What are Thrips?
Thrips are microscopic, yellowish-brown colored insects having a size between 1 mm and 2mm. They are considered a prominent part of the ecosystem as they act as a predator for other thrips and moths. They don’t fly because of their fringed wings, whose primary function is clapping and flinging.
Thrips are found mostly on the ground, leaves, and woods as they feed on the following things:
- Plant parts and nutrients such as chloroplast
- Pollen grains
- Wasp and Mite eggs
- Other thrips
There are more than 6,000 thrip species, but are hard to distinguish from each other because of their uncanny resemblance.
Thrips live among leaves and woods feeding on pollen. Thrips function as a predator for even other thrips and moths. The chloroplasts in the plant cells are consumed by these beings. Another source of food for the thrips are eggs laid by mites and pollen grains.
Thrips life cycle
The average lifetime of a thrip is one month during which it undergoes the following different stages of life-cycle: egg, larval, pre-pupal, pupal, and adult.
Thrips lay two to ten eggs per day which require an optimum temperature of 20⁰C, and suitable environmental conditions to develop properly into an adult thrip in 20 days.
Damage caused by Thrips
Thrips don’t cause any harm to humans but have the potential to seriously damage crops and plants as they feed on their important parts and nutrients. Crops like cotton, onion, potato, and tobacco are most affected by thrip infestation.
How to get rid of thrips on houseplants?
You should regularly inspect your plants and gardens to determine the presence of thrips or any other pests.
In case of any infestation, you can do the following things to get rid of them:
- Lure them by using yellow sticky traps and then remove them
- Stop them from multiplying by using Good Nematodes in the soil
- Insecticides such as Neem oil spray, Azadirachtin, and PFR-97 eliminate thrips without causing any visible damage to them or plants
How to get rid of thrips inside the house naturally
You can eliminate thrips as well as health hazards to humans by using natural ways to get rid of thrips since they feed on plants and crops.
The following home and natural remedies will help you get rid of thrips and ensure healthy growth of plants:
- Garlic solution includes garlic, water, and insecticidal soap. Mix few cloves of garlic in water and then strain it. Later, add a few drops of insecticidal soap and water to the mixture and spray the solution over infected plants.
- Baking Soda solution includes backing powder, water, and liquid handwash.
Add 5 ml baking powder in five cups of water along with three drops of liquid handwash. Combine the solution by mixing it properly and then spray it over infected plants every week.
- Insecticidal Soap solution is made by dissolving 5 ml of liquid dishwashing soap in one glass of water. Spray the solution on plants, especially on their leaves, to get rid of thrips.
Thrips cause severe damage to plants and crops by feeding on them, making it important for us to use natural ways to get rid of them. If you use chemicals to get rid of them, it might result in inedible crops and health problems in anyone who eats that. Whereas, using organic ways would result in healthy growth of plants and won’t disturb the ecosystem as well.