Decision-making tools for Frankliniella occidentalis management in strawberry: Consideration of target markets

Moshe Coll*, Sulochana Shakya, Inbar Shouster, Yaakov Nenner, Shimon Steinberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The western flower thrips (WFT), Frankliniella occidentalis Pergande (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), a cosmopolitan pest of many crops, is considered a major pest of low tunnel and greenhouse strawberries. The extent of damage to strawberry is unclear because different studies have produced contradictory results. Also, economic thresholds published for WFT in strawberry vary greatly, and most fail to incorporate economic factors. This study was aimed at developing a decision-making tool for WFT management in strawberries in Israel. Toward this end, economic injury levels (EIL) and economic thresholds were calculated, based on target markets (export vs. domestic). Results indicate that serious infestation of ripe berries may cause a dull, rough appearance, and the fruit may be soft and have a reduced shelf life, rendering it unsuitable for export. Most fruit damage occurred at green and turning-red stages of development. Two decision-making tools were developed, one for winter, when WFT populations increase slowly but crop value is high (export market); and the second for spring, when the pest increases rapidly but crop value is low (local markets). Economic thresholds of 10 and 24 WFT/flower were calculated for winter and spring strawberries, respectively, based on direct thrips damage to fruit. This calculation does not take into account the recorded WFT damage to flowers, or its role in facilitating Botrytis cinerea fruit infection. Western flower thrips has proved only an occasional economic pest in Israeli strawberries, and no routine control measures are warranted. Furthermore, augmentative releases of Orius laevigatus or Neoseilus cucumeris against WFT are not justified in this system, because Orius colonizes strawberry fields spontaneously in high numbers when no broad spectrum insecticides are used.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)59-67
Number of pages9
JournalEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Botrytis cinerea
  • Economic injury level
  • Economic threshold
  • Thripidae
  • Thysanoptera
  • Western flower thrips


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