Thrips

Pest: Thrips (Thysanoptera)

Pest Type: Insect Pest

Major Identifying Features: Tiny, slender insects that puncture host tissue and suck the contents, adults are narrow, less than 1/20 inch long, have long fringes on the margins of their wings, females lay tiny eggs on or within plant tissue, larvae are translucent white to yellow

Life Cycle: Complete metamorphosis, 4 stages (egg, larva, pupa, adult), several generations per year

Pest Rating: Minor

Management Rating: Easy to moderate

Host/Season/Outbreak Information: Hosts include flowers, young tissue in buds, central terminals

Damage Information: Thrips feeding can stunt plant growth, can discolor and distort plant parts, black excrement can be seen, thrips reduce the aesthetic value but rarely seriously damage or kill a plant, certain thrips are beneficial predators

Management Options: Cultural control by proper irrigation (avoid over irrigation and fertilizers), by replacing problem plants, by controlling dust, by pruning invested plants, chemical control is not effective

Sources:

Pests of Landscape Trees and Shrubs (Book)

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