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Thrips are one of the worst kinds of common pests you encounter outside in the garden.

They are so little that they can be a serious problem to spot in time to prevent a serious infection – that’s why prevention is the best tactic to stay thrip-free.

Read on below – learn everything you need to know about dealing with thrips in your garden!

What Are Thrips?

Thrips are small, slender insects that feed on plants by piercing and sucking the plant cells. They can be a serious problem in gardens and greenhouses, causing damage to a wide range of plants.

Identification of Thrips

Thrips are tiny insects that range in size from 0.5 to 2.5 mm. They have slender bodies, with long, narrow wings that are fringed with hairs. Thrips can be yellow, brown, or black in color.

Life cycle of Thrips

Thrips have a short life cycle, with adults laying eggs on plant tissue. The eggs hatch into nymphs, which feed and molt several times before becoming adults. The entire life cycle can be completed in as little as two weeks.

Signs of Thrips Infestation

Signs of thrips infestation include silvery streaks on leaves, distorted or discolored leaves, and stunted growth. Thrips can also spread viruses between plants, which can cause further damage.

Damage Caused by Thrips

Thrips cause damage to plants by sucking the sap from leaves and flowers. This can result in distorted growth and reduced plant vigor. They can also transmit viruses and other diseases that can kill plants.

Natural Methods for Controlling Thrips

There are several natural methods for controlling thrips, including using sticky traps, releasing natural predators such as lacewings or ladybugs, and spraying plants with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Chemical Methods for Controlling Thrips

Chemical methods for controlling thrips include using insecticides such as pyrethroids or spinosad. It is important to follow the instructions on the label and use these products with caution.

Preventing Thrips Infestations

Preventing thrips infestations can be achieved by planting thrips-resistant varieties of plants, removing weeds that can harbor thrips, and practicing good garden hygiene.

When to Seek Professional Help

If a thrips infestation is severe or persists despite using natural and chemical methods of control, it may be necessary to seek professional help from a pest control expert.

A Final Word About Dealing With Thrips

By understanding the life cycle, signs of infestation, and methods for controlling thrips, gardeners can effectively prevent and manage thrips infestations in their gardens and greenhouses.

By taking proactive measures and using a combination of natural and chemical methods, it is possible to keep plants healthy and thriving.


What do thrips look like?

Thrips are tiny, slender insects that are usually less than one-sixteenth inch long. They range in color from yellow to black or brown.

How do I know if my plants have thrips?

Signs of thrips infestation include distorted or discolored leaves, silvery streaks on leaves, and flowers that fail to open or look deformed.

How can I prevent thrips from infesting my plants?

To prevent thrips, avoid planting plants that are susceptible to thrips in hot, dry locations. You can also use reflective mulches and insecticidal soaps to deter thrips.

How can I get rid of thrips if they have already infested my plants?

You can use insecticides like spinosad or neem oil to kill thrips on contact. Make sure to spray the underside of leaves where thrips like to hide.

Are thrips harmful to humans?

While thrips do not pose a direct threat to humans, some species of thrips can transmit plant viruses, which can affect crops and ornamental plants.

Suggest Reading: Unwelcome Guests: Beginner’s Guide to Common Garden Pests

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