Over the last few weeks, The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development in Western Australia has been inundated with reports of Chilli Thrip infestations in roses across the Perth Metropolitan area. The thrips have become so active in Perth due to the rainfall and humidity. Thrips like to feed on the sugars in new shoots.

Chilli Thrips are a tiny insect (about 2mm) which is almost impossible to see with the naked eye. They are also known as strawberry and tea thrips and feed on roses, all citrus and their hybrids as well as a range of fruit and vegetables. Chilli thrip feed by draining the contents of plant cells, causing white specks, trails and brown scarring along the veins of leaves, flower buds and the calyx or outer casing of fruit, as well as wrinkled leaves.

How do I Prevent them? 

Chilli Thrips are very difficult to prevent as they are so difficult to see unless you are looking at the effects of an active infestation. However, there are some preventative steps that you can take to lower your chances of infestation.

Garden Maintenance 

Remove all fallen leaves and petals out of the garden immediately, as part of the thrip’s lifecycle is entering the moist soil or litter beneath the rose plant. Then make sure to cultivate the soil around your plants to a depth of 6cm in both Autumn and Spring. The final step to this process is placing dry organic mulch around your plants. This will prevent adult thrip from growing and emerging from the leaf litter onto your plants. BUY PEA STRAW BALES FROM BACKYARDS TO BARNYARDS

I have an active Chilli Thrip infestation – How do I get rid of them? 

Once Chili Thrips have taken hold, it takes a vigilant gardener to completely get rid of them. Whilst there are a number of organic options for you to try first, due to their extremely short life cycle, many gardening experts recommend using chemical insecticides to rid them completely. We will discuss all 3 options.

Home Brew Method

  1. Chilli Thrips HATE water!! If you have caught the infestation early, then spraying the rose plant with water will discourage them from settling. BUT remember to spray both under and over the leaves, and to hit your plants with water 3 times a week for two weeks.
  2. Remove problem areas. This tip goes for all forms of preventing and cure of Chilli Thrips. You need to cut off affects blooms and leaves to encourage new growths. It is important that you immediately remove and bag all offcuts quickly to avoid spreading the Thrips.
  3. Garlic or Chilli Spray. Thrips also do not like garlic or chilli. To make a garlic or chilli spray at home, you need to take teaspoons of crushed garlic or chilli, and place in 500mls of water. Let this mixture sit for a few days so that the water becomes potent, then strain and spray onto your plants. Although this spray is effective, it will need to be repeated each week for a number of weeks, as well as reapplied after it has rained.

Organic Method

  1. Organic insecticide containing Pyrethrin, such as Nature’s Way Citrus and Ornamental spray. This is safe to use on organic gardens and controls a wide range of chewing and sucking insect pests.
  2. Apply Plant Doctor Rescue Remedy, Plant Doctor Rescue Remedy is arguably the highest analysis Seaweed (kelp) FERTILISER product in Australia. Kelp will help plants to recover from stress and improve root function
  3. Finish with Searles 5 in 1 Liquid Fertiliser.
  4. Apply every two weeks for six weeks

Chemical Methods 

  1. Spray with Conguard or Imidacloprid 200. These are strong and effective, and will have your garden back to normal in no time.
  2. Apply Plant Doctor Rescue Remedy,
  3. Finish with Searles 5 in 1 Liquid Fertiliser.
  4. Apply every two weeks for six weeks

Imidacloprid 200

$79.95

Imidacloprid is a systemic insecticide widely used to control pests in gardens and turf. It is also for the treatment of fleas in pets