Growers have some good options for thrips control, including two seed treatment options and seed treatments plus a foliar application.

With the recent approval by the EPA of a new formulation of aldicarb to be sold as Meymik, growers will have the once standard option of using aldicarb (Temik) for early season thrips control.

Meymik will not likely be available to growers for the first part of the 2012 growing season, but should be available in plentiful supply by the 2013 season. It will most likely takeover the spot once held by Temik as the standard thrips treatment in North Carolina and Virginia.

North Carolina State University Entomologist Jack Bachelor notes that even though aldicarb is considered the standard treatment for thrips, under dry conditions, uptake of aldicarb by the plant can be reduced to the point that a foliar treatment may be needed.

It is not clear at this point what the use rates will be for Meymik, but if it is similar to the old three and five pound per acre rates of Temik, the product often provides early grow-off and fruit set in cotton and other crops. In cotton planted after May 15-20, the lower rate has traditionally been adequate to control thrips.

For the past five years or more both of the commonly used cottonseed treatments for thrips have performed well in field tests in all categories, except for persistence. Especially in early planted cotton, these materials may be gone before thrips populations reach their seasonal peak.

Bachelor says growers should plan on only three weeks or so of protection against thrips from either of the commonly used seed treatments.

In some cases, when using the seed treatments, a foliar application of Orthene or other similar insecticide may be needed to provide adequate protection against thirps.

Both cotton and peanut acreage is expected to be up in Tidewater area of North Carolina and Virginia in 2012.

To maximize production and reduce loss to thrips damage and to TSWV, growers will benefit from knowing their thrips and by managing these destructive little insects wisely.