonesia.

Click here for additional information about T. parvispinus.

If growers suspect T. parvispinus in their crop, they are encouraged to contact either Anna Meszaros at ameszaros@ufl.edu or Craig Frey at craigfrey@ufl.edu for sampling and confirmation.