Thrips were sampled from six nectarine orchards in the Dry Central Interior, British Columbia, Canada, between April and June 1993 using yellow sticky cards on posts spaced around the perimeter of each orchard. Although 12 identified species of thrips were captured, >90% of individuals were the western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande). The flight patterns and abundances of western flower thrips were compared between orchards located in two differently oriented valleys (N-S and E-W) and between orchards located close to or far from areas of wild land. Results indicate that densities of western flower thrips entering orchards, and their direction of movement, were related more to the external vegetation than either location within the two different valleys or general wind flow patterns. Western flower thrips tended to move into orchards close to ground level in early spring (late April and early May) but flew higher as ground cover grew taller and temperatures increased. Densities of western flower thrips at ground level were highest in an orchard with the densest dandelion ground cover. We conclude that the location of nectarine orchards in relation to wild areas is a major determinate of western flower thrips densities.
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Vol. 94 • No. 4