What are Thrips?
Thrips are small, minute insects that can be found on the leaves of your plants. They belong to Arthropod phylum and there are a variety of names that are given to this creature like, thunder flies, harvest bugs, and corn flies, etc.,
They are 1.5 to 3 mm long which is difficult to see with naked eyes, and they depend upon the plants for their life, they feed upon plant parts like flower leaves and pollens.
Their prime targets are fresh plants because they penetrate them and suck their cell nutrients which lead to discoloration of the plant.
All species of thrips are mostly black and brown in color; you can identify thrips infestation by looking at the leaves of your plants.
They have elongated bodies and two pairs of wings to fly. Female thrips can give birth to 15 generations in one single year.
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.
11 Facts about Thrips
1. How far can thrips jump?
Thrips don’t jump, they fly or you can say, they take the leap and that looks like a jump. If you try to catch any thrip they would jump to another tree or another place.
They don’t jump very far but they do take long flights for migrating. If you try to catch any thrip in your garden there are possibilities that they will take the leap and sit on the other plant.
2. How far can thrips travel indoors?
Thrips enter your house via dry laundry and they travel inside the house in the search of plants. They can travel from plants to plants into your house.
Thrips need moisture also and that’s why they make one plant, their host plant because plants get water every day and so do they.
Thrips usually travel from one plant to another in your house and sometimes they travel towards humans in search of moisture.
Thrips are scared of winter this is also one of the reasons why they move towards your houses so they may hide in the wall cracks or cervices for warmth.
3. How do thrips get indoors?
Thrips are mainly outdoor pests but they come indoors when they see new fresh plants. Mostly they come from soil or open windows.
If you brought a new plant then make sure to check the plants as well as the soil. Thrips can also come along with your clothes, to your pets; they are so small that you can’t even realize when they come into your house.
4. How do thrips get on houseplants?
Thrips can climb on houseplants by simply through the open windows or from the soil you are using in your plants.
Many people tend to use their own homemade manure for growing their plants, thrips can infest your houseplants from that manure and the worst thing about thrips is that you cannot find them unless they are leaving any spots on your plants.
Thrips sometimes lay their eggs in the soil and these eggs become nymphs and then adults and then they repeat their life cycle.
5. What eats thrips?
There are some insects that are the prime predators of thrips, like lacewing and ladybugs, they can reduce the number of thrips very rapidly and these insects can smash thrips at any stage for whether they are nymphs, adults, or any stage.
Pirate bugs are also very efficient but they can only eat thrip’s larvae and eggs, because of their smaller size, if you find any breeding of thrips then you can invite these pirate bugs, to reduce the number of eggs laid by female thrips.
6. What do thrips eat?
Thrips are mostly herbivores; they mainly feed on any type of plant-like houseplants, ornamental plants, or food plants.
You may have seen them in nearly every plant because they don’t have any specific type. Thrips eat various parts of plants like new buds, flowers, flower petals, small fragile stems, leaves, etc.
They also infest tomatoes, potatoes, and other vegetables. Many species of thrips like to eat pollen and chloroplast of new leaves. They suck all nutrients from plant tissues and that makes plants discolored, this is why people consider it as a nuisance.
7. What are thrips attracted to?
Thrips are attracted to fresh plants, and they are more attracted to bright colored flower plants because they have a sweet fragrance and eye-catching colors.
Thrips are mostly attracted to white, blue, and yellow color plants, not only flower plants; thrips are also attracted towards vegetable plants like onions, carrots, beans, tomatoes, etc.
Some people have observed that thrips can be attracted towards the yellow light since they are day time pests, they don’t like dark and dank environment so there is a possibility that thrips get attracted towards light because of heat and warmth.
8. When do thrips come out?
Thrips start to come out of their natural habitat in the spring season because the spring season is the time for their breeding. You may see many thrips in the summer season as compared to the winter season.
Thrips lay their eggs on plants and plant leaves and their eggs get mature very fast. They are also day- time pests so they prefer a dry and warm environment. Mostly thrips don’t come out at night, because of the dark and damp surroundings.
9. Where to thrips come from?
Thrips comes from plants if you’re wondering why there are so many thrips on your plants and where they come from.
The simple answer to that question is “new fresh plants”. Thrips are the most abundant creature on earth right now, you can spot thrips anywhere in this world. They come from plants gardens or nurseries.
If you spot any “thrip” in your house, that’s because you may have brought an infested plant inside your house and now they are increasing their number by simply producing their offspring.
10. Which thrips bite?
Thrips usually don’t bite humans but there are two species of thrips that bite humans they are Frankliniella tritici and Limothrips cerealium.
Thrips do bite humans sometimes but they don’t suck human blood. Thrips bite is harmless and doesn’t affect much on humans but they do leave marks and rashes and it may irritate you for a while.
If you want to get rid of those marks you should wash your infected area with soap and water and it will go away after few days.
11. Why thrips are called thunderbugs?
In many areas in Europe people address thrips as thunder bugs because they arrive in midsummer when crops are ready to cut down, coincidently that’s the time when thunderstorms come in European areas, so people call them “thunder bugs” because they believe that thrip brings thunderstorms.
In fact, thunder brings problems for thrips because they need a place to hide when thunder and the rainy season come. Thrips are not associated with thunders because they do nothing related to thunder or storms, it’s the fault of the timing nothing else.
Thrips are a nuisance for some people and their arrival into your begins in the early rainy season, not they just spoil your new fresh plants but they also bite your body and cause irritation.
Rainy seasons are the most insect-prone season but you can protect yourself from those insects by simply applying insect repellent creams all over your body.
Thrips are dependent upon the plants if there is thrip infestation in your house then my recommendation to you is, to get rid of plants, and if you can’t get rid of them then just put them outside your house.