Some species of thrips can travel long distances on the wind. Natural enemies are unlikely to prevent damage from such an invasion.
Thrips feeds on a wide range of plants, including weeds from which they can invade potato crops. Weed control is a good management strategy especially for western flower thrips which has a very wide host plant range and is a more localised insect than other species of thrips which may be carried by wind.
Thrips can invade crops from emergence onwards. Very young potato plants are most susceptible; advanced crops are unlikely to be affected.
Check for thrips during weekly monitoring for other pests, especially during crop establishment.
If insecticide is required, choose one with short residual or narrow activity spectrum.
As crops emerge and grow, remove any plants showing tomato spotted wilt virus symptoms.
Funding for this work to support Indonesian potato farmers and WA seed potato exports was provided by ACIAR (the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research) and the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia.