Onion thrips, Thrips tabaci (Lindeman) (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), can reduce onion bulb yield and transmit iris yellow spot virus (IYSV) (Bunyaviridae: Tospovirus), which can cause additional yield losses. In New York, onions are planted using seeds and imported transplants. IYSV is not seed transmitted, but infected transplants have been found in other U.S. states. Transplants are also larger than seeded onions early in the season, and thrips, some of which may be viruliferous, may preferentially colonize larger plants. Limited information is available on the temporal dynamics of IYSV and its vector in onion fields. In 2007 and 2008, T. tabaci and IYSV levels were monitored in six seeded and six transplanted fields. We found significantly more thrips in transplanted fields early in the season, but by the end of the season seeded fields had higher levels of IYSV. The percentage of sample sites with IYSV-infected plants remained low (<12%) until August, when infection levels increased dramatically in some fields. The densities of adult and larval thrips in August and September were better predictors of final IYSV levels than early season thrips densities. For 2007 and 2008, the time onions were harvested may have been more important in determining IYSV levels than whether the onions were seeded or transplanted. Viruliferous thrips emigrating from harvested onion fields into nonharvested ones may be increasing the primary spread of IYSV in late-harvested onions. Managing T. tabaci populations before harvest, and manipulating the spatial arrangement of fields based on harvest date could mitigate the spread of IYSV.