Western Flower Thrip (Frankliniella occidentalis)
Joyce's Diary - September 2008
It is that time of year again when I try to persuade the last of the tomato crop to ripen quickly so that I can clear as much space as possible in my small greenhouse to move in plants that have spent the summer out of doors. There is always the same battle, there are still pounds of green tomatoes hanging from the plants, I watch each weather forecast anxiously ready to rush out to save the succulents if frost is expected.
The other problem is that, with the wet summer, the succulents out of doors have put on so much growth that I just donít know how I will fit them all under cover. With many I shall just have to chop their heads off and put them in the garage for the winter, hoping that by spring they will have developed roots and will be ready to go out once more.
I have come across an insecticide that I had not seen before, Westlands Bug Attack. I have used it to treat and prevent Western flower thrip. I used it on half my Lithops and used Bio Provado on the remainder. It will be interesting to compare results. I like to be able to alternate insecticides so that the pests donít become resistant to one. The Western flower thrip is tiny, scarcely visible to the naked eye, but it can cause considerable damage to Lithops if left untreated. It hides over winter deep down between the leaves and feeds on the developing new leaves. When the new leaves come through in the spring they are distorted and have brown marks.
For the first time for some years I found the dreaded mealy bug on one of my Astrophytum. It is a time of year when I like to treat all the collection with insecticide, before the winter sets in, so I have been very busy!!!!!
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