In December 2011, AFI magazine printed an update about research being conducted by Andrew Manners, Senior Entomologist with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, on biological control agents for western flower thrips. This project is now complete and a summary of the results are below.
Western flower thrips (WFT) is probably the most important insect pest for the cut flower, causing economic loss to chrysanthemums, gerberas, anthuriums, lisianthus, dahlias, roses and other crops. Injury to flower buds and growing points causes scarring, wilt and discolouration, presenting as distortion as the plant grows, ruining the look of the product. The thrips are also a vector for tospoviruses such as Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus, a virus which causes economic losses in a broad range of potted ornamental crops, cut flower crops and vegetables. 

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