1. Eliminate sources: Remove weeds and grass from in and around your garden areas to eliminate alternate hosts for thrips. Remove and dispose of old, spent flowers after your harvest. Proper disposal of plant residues is also important.
Adult onion thrips (Thrips tabaci)
Thrips have been found on various plant orders showing their wide host plant range including various berries, field crops, forage crops, grass flowers, legumes, peonies, privet hedges, roses, trees, truck crops, vines and weeds. They are known to cause damage to avocado, beans, citrus and blueberry plants, figs, azalea, hypericum, photinia, rhododendron, garlic, onion, pepper, carrot, squash, gladioli, toyon, impatiens, petunia, cucurbits, grapes, strawberry, stone fruit among others. They seem to prefer grasses and yellow or light-colored blossoms.
7. Beneficial insects: Release commercially available natural predators to prey on thrips such as minute pirate bugs, damsel bugs, ladybugs, lacewings, predatory mites (Amblyseius cucumeris) and parasitic wasps or attract them to your garden by planting alfalfa, goldenrod and yarrow.
6. Pruning: Prune and destroy injured and thrips infested terminals of plants. Shearing is not recommended though as it stimulates new susceptible growth. Instead, prune by cutting plants just above branch crotches and nodes.
Egg-laying scars and feeding damage on sweet pepper cause by thrips.
An adult thrips captured on a greenhouse yellow sticky trap.
8. Biological insecticides: Biological insecticides such as Beauvaria bassiana and Verticillium lecanii are an effective strategy against thrips. Both are fungi that grow naturally in soils and are proven to help rid of thrips and many other pests. Spinosad insecticide is based on a compound found in a bacterial species and it helps kill thrips among several others.
Lifecycle and Description
Organic Control of Thrips Thrips are tiny, slender insects with fringed wings that feed on a large variety of plants, by puncturing and sucking up the contents. Common names for thrips include