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Non-Native Insect Confirmed in Mass. for First Time

Chilli thrips
March 24, 2017

The non-native, exotic chilli thrips (Scirtothrips dorsalis) has been recently confirmed from two samples of damaged Hydrangea spp. foliage from two residential landscapes located in Barnstable County, Mass. submitted to the UMass Plant Diagnostics Laboratory. At this time, this pest has not been detected in nurseries or greenhouses in Massachusetts or on any other host plants. Due to the limited number of samples, the significance of chilli thrips in Massachusetts is not known at this time. This species of thrips is a significant global pest of economically important ornamental, vegetable, and fruit crops in southern and eastern Asia, Oceania, and parts of Africa. It was first determined to be established in the United States in 2005 in Florida, although previous interceptions of this pest were detected. It is reportedly a pest of over 100 host plants belonging to over 40 plant families, including, but not limited to, pepper, strawberry, blueberry, cotton, rose, peanut, Japanese privet, Rhododendron spp., Viburnum spp., eggplant, grapes, melon, tobacco, and tomato. For more information, please visit this Chilli Thrips Fact Sheet available on the UMass Extension Landscape, Nursery, and Urban Forestry Program web page.


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