What To Do
Chilli Thrips have arrived in Southern California. These insects are too small to see but do far greater damage to your roses than traditional thrips. These insects are poor flyers but are easily carried by the wind. Many rose gardeners have this pest in their gardens. Be on the lookout for the following signs:
1) Puckered, small rose leaves on new growth
2) Short stems
3) Brown buds
4) Malformed flowers
To combat this insect, start with cutting all affected plant growth off. This cut should be done on the cane below this affected cane. Throw this material out immediately. Do not use this in a compost pile. Clean your pruners to kill any insect material.
The eggs of the thrips are located in the soil. Using personal protective gear for your safety, spray Neem Oil or a spinosad solution on the ground, concentrating underneathe the plant. Always follow the recommended amount per gallon. More does not mean better. Repeat in one week. The life cycle will vary from 5 days in above 90 degree weather to 14 days in cooler weather. You will probably need to maintain a 2 week schedule. Frost/very cold weather will kill the eggs. Not good news for our Zone 10 climate.
Be diligent to prune off new thrip damage.
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