Cucumeris is the preferred predator for thrips control.
They are tan colored mites found on the underside of leaves along the viens or inside mature flowers.These mites are most effective at preventing thrips build-up when applied early in the growing season at the first sign of thrips.
NATURAL CONTROL OF THRIPS...
The life cycle of Cucumeris begins with small white eggs that can be seen attached to leaf hairs along veins on the lower leaf surface. At 68 degrees F eggs hatch in about 3 days into nonfeeding larvae that molt to nymphs after about 2 days. The 2 nymphal stages which last 7 days, as well as the adult stage which lasts up to 30 days feed on immature stages of thrips. The adult female can lay up to 35 eggs in her lifetime. Adults can eat an average of 1 thrips per day and also feed on two-spotted mites and their eggs.
Establishment of Cucumeris requires 3-4 weeks, so they should be applied before thrip problems develop. Because cucumeris feed on immature thrip stages a decrease in adult thrip populations will not occur for about 3 weeks.
Amblyseius swirskii is commonly used to control whitefly and thrips in greenhouse vegetables (especially cucumber, pepper and eggplant) and some ornamental crops.Since Amblyseius swirskii is not susceptible to diapause it can be used throughout much of the season. This species is considered a generalist predator, and readily consumes small soft-bodied pest species as well as pollen or plant exudates. Amblyseius swirskii has attracted substantial interest as a biological control agent of mites, thrips and whiteflies in greenhouse and nursery crops. The mites are released directly in the crops in bran or vermiculite carriers sprinkled on the leaves or substrates.
Amblyseius swirskii is documented to feed and reproduce on a wide range of prey from several orders, including thrips (western flower, onion, melon, and chilli), whiteflies (greenhouse and silverleaf) and plant feeding spider mites.The generalist predatory mite A. swirskii is widely used against other pests such as thrips and whiteflies and is also very effective in controlling broad mites. Amblyseius is a beneficial predatory mite endemic to the Eastern Mediterranean region. This species is considered a generalist predator, and readily consumes small soft-bodied pest species as well as pollen or plant exudates. Amblyseius swirskii has attracted substantial interest as a biological control agent of mites, broad mites, thrips and whiteflies in greenhouse.