Many cotton acres in north Alabama are being treated for thrips as large numbers move from grass to cotton plants in the first to second true leaf stage. Thrips collected from a cotton field in Lawrence county on May 15 were mainly Tobacco thrips ( Frankliniella fusca) and Flower thrips (Frankliniella tritici) (usually called Eastern flower thrips). Soybean thrips (Neohydatothrips variabolis) and Western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis) were also present but in much lower numbers. However, the proportion of each species in other fields could be different. Pyrethroids and organophosphates are the primary classes of chemistry being applied this week for thrips control in cotton. Spider mites are present in many fields and the foliar applications of these two types of chemicals for thrips may flare spider mites and farmers and consultants should monitor fields closely. Foliar chemicals for thrips are frequently being applied in a tank mix with a herbicide and growers/consultants should read the herbicide label carefully to insure that the insecticide and herbicide can be tank mixed. Adverse interactions between some tank mixed insecticides and herbicides can result in crop injury.
Written By Tim Reed and Barry Freeman, Extension Entomologists.