Orius laevigatus and Orius majusculus are predatory bugs, which are applied in several crops in greenhouses. They can eat many pests species, including nymphs and adults of thrips species, aphids, whtiteflies, eggs of moths, young caterpillars and spider mites.
In some crops such as sweet pepper Orius survives easily. Cut roses are apparently less suitable for oviposition. For this reason we are looking for plants that are better at supporting Orius. We started with fifteen plant species, but several species were discarded because they proved to be excellent host plants for thrips.
Cornflower and hot pepper are excellent hosts
A first selection results in some plant species that are suitable for the oviposition of Orius laevigatus and Orius majusculus. It turned out that both species like to lay their eggs in cornflower. The hot pepper ‘Black Pearl’, an excellent host for Orius species native to North America was also an excellent host for the European Orius species. An advantage of this hot pepper is the compact growth and the successive flowering, which also means that pollen are available as food for Orius. The observations will be repeated on plants in cages and further tested on a small scale in the greenhouse.