Posted by: HortAlaska | July 5, 2013

Thrips- a short note

Before ARS was eliminated from Alaska, they conducted a thorough survey of the peony fields at the Georgeson Botanical Garden for thrips. Thanks to the efforts of Div. of Ag, Curtis Knight and Dr. Derek Syles, UAF Museum, they have now been identified. We don’t have one type of thrips, we have nine species! The most common is western garden thrips, onion thrips and tobacco thrips, all of which cause significant damage to vegetable crops and will definitely be an issue with peonies. At the GBG this summer, thrips damage is extensive, the most I have ever seen. Perhaps it is because of the hot, dry weather. I am cataloging all the damage I have seen and will share at a later date. Thrips are extremely difficult to identify. These specimens were sent to Spain for verification! It is clear we need a statewide survey and then information on how to minimize damage and control infestations.


  1. what about aphid control…limited this year but always about…


    • This is the first year I have seen sticky residue from aphids at the GBG. The arrived fairly late after cutting, but I’m sure there were some around. We have not looked in to aphid controls. If there are just a few, a water spray or one of the horticultural soaps would do. Need to be careful to find something that does not leave a residue. Also contact Phil Kaspari at CES and see what is legally listed for use on peonies in Alaska.


  2. Do you have suggestions on insecticides? Does Neem oil work?
    thank you Iene


    • We have not tried any insecticides for thrips. We are still trying to figure out if they are a problem when the buds are cut or if it is something that occurs only one fully open flowers. We haven’t captured any thrips on closed buds yet.


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