How To Identify And Get Rid Of Thrips?


Thrips appear to be tiny dark slivers on your plants that suck the leaves, stems, buds, and flowers of houseplants, causing them to look faded or dirty. 

What Are Thrips?

Around the world, thrips, tiny insects about the size of a sewing needle, eat a variety of plants. Thrips also referred to as thunder flies or Thysanoptera, are sucking insects that have the potential to harm plants. When they spread viruses to plants, though, the damage they cause may be much worse.

Identifying Thrips

At just 1/50 to 1/25 of an inch long, adult thrips are skinny and small. They may be yellow, brown, or even black, and if you approach them too closely, they will probably leap or fly away. Their wings are slender and fringed. Although they are more often light green or yellow than darker hues, the nymphs resemble even smaller adults. They occasionally have red eyes, and their wings are still developing. Without a magnifying glass, it is difficult to see their bodies clearly, but up close, they resemble lobsters somewhat. To make them easier to see, shake them onto a white background.


Thrips Life Cycle

The life cycle is influenced by the thrips species, location, host plant, and other variables. Thrips adults spend the winter in plant waste, bark, or other materials. They emerge in the early spring, laying their eggs in plant tissue. These eggs will hatch in 3–5 days, and the nymphs will feed for 1–3 weeks before taking a break to molt in 1–2 weeks. In the open air, thrips can produce up to 15 generations annually. Thrips mature at a relatively young age of one month.

Thrips Damage


Damage from thrips includes streaks, silvery speckling, and tiny white patches. As a result of the thrips sucking plant cells from numerous garden plants, flowers, fruits, and shade trees, this occurs. Your plants might be severely stunted with harmed flowers and fruit if you have a severe thrips infestation. Instead, the virus that the thrips transmitted—typically the tomato spotted wilt virus—could be to blame for the damage you observe.

Where Are Trips From?

Thrips typically enter a home on the leaves of indoor plants that have spent the summer outdoors or when a new indoor plant is brought in from the store.

Thrips may also accompany cut flowers or vegetables that you bring inside from the garden because they are a common garden pest.

Additionally tiny, the adults have wings, and they fly. So it is possible that thrips could come in through open doors and window screens

What Houseplants Do Trips Eat?

Be prepared to find thrips on any of your houseplants because they feed on a variety of plants. They remove the sap from the stems, flowers, and flower buds as well as the leaves.

Indoor plants can be used as food by both nymphs and adults. Considering that they typically start on the undersides of the leaves, you probably won’t notice them until the population has significantly increased.


How To Get Rid Of Thrips

  • Try using yellow or blue sticky traps to keep thrips populations under control.
  • One simple method for getting rid of thrips from your plants quickly involves shaking branches to remove them and catching them on a cloth underneath.
  • To check for onion thrips, place a dark piece of paper in the garden and knock the tops of the onions against it. If thrips are present, you will see their tan bodies on the paper. They can be killed by applying insecticidal soap a few times. adhere to the instructions on the package. The thrips should vanish after two sprayings of the plants, spaced three days apart.
  • Spray dormant oil on fruit trees to keep them healthy.
  • Diatomaceous earth should be used as a last resort to dust the undersides of leaves.

Organic Thrips Treatment Methods

As soon as you notice thrips on a houseplant, the first thing you should do is quarantine the infected plant. After that, look for thrips in all nearby houseplants and isolate any you find.

Make sure to start eradicating the infestation as soon as possible. Additionally, always wash your hands after touching a houseplant that is infected to help stop the spread of thrips.

The top organic techniques for getting rid of thrips on indoor plants are listed below. You must be persistent no matter what strategies you select. Thrips cannot be treated once and be expected to disappear permanently.

Rinse The Leaves

Take your indoor plant outside if you can so you can hose off the leaves. The majority of the bugs will be eliminated, and their population will be drastically reduced.

It would also be effective to rinse the leaves in the shower or the sink. Use tepid water only; avoid overwatering your houseplant at all costs.

Insecticidal Soap

You will gain the upper hand by using soap, which kills thrips on contact. Use a ready-made organic insecticidal soap or make your own by mixing 1 tsp. mild liquid soap with 1 liter of water.

To kill the bugs, make sure to spray it directly on the infected leaves. To completely get rid of thrips, treat them frequently with insecticidal soap because it doesn’t leave any sort of lingering effects.

Before applying any type of spray to the entire houseplant, always test it on a few leaves to ensure there is no damage.

Wash Your Houseplant

You might also try rinsing the leaves with water after washing them with mild liquid soap that has been diluted. Additionally, this will eradicate thrips, aiding in the rapid reduction of the population.

Wash the undersides of the leaves as well; thrips like to hide there. But it’s best to test the soap on a few leaves first to make sure it won’t harm your houseplant before washing all of them.

Neem Oil

Neem oil is among my favorite products to use. Because it is a naturally occurring insecticide, it will help prevent further infestations by having a preventative effect.

The leaves and stems should be sprayed with a neem oil solution. Some of the insects will be killed immediately upon contact, and others will perish as they consume the leaves covered in neem oil. Find out here how to apply neem oil to houseplants.

To get rid of thrips on houseplants, you can also use a hot pepper wax spray or a pre-mixed horticultural oil.

Sticky Traps

Sticky traps are a great way to catch adult thrips because they can fly. To draw them in, set up sticky traps in either yellow or blue near the infected houseplant.

You can also monitor for infestations in the future by using sticky traps, which will help you find them much more quickly. other houseplants to see if they have thrips, etc.


How To Prevent Thrips

  • Mix one tablespoon of Lysol household cleaner with one gallon of water to treat gladiolus flower thrips. Gladiolus corms should be placed in the solution to prevent thrips, then planted while still damp.
  • You can grow a variety of flowers to draw beneficial insects that naturally prey on thrips. Pirate bugs, lacewings, and ladybugs are a few beneficial predators. Learn more about luring those predators.
  • For onion and western flower thrips, try releasing minute pirate bugs or the predatory mite Amblyseius cucumeris.
  • Reflective mulches can aid in protecting your plants from thrips by concealing them.
  • Some plants have resistant varieties if thrips are a serious problem in your area.
  • Avoid overfertilizing plants to prevent further thrip damage.

FAQs About Thrips

The most frequently asked questions about thrips are addressed in the section below. Following reading all of this, if you still have a question, post it in the comments section. As soon as I can, I’ll respond to it.

Are People Bite By Thrips?

The answer is yes, thrips can bite, but usually only very mild irritation results from their bites. They have been on my houseplants, but I have never been bitten. At least not that I’ve ever noticed.

Are Trips Dangerous For People?

They don’t harm people or animals, either. They can bite, though, as I mentioned in the previous query.

Do Thrips Fly?

Yes, many thrips species have wings when they are adults and can fly. However, it’s uncommon to see thrips flying around on indoor plants. Instead of flying, they typically use crawling as their primary mode of transportation.

What Is The Best Way To Determine If You Have Trips On Houseplans?

Gray, dull, or colored leaves, as well as leaves with brown spots or stripes, are the first indications of a thrip infestation. Heavy infestations can result in leaf or bud drop, stunted growth, and malformed growth.

Trips Live In The Soil, Or Not?

Thrips are not very long-lived in soil. The nymphs may spend a few days pupating in the soil, and the adults may spend the winter there, depending on the species. Though thrips in the soil are not frequently observed. Therefore, fungus gnats are probably present if there is a persistent bug infestation in the soil.

Thrips Live How Long?

Thrips only have a month-long lifespan as adults. Adult females can, however, lay hundreds of eggs in that brief period.