Thrips in Cotton

Cotton is up now and it is time to start scouting for thrips.  There are already some present in fields causing damage to 1 and 2 leaf cotton.  We need to keep a close eye on thrips until cotton reaches the 4 to 5 leaf stage.  Here are some seedlings showing thrips damage on the new leaves (the slightly shinier leaves).


The photo below shows what those new leaves should look like (the spade shaped leaves).


You can find thrips either by looking at the underside of the leaves or by placing a sheet of paper under the seedling and shaking it to knock off the thrips.  The threshold for thrips is 2 per plant (less if immatures) and significant damage to new leaves is present.  Below are the options for foliar insecticides labeled for thrips control if needed.


In Jeremy Greene’s latest Cotton and Soybean Insect Newsletter, Jeremy warns that foliar applications of acephate (Orthene) can flare populations of aphids or spidermites, so be sure to scout for those after making applications for thrips.

You can look at Jeremy Greene’s weekly newsletters here.

For more information on cotton production check, check out the Clemson Cotton Growers’ Guide.

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