- Virtually all garden plants can be affected, from ornamental species, to fruit, vegetable, and cereal crops. Flowers and leaves of plants are most affected.
- Thrips are sometimes known as thunderflies or thunderbugs.
- There are over 3000 recorded species worldwide, with over 150 in the UK.
- They are typically small, slender, dark-coloured insects about 2mm long or less and usually have two pairs of feather-like wings.
- Thrips rasp through upper leaf cells to feed on plant sap, causing a silvering appearance.
- Thrip droppings are minute black specks on the leaves.
- Thrips have six lifecycle stages including egg, larvae, pupa and adult.
- Larvae and pupae can be a lighter colour than adults.
- Females have a serrated tube for laying eggs into plant tissue.
- They are predominantly a summer pest, favouring warm temperatures and dry conditions.
- Thundery conditions trigger swarming.
- Some species can transmit viruses such as tomato spotted wilt virus.
Products containing the following chemical ingredients are all effective on Thrips
Note: It is important to read manufacturer's instructions for use and the associated safety data information before applying chemical treatments.
- Release the predatory mite Amblyseius cucumeris, and predatory bug Orius laevigatus.
- Spray organic plant oils approved for use on plants.
- Remove and destroy infested leaves, particularly silvery areas where eggs are present.
- Thoroughly clean greenhouses at the end of the season to remove any over-wintering thrips.
- Use sticky traps to monitor the first appearance of thrips. Blue coloured traps are thought to be more effective than other colours.
- Netting and fleeces can be used as a barrier between plants.