Eco-Friendly Approaches against Chili Thrips Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood (Thysanoptera: Thripidae)

Shehnaz Naz Pathan, Abdul Waheed Solangi, Jan Muhammad Marri, Abdul Ghani Lanjar, Aslam Bukero


Chili (Capsicum annuum L.) is a crucially economically viable vegetable and spice crop cultivated worldwide. Numerous issues impact chili production, both vertebrate and non-vertebrate, leading to significant reductions in both quantity and quality. The chili thrips, Scirtothrips dorsalis, poses a serious threat to chili, causing approximately 50-70% yield loss in every season. In Pakistan, farmers frequently resort to using synthetic pesticides to control the pest population. Unfortunately, the injudicious use of pesticides results in environmental, soil, and water pollution, leading to hazards for humans, animals, and wildlife. This study employed a combination of eco-friendly tactics to suppress the thrips population. The lowest thrips population was observed in plots where maize was planted as a barrier for chili, followed by marigold cultivated as a trap. Maize exhibited a remarkable disruptive effect against the thrips population, acting as a barrier to restrict their entrance into the main crop. The combined release of the biocontrol agents Chrysoperla carnea and Coccinella septempunctata proved to be more effective against the thrips population than plots with a single bio-control agent. Among the natural remedies, neem seed kernel powder was the most effective in reducing the thrips population, followed by neem leaves extract and neem oil. Notably, neem oil showed the lowest reduction percentage of thrips compared to neem seed kernel powder and neem leaves extract. The cost/benefit ratio of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plots compared to conventional plots revealed that the IPM plot had a lower estimated production cost (Rs. 19,277) and yielded 547 kg more than the conventional plot. Similarly, a higher cost/benefit ratio (3:13) was recorded in the IPM plot than in the conventional plot (1:36). IPM, through eco-friendly measures, proves to be an efficient approach to suppress S. dorsalis in chili crop.


Eco-friendly practices; Chili; Scirtothrips dorsalis; Cost-benefit ratio

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