Thrips are tiny, long slim insects that cause leaf twisting and silvering leaves and marking of flowers.
Identify the problem
Thrips are tiny, long slim insects usually black as adults but pale in younger nymphal stages. There are many different species and they can look quite different depending on species and stage of development. They infest and damage the foliage and flowers of many ornamental plants, vegetables & fruit crops. Thrips may also infest bulbs in storage.
With Thrips you get leaf twisting and silvering leaves and flower thrips will cause discolouration and marking of flower petals. They usually feed along the mid-vein area of the leaf. Thrips are likely to be a problem in a warm dry, sheltered environment.
To Get Rid of Thrips:
- Most thrips are sensitive to insecticides and are easy to control. Apply cluster sprays (several sprays at close intervals) of PLANThealth Spectrum to control adult thrips.
- Kiwicare also offer some great natural and BioGro® certified alternatives to deal with insects in your garden. Organic Super Spraying Oil suffocates adult and kills eggs.
- For use on fruit and vegetables we recommend Organic Insect Control with Pyrethrum. Make sure to spray all parts of the plants for most effective treatment.
Control of Thrips in Trees, Shrubs and Ornamentals
- Apply PLANThealth Insect Hit Granules on the the soil around the roots of affected plants. This kills is systemic and taken up by the roots of the plant to control the thrips, other chewing and sap sucking aphids insects directly.
Note: The above retail product PLANThealth Insect Hit Granules has been discontinued. However, if you have a significant problem a commercial option is still available, please contact Kiwicare directly for more information.
Did You Know
Thrips do not usually bite humans, however they are attracted to the bright colours of flowers and if attracted to bright clothing have been known to bite people.
Common New Zealand thrip species include:
- New Zealand flower thrip - Thrips obscuratus
Cause russet damage to stone fruit as well as living within the flowers of many plants.
- Greenhouse thrips - Heliothrips haemorrhoidalis
Cause silvering of top surfaces of leaves and leave tiny dark deposits on undersides.
- Gladiolus thrips - Thrips simplex
Cause flowers to distort and leaves to silver.
- Onion thrips - Thrips tabci
Attack a variety of vegetables, not just onions. Cause leaf silvering and white streaks.