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What are Thrips and how do I identify them?

Thrips are the smallest winged insects, and there are about six species of Thrip that cause damage to plants in greenhouses and indoor growing. Thrips have six stages in their life cycle; egg, two larval stages, pre-pupa, pupa and adult. The larvae and the adults feed on plants. The adults are tiny, dark coloured, pencil shaped insects, often found in flowers. The larvae are often found on the leaves. The Thrip pierce plants when feeding, causing plant tissue to die. This will be evidenced by silvery scratches on leaves with tiny black marks on.

What are Orius laevigatus predators and how can they help?

The Orius predatory bug feeds on adult Thrip and larvae, including the larger larvae. Both the adult and the nymph stage of the Orius life cycle will feed on Thrips. 

The Orius will also feed on flower pollen which allows for their introduction before the Thrip pests are visibly present. With predators on the plant at all times, the Thrips can be killed before they can take hold. Orius can take a few weeks to establish, however, and will adapt better when such a source of pollen is available.

We advise the combined application of Orius with the Amblyseius cucumeris predatory mites to tackle larger infestations, and establish total control.

Severe Thrip infestations may require more than one application of predators. Allow 7-10 days and reapply the predators if the Thrips are still visibly present. Once the infestation is controlled switch to our sachets to avoid further outbreaks.

When should I use the Orius bugs?

We advise using Orius when Thrips are already present on the plant. This immediately releases a large number of active predators to bring infestations under control.

What conditions do the Orius bugs require?

Orius are active at temperatures over 18 and most effective when applied from May. 

How many Orius bugs do I need?

We recommend the following application rate based on an average plant height of 1m:

Light infestation: 200 bugs per plant

Heavy infestation: 500 bugs per plant

Repeat applications may be required against heavy infestations. You should introduce fresh predators every 7-10 days until the infestation is controlled.

How do I apply the Orius bugs?

Ensure the Orius are released in identifiable hot spots of Thrip activity. The Orius are supplied in shaker bottles, so you can apply the predators by rotating the bottle and gently shaking the contents directly onto the infested leaves of the plants. 

Orius can also be applied using our Dragonfli Distribution Boxes, which will be more effective for larger plants. Distribute the shaker bottle contents into your boxes and hang them on the stems or leaves of your plants. The boxes act as small breeding sites for the predators and they will then proceed to exit the boxes and move around the plants.

Repeat applications may be required to maintain Orius populations, or if Thrip numbers were high when the predators were first applied.

Full instructions are provided on delivery.

Can I store Orius bugs?

We advise using Orius straight away upon delivery, this ensures best results as the bugs will be fresh.

Chemical Pesticides

Orius is a living creature and can be affected by any chemical pesticides used within the previous few weeks. As a general guide, refrain from using Pyrethrum or SB Plant Invigorator 2 days prior to use. Other chemicals insecticides can have long lasting residues that could harm Orius and other predatory bugs for much longer periods. Refrain from using these products or check with Dragonfli for information on the effect of these products on the predatory bugs.

Thrip Killer



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