Pest of the Month August 2010 – Cuban Laurel Thrips

  •  Host:  Ficus sp., citrus, and occasionally orchids
  • Distribution: Hawaii, Florida, California, Texas, Guam, and other tropical areas
  • Symptoms:  Sunken purplish spots along midrib and tight curling of young leaves, which become hard and tough and eventually fall off.  Young leaves are susceptible.
  • Management:  Biological control including green lacewing larvae and ladybird beetles.  For ornamental trees, new growth can be removed by pruning to break the life cycle of the infestation.

Source: Cuban laurel thrips, Featured Creatures, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Services Department of Entomology and Nematology and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry, August 2004. Revised September 2006.

Chinese banyan (Ficus microcarpa) leaves with Cuban laurel thrips. Photo by Forest and Kim Starr, Image# 070124-3900.