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Control Thrips in your Garden
THRIP INFESTATION - WHAT IT IS:
The bug is most likely called "thrips", and it's a new variety in the
U.S. Just like our new ladybugs, and the Japanese Beetles, we're
basically getting new bugs from all over the world, and these little
thrips are probably as bad or even worse than spidermites for indoor
gardeners! The good news is that it should be an easy fix.
Thrips go through three stages of life.
1. The first is in the soil as little worms
(larvae) eating the roots. They can't be killed by sprays at this
stage because they're sheltered deep in the soil.
2. The second stage of a thrips life cycle is as a fast
crawling bug that is so tiny (1/16" to 1/8" long) they're almost
impossible to see. They look kind of like a miniture silverfish at
this stage, and they suck the juice out of the bottoms of the
leaves, and the newest most delicate growth on the plant, including
the flowers and fruits. Sprays aren't very effective on them at this
stage due to the fact that the thrips can hide in that new growth at
the top of the plant.
3. The last stage of the thrips life is as a flying insect.
They look almost exactly like a fungus gnat and they're the same
little guys that are buzzing around your head outside in the summer.
They don't do any real damage at this stage, but they lay new eggs,
perpetuating the problem.
1. Our first fix uses "Mosquito Dunks". They're made for
standing water situations, and are a bacterial inoculant. They're
perfect for eliminating thrips because this particular bacteria eats
anything in a larval stage, so by soaking a dunk in water, then
using that water to thoroughly water your plants, with just a few
applications you can rid yourself of the thrips. This works just as well
for gnats too!
The dunks are held together with a paper fiber that
won't break down, so you'd probably want to put a dunk or two into a
nylon sock, then soak that in water for several days to allow the
bacteria to come to life before using about half of that water to water
your plants. Then you can fill the bucket back up with water (leaving
the same dunks in the water), and start a cycle of doing this to water
your plants. It may take a couple weeks, but you'll eventually win.
Replace the Mosquito Dunk in your soak about every 30 days.
If you're gardening using hydroponics, place an appropriate portion of a
Mosquito Dunk into a nylon sock (helps prevent solid debris) and drop
into the reservoir. If your infestation is overwhelming, after 24 hours,
knead the Dunk slightly to help intensify bacteria saturation - this
will shorten the lifespan of the Dunk, but make it more concentrated.
Find Mosquito Dunks here
2. NEW! In addition to the use of Mosquito
Dunks to control thrips, we've found a new and more effective way to
keep these little buggers under wraps. This new product is called
Monterey Garden Spray which is a harmless OMRI-listed bacterial product
like the mosquito dunks.
Monterey Garden Spray is used as a foliar spray to kill
the eggs which are laid on the bottoms of leaves and on the stems. With
only one or two applications of the foliar spray you can virtually
eliminate your active thrip infestation.
With the continued use of the mosquito dunks for a
short period, you can keep the problem from repeating itself.
Find Monterey Garden Spray here
Monterey Garden Spray is for spraying the plant, and is not intended
for a root soak or in hydroponics systems reservoirs. Use Mosquito Dunks
for the hydroponics reservoir (in a nylon), or to be watered into soil.
SPEED UP THE PROCESS:
Use Blue Sticky Traps along with either method for an
effective way to help control thrips (or many other pests) as every
adult insect that gets caught, can't lay eggs! They are also a great
indicator of new insect infiltrations, so keep one up at all times.
Find Blue Sticky Traps here
"A few days back, I made the comment to ... that we have
not been able to correct this gnat thing, and we haven't even contacted our
grow guru (YOU). Well ... contacted you, we did the Microbe Lift process you
described, last nite, and went out there today,,,,, and there isn't a sight
of one single gnat!!!! Man your a genius!!!!"