Aug 15 2018

Monthly Update July 2018

Successful partnership prevented establishment of new pest

MPI and affected industry GIA partners including TomatoesNZ have agreed to “stand down” the Poinsettia Thrips (Echniothrips americanas) investigation, after surveys found no further specimens.

The “Unwanted Organism” was discovered in August 2017 in one Auckland greenhouse.

This species of Thrips can feed on a wide range of host plants, causing damage to greenhouse crops such as house plants and cut flowers, tomatoes, and capsicums.

TomatoesNZ and other potentially affected Government Industry Agreement for biosecurity Readiness and Response (GIA) partners Vegetables NZ and Kiwifruit Vine Health worked with MPI to determine whether it had spread beyond the one site.

Crop scout staff from T&G Global, NZ Hothouse, NZ Gourmet, and Southern Paprika volunteered to be trained by MPI in thrips surveillance, and provided the manpower to survey a number of greenhouses. No further infestations were found beyond the original site.

The affected site owner worked with MPI and took measures to prevent spread and successfully eradicate the population, which was confirmed by a survey in April.

This is a great result for industry, as it is one “new” pest growers will not have to deal with.  It was also a really good opportunity to experience the GIA partnership in practise, and we have taken learnings from that and shared them with MPI and the other GIA partners involved.

We are asking growers to stay vigilant however, just in case this thrips pops up again.  Further information is here.