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Tomato, Peppers, Eggplant Pests - Thrips

For more information on the life history and management of thrips, click here.

The western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis) and onion thrips (Thrips tabaci) are the two most common vectors of tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) in solanaceous crops. See TSWV disease description below. In addition to virus transmission, thrips will feed on leaves, developing buds, flowers, and fruits; and if populations are high, can cause economic loss. Typical symptoms are “rasping” and stippling injury on leaves, and stunted buds, flowers, and fruits. Thrips feeding on the surface of well-developed fruits can cause scarring. An abundance of dark tarspots of thrips frass can contaminate fruits.

Figure 9.15Thrip feeding damage on tomato leaves.