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By: Rose Buitenhuis
The Vineland Research and Innovation Centre has a six-part series published in Greenhouse Canada magazine with practical information for thrips integrated pest management (IPM) programs.
Written by Biocontrol Specialists Rose Buitenhuis, Michael Brownbridge and Graeme Murphy, the articles offer application tips and tricks, information on new technologies, and are supplemented by short videos demonstrating techniques or principles.

  • Part 1, Designing Your Greenhouse IPM Program, introduces the systems approach to IPM and goes through the different elements of thrips IPM from start to finish, setting the stage for the rest of the series. The video explains the importance of choosing the right plant, the right environment and the right control agents for a complete IPM strategy.


  • Part 2, IPM: Prevention and Early Intervention, describes the elements and actions of a “start clean and stay clean” strategy, including a pest-free environment, healthy and resistant plants and an early start to biocontrol. The video shows the right technique for cutting dips to kill pests on propagative material.


  • Part 3, The Rise of Microbes, offers useful information on microbial biopesticides and entomopathogenic nematodes and how they fit in thrips IPM programs. The video demonstrates how to determine the viability of entomopathogenic nematodes and the best way to apply them to a crop.


  • Part 4, 1001 Ways to Use Predatory Mites, describes when and where to use different species, formulations and release strategies of predatory mites, how to optimize their performance, and how they integrate with other biocontrol agents and IPM strategies. The video explains how slow release sachets work and how to monitor the weekly ‘walk-out’ from the sachets.


  • Part 5, How to Use Non-Crop Plants, explores the principles of using indicator plants, trap plants and banker plants for monitoring, mass trapping and maintaining a population of biocontrol agents in the greenhouse.


For the full series and videos, visit
For more information on specific biocontrol agents or IPM in general, visit

AFE is currently funding a three-year research project with Rose Buitenhuis on insect management. Her project — Successful IPM of Western Flower Thrips Starts with Clean Cuttings — investigates the use of cutting dips containing reduced-risk materials (insecticidal soap, mineral oil) and biopesticides (Beauveria bassiana) as a means of reducing thrips infestations on propagative materials to levels where they can be easily managed thereafter using biocontrol.