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LEDWisdom Pest Management Articles #1 Thrips

Updated: Jun 27, 2021

As LEDWisdom, we are taking the first step to start a series of articles on plant pests. We sponsored a series of experiments on plant pests to raise awareness among growers. In this article, where we will touch on the relationship between the spectrum and plant pests, we will focus on thrips. On LEDWisdom Grow Blog, which is updated regularly, you can follow our plant pest article series, which includes general information about many plant pests and our solutions.

In our test area, 8 LEDWisdom WB340-R units and 480W prototype units wich are made with red, blue, yellow, IR, UV, orange and green monochromatic LEDs that we designed just for these experiments were used. The most common pest species in the tests were expected to breed in the greenhouse. Before the plants started to experience health problems, we took action and the greenhouse was harvested with a result very close to full performance at the end.

First photo is taken with LEDWisdom WB340-R, second photo is taken with monochromatic LED prototype and the third photo is taken under sunlight. Recognizing the thrips problem is the first step towards solving it, and yellow traps may not always work when it comes to thrips. An experienced gardener may notice the problem of thrips in any ambient lighting, as in the example above. But you can't be sure that your employees, who aren't as experienced in industrial farming practices as master horticulturists, will spot pest problems under any light spectrum.

For this reason, grow lights designed using red and blue monochromatic LEDs can come back to you as a waste of time and harvest. Both for this reason and because we prefer to market our grow lights by sharing our knowledge rather than using exaggerated test results or product features like competing companies, we do not manufacture and sell the high quality monochromatic LED prototype we designed for this experiment unless special requests come.

Thrips is a common problem that anyone who grows a variety of plants is likely to encounter. Thrips, small pests that literally suck the sap from your crop, can be divided into several different types. They can be small winged insects (millimeter-scale) or look like small, lifeless worms.

Regardless of the species they grow, thrips are the fear of all gardeners. They can reproduce up to 12 times a year. When mature, they can only survive by flying from one plant to another. Thrips, whose favorite crop seems to be cotton, can wreak havoc on many types of crops. Unfortunately, when they appear in early growth phase, they can reproduce significantly before you even notice them.

Frankliniella occidentalis is an example of a yellowish-white flying insect type thrips. They lay their eggs on the plant. The first signs of their presence are small, silvery spots or dots on the underside of the leaves. This is how thrips lay their eggs. They are very easy to miss, and if you start to see such spots on the leaves, you should examine your plants with the help of a magnifying lens.

Although it is not the biggest threat to outdoor growers, indoor environments are much more suitable for thrips development. Indoor growing areas and greenhouses are their favorite habitats. They like high temperatures and can be permanent if the right precautions are not taken. If the problem is not detected early and eliminated quickly, they significantly reduce the productivity of your greenhouse.

The best way to get rid of all plant pests is to thoroughly sterilize your grow cabinet and environment before you start growing plants. It's important to constantly remove all dead plant parts from the environment, not just to keep the growing area spotless.

After a growth area is built, it is common to use colored sticky insect traps to detect a possible pest infestation before it grows. The colors and characteristics of the traps may vary for each pest species, but it is sufficient to use yellow sticky traps for thrips. You will be able to check if their numbers are increasing as the pests will cling to these yellow traps as they move around the grow area. Yellow traps can play a role in the diagnosis part but not in the solution part of the problem.

Spinosad products are organic and harmless to pets, bees, children and plants. Spinosad is an organic pesticide made from the fermentation of certain types of soil bacteria. This type of insecticide can be used both as a foliar spray and for root irrigation. These products remain usable for approximately 24 hours when added to water, so only mix them at application times. As LEDWisdom, we recommend using spinosad, an organic and effective pesticide, for thrips solution.

Castile soaps, which are more affordable and do not harm the nature, preferably contain lavender and rosemary extracts, are also strong alternatives to be mentioned in the solution of thrips, but although it does not need to be applied as often as neem oil, it is effective when applied frequently for 1-2 weeks.

Another eco-friendly method for thrips solution is biological control. In biological control, adding natural predators such as Orius laevigatus (bed bug), which will not harm your plant but will feed on thrips, will protect your harvests from thrips.

Protect the environment and contribute to sustainability by using proven natural alternatives instead of chemicals. If you choose to use chemicals to clean your field and crop, try to use the least toxic materials available. Make sure all your employees wear both masks and gloves when working with toxic chemicals.

You can subscribe to our site and read our second pest management article that focuses on the fungus gnats.

Thank you for reading!

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