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Recognizing thrips

Thrips are so small that you have to look carefully to find them. Adult thrips have an elongated body with ragged wings. They are about 1-2 mm in size and often yellow, brown or black in color. These little creatures can be found on many different houseplants such as Monstera, Calathea, Alocasia and orchids. You can also encounter thrips on leeks, onions or peppers in the vegetable garden.

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Echinothrips lives on the leaves of plants such as peppers, cucumbers or eggplant. The thrips is quite dark in color with a white base on the wings. Echinotrips does not pupate in the soil but all stages are on the leaves.

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Western flower thrips

One of the most common thrips species is the western flower thrips. This species is very variable in color: from white to yellow to black in color.

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Onion thrips

Onion thrips are commonly found on leeks and onions, but can also be found on flowers.

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Thrips larva

Thrips larvae are almost transparent to yellow in color. The larvae have no wings. So they look different from the adult thrips.

Thrips development

The eggs of thrips are kidney-shaped and white to yellow in color. The thrips makes a hole in the leaf or stem and lays its egg in it. This way the egg is well protected. The eggs cannot be clearly seen with the naked eye. The thrips larvae hatch from the eggs: light colored and without wings. The larvae immediately start feeding on the underside of the leaves. Depending on the species, the larva pupates in the soil or on the leaf. The thrips pupa lies completely still and does not eat. During this period the wings are formed. An adult thrips emerges from the pupa, with two pairs of wings. In total, the development from egg to adult thrips takes about 25 days at room temperature.

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Thrips damage

Thrips cause damage by sucking plant cells dry. This causes silver-gray or brown spots on the leaves: dead plant cells. Black dots in the gray spots are thrips droppings.

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Gray spots on leaves

In the gray spots you see black dots: the droppings of thrips.

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Thrips houseplant

Thrips often start feeding at the underside of the leaf. With a severe infection, damage to the top of the leaf can also be encountered.

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Trips vegetable garden

Thrips can also cause damage outdoors. This photo shows damage from onion thrips on a leek.

Control thrips naturally

You can control thrips easily and effectively with an Insect Heroes control package . The package contains Carna lacewing larvae , Irski predatory mites , Felti nematodes and Sticky Leaf catching cards . This way you can tackle all life stages of thrips.

Control thrips larvae
The larvae of thrips can be controlled with Irski predatory mites and Carna lacewing larvae. Irski and Carna each have their qualities. Irski predatory mites are supplied in a special cultivation bag and can protect the plant for a long time. Carna lacewing larvae are very hungry and eat the larvae and adult thrips.

Control adult thrips
Not only Carna lacewing larvae combat adult thrips, but also Sticky Leaf trapping cards. The adult thrips fly against the trap card and stick to the strong glue.

Control pupal thrips
In some species of thrips, the larva falls to the ground and pupates into adult thrips. The pupa can be controlled with Felti nematodes.

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Predatory mites against thrips

Ideal for preventive use. The Irski predatory mites are supplied in a special breeding bag. This way, the plants are protected against possible thrips infection for 4 to 6 weeks.

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Lacewing larvae against thrips

Carna larvae are so hungry that they love to eat thrips! Ideal for use in case of heavy thrips infestation.

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Preventing thrips

Ideally, you want to avoid a thrips infestation! Here we give 4 tips to prevent thrips in houseplants:

Every month, carefully wipe the leaves of the plant with a wet cloth or, for example, the Plant Soap spray . You can also rinse the plant outside or put it in the shower. Make sure that the soil and roots do not get too wet. Cover with a tarp or garbage bag.

Check the leaves
Check the leaves regularly, especially the underside! Look for spots on the leaves, dots or elongated small bugs. Are you not sure whether your plant is suffering from thrips? Send your photo to info@insectheroes.nl and we will be happy to take a look with you.

Preventive predatory mites
Use Irski predatory mites preventively to prevent thrips. As soon as the thrips larvae hatch from the egg, an army of Irskis is immediately ready to attack. The Irski predatory mites protect your plants for between 4 and 6 weeks.

Happy plants
Healthy plants can defend themselves well against pests. Investigate whether your houseplants are still happy: Do they get enough water, sun, warmth and nutrition ? Find what your specific type of plant needs.