With their rasping-sucking mouthparts and small size that enables them to maneuver through small spaces, thrips can be a problem for any operation. If they remain unchecked inside a greenhouse, or in outdoor production space, thrips can cause damage by feeding on plants, distorting growth and/or spreading diseases like impatiens necrotic spot virus (INSV) and tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV). It’s a problem that, if it’s not dealt with correctly, can ruin an entire crop.
“You’ve got to have as many tools in your toolbox as possible when it comes to western flower thrips,” says Brent Troost, head grower at Color Point Illinois in Granville, Illinois. “Thrips are the through line of viruses in this industry. TSWV can [run] rampant through your greenhouse if you don’t deal with thrips.”
That’s what makes Hachi-Hachi SC, an insecticide from SePRO, valuable to growers. It is effective against thrips — in addition to aphids, leafhoppers, lepidopteran insects, soft scales, mealybugs and coleopteran insects — and targets insects at all life stages. It also helps growers with disease management due to its fungistatic activity against powdery and downy mildew.
“Thrips are difficult to manage whether it’s inside or outside,” says Mark Brotherton, portfolio leader at SePRO.
In addition to utilizing Hachi-Hachi SC, Troost recommends that growers do regular check-ups in their greenhouse to scout for thrips. In Color Point’s greenhouses, Troost and his team of growers use sticky cards to monitor thrips over a 24-hour period. If, at the end of the 24 hours, Troost or his team see five or more thrips on a sticky card, they label the area a “hotspot” that must be dealt with immediately.
According to Troost, Hachi-Hachi SC is his go-to product for dealing with a hotspot because of how effective it is against the pest. During the growing process, he checks for more thrips before and after Hachi-Hachi SC application.
“It has a really great knockdown effect,” Troost says. “Right now, I think it’s one of the best products out there for thrips management."
How Hachi-Hachi SC can help growers
According to Brotherton, Hachi-Hachi SC can help growers because it combats thrips effectively. With Hachi-Hachi SC, whether in greenhouses or outdoors (where it recently received the registered use), growers get a product that has unique chemistry for insect control and strengthens integrated pest management (IPM) programs.
This can reduce the risk of resistance development, as there is no known resistance or cross resistance to the active ingredient.
“For those with outdoor production it’s a new technology for insect management,” Brotherton says.
Additionally, according to Brotherton, Hachi-Hachi SC has benefits beyond thrips control. With the latest label update, coleopteran insects (beetles) were added to the list of insects controlled. Research demonstrates Hachi-Hachi SC to be effective against the ever-present Japanese beetle, red-headed flea beetle which is a devastating beast with a rapidly expanding geographic distribution, among other troublesome beetle species.
“Growers are really happy with Hachi-Hachi SC as SePRO continues to expand labeled use sites and pest spectrum,” Brotherton says.
Incorporating and utilizing Hachi-Hachi SC
Troost, who has been using SePRO products since entering the industry in 2004, recommends that growers interested in Hachi-Hachi SC run a trial before using it. What is the same in one greenhouse, he says, won’t be the same in another greenhouse. According to Troost, tests are done at Color Point on the non-flowering and flowering stages of different plants.
“We always test at a high-rate — the highest recommended label rate — and in the heat of the day,” he says. “What that gives me is a better opportunity to see how it affects the plant. If everything comes out safe, then it typically gets the green light.”
After a trial is completed, and a grower decides to utilize Hachi-Hachi SC in their various areas of production, the next step is to decide how often to use it. In Color Point’s greenhouses — where Troost manages 85 acres of growing space full of bedding plants — he relies on Hachi-Hachi SC as part of his overall strategy.
“You have to know what’s going into your greenhouse — you have to be proactive. This is one of the tools that helps you do that,” Troost says.
With its recent registration for outdoor use, Hachi-Hachi SC can be used by greenhouse growers, nursery growers and landscape managers. Hachi-Hachi SC has been found to be compatible with fertilizers and other registered pesticides. However, growers should conduct a small-scale trial and always consult the label before doing so.
“Thrips are a constant battle for growers and unique chemistries are always welcomed,” Brotherton says. “But when you have a solution that covers several other problematic insects (red-headed flea beetle, mealybugs, etc.) it really becomes a valuable tool. Hachi-Hachi SC is it.”