A number of thrips species can affect peanuts but their damage is minor and infrequent and should not be a problem in irrigated crops. However, the recently introduced western flower thrips (WFT) (Frankliniella occidentalis) is a significant threat to peanuts. This is because it can transfer tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) and capsicum chlorosis virus (CCV). TSWV has severely damaged peanut crops in other countries including the United States. However, an increased incidence of TSWV has not yet been observed in response to WFT activity in Australian peanuts.
- Thrips damage shows up with general yellowing, silvering and distortion of leaves.
- Damage is most evident in patches of the crop during dry periods.
- Other symptoms include stunting and distortion of plants followed by wilting, plant collapse and death.
- Early leaf symptoms can include pale ring spots.
- Thrips may also attack flowers which can lead to flower abortion.
Monitoring and control
- Sample on a weekly basis, especially if it has been dry for a long time.
- Late peanut plantings may help avoid WFT damage.
- Control if threshold exceeds 4-6 thrips per flower.
- WFT are resistant to many pesticides.
- Insecticides will not stop the spread of tomato spotted wilt virus.
- For current chemical control options see Pest Genie or APVMA.