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Thrips: How to prevent them? How to fight them?



Thrips are tiny insects as fat as a sewing needle that feed on many plants around the world. Also known as thrips, thrips are sucking insects that can damage plants. However, their damage can be much worse when they transmit viruses to plants.
The life cycle depends on the thrips species, as well as location, host plant, and other factors such as temperature.

Adult thrips overwinter in plant debris, bark, or other materials. They become active in early spring and lay eggs on plant tissue. These eggs hatch after 3 to 5 days, and the nymphs then feed for 1 to 3 weeks before resting to molt in 1 to 2 weeks. Thrips can have up to 15 generations per year outdoors. Adult thrips are short-lived, about a month.


Thrips damage includes streaks, silver spots, and small white spots. This happens because thrips absorb plant cells from many garden plants, flowers, fruits, and shade trees. If you have a heavy thrips infestation, your plants could be stunted with damaged flowers and fruit. Instead, the damage you notice could be due to the virus spread by thrips (usually tomato wilt virus).


To keep thrips populations in check, try using yellow or blue sticky traps. Shaking branches to remove thrips and catching them with a cloth underneath is an easy way to quickly remove thrips from your plants.

For the onion thrips: Take a piece of dark garden paper and tap the tops of the onions against it; if thrips are present, you will see their brown bodies on paper. A couple of treatments with insecticidal soap kills them. Follow package directions. Spray the plants twice, three days apart, and the thrips should be gone. For fruit trees: spray dormant oil on trees.


For flower trips on gladioli: Mix 1 tablespoon of Lysol household cleaner with about 3 1/2 liters of water. Soak gladioli stems in the liquid and plant while still wet to prevent thrips.

You can plant various flowers to attract beneficial insects that are natural predators of thrips. Some good predators include pirate bugs, lacewings, and ladybugs.

For onion and flower thrips, try releasing anthocorids or the predatory mite Amblyseius cucumeris. Reflective mulches can help hide your plants from thrips.

If there is a very large thrips problem in your area, some plants have resistant varieties. Try not to overfertilize the plants, as this can cause the thrips to do more damage.


- How to get rid of thrips on hibiscus.

- All about thrips.

- 8 Natural & Homemade Insecticides.

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Thanks for this information, I have terrible trouble with thrips on my Fuchsias so I will try to get some sticky traps.

8 Feb, 2022


Good info. Thanks.

8 Feb, 2022


Interesting info! I have a problem with them on the balcony - especially on the Glads!

9 Feb, 2022


Thanks for posting, very interesting blog.

11 Feb, 2022

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