An IPM system for new citrus thrips in Italy.
Citrus thrips Pezothrips kellyanus was first recorded in Italy in 1998. Since its first appearance, monitoring on different citrus varieties has been conducted in southern Italy. P. kellyanus was the main thrips species in all samples, followed by Thrips flavus and Thrips tabaci, which are considered secondary pests. In 2002, Frankliniella occidentalis was also detected. In all monitoring sites, the presence of the predatory mite Amblyseius degenerans was observed, but the role of phytoseiids is unclear. Lemon was the most commonly attacked crop, followed by orange and bergamot. The most prevalent alternative host plants were Lonicera spp., Pittosporum tobira and Jasminum frutificans [J. fruticans]. During 1999-2002, citrus thrips activity was monitored on lemon orchards to compare sampling methodology and level of citrus thrips fruit scarring at harvest. The ability to predict season-end scarring from May-July counts, of wingless stages, on fruits was encouraging. According to this data, action thresholds are being implemented. In several field trials, white sticky traps were the most attractive for adult thrips, followed by blue traps. The captures on sticky traps demonstrated poor correlation to year-end fruit damage, but showed potential to determine when to time insecticide applications. Pesticide-screening field trials on lemon and orange identified abamectin and spinosad as potential candidates for integrated pest management programmes. Organic-compatible compounds as rotenone, pyrethrum, NR oils and azadirachtin did not achieve a sufficient thrips control.