How To Get Rid Of Thrips

You have problems with thrips in your garden or on your balcony and want to get rid of those annoying insects?

Great! Stick with me since I will show you many tips and tricks for how to get rid of thrips in this article.

Thrips Overview

Short descriptionThrips are small and slender insects that can hurt the growth behavior as well the yields of your plants.
Scientific nameThysanoptera.
LifespanOne to two months.
What plants do they like?Carrots, beans, peas, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers and many more.
SymptomsSpottings on flowers and speckled appearance on leaves.
DistributionWorldwide.
Potential damageA high number of thrips on your plants can adversely impact growth behavior and your plants may even decay if thrips populations get too big.
Control optionsChemical, biological and cultural.
Treatment difficultyEasy – Intermediate.
Natural predatorsLadybugs, minute pirate bugs, lacewings, wasps.

How to get rid of Thrips

1. Separate plants that suffer from thrips from healthy ones

First of all, you should make sure to separate plants that are infested with thrips from healthy ones so that thrips will not also populate your other plants sooner or later.

2. Try to wash away thrips

You can try to wash away thrips from your plants by using a hose if you grow your plants in your garden.

If you grow them in pots, you could also just put those pots into your shower and shower away thrips with cold water.

After a few minutes of full water exposure, most of the thrips should be gone.

However, please note that you should only use this technique for mature plants since small seedlings will be quite vulnerable to excessive water spreads and you should therefore use alternative techniques for younger plants.

Prepare the soil!

3. Get rid of infested plant material

You can also just prune your plants and get rid of plant material infested by thrips.

By doing so, you give your plants the chance to regrow in a healthy manner.

However, please note that this technique only works if only a minor part of your plant is infested and if thrips are spread all over the place, you should use alternative measures to deter them since pruning will not work in such a case.

4. Neem oil as an all-round measure to keep away thrips and other pests

Another great way to deter thrips is to use neem oil.

Thrips and many other pests don’t like the taste of neem oil at all and you can therefore get rid of thrips in a rather easy way by just spraying a solution of neem oil onto the leaves of your plants and wait for a few days.

5. Use horticultural oils to keep away thrips

You could also try horticultural oil to deter thrips and other pests.

While this might work as well, I still recommend you rely on neem oil since it has proven to be more efficient for most plants out there.

6. Soap can help as well against thrips

If you don’t want to use neem oil or horticultural oil for your own reasons, you can also try a soap solution to get rid of them.

In fact, there are certain insecticidal soaps out there that are specifically designed to deter thrips and other pests.

However, please note that this soap is not as eco-friendly as neem oil and relying on organic measures like neem oil to keep away pests like thrips should be your first choice.

7. Natural predators as efficient solutions for thrips

If you know what you are doing, you can also rely on natural predators like ladybugs to reduce thrips populations.

You can just order ladybug larvae online or buy them in a garden center.

However, please note that altering the number of ladybugs in your garden may lead to certain issues since the natural balance of insects may get out of control.

Hence, while this measure is fully organic, it is only for experts who have experience in this field and know what to expect.

8. Chemical pesticides as last hope to deter thrips

If nothing else helps to deter thrips, you could also just use chemical pesticides like pyrethrin spray to get rid of thrips.

However, since those chemicals are pretty bad for our environment, I highly recommend you just try all other more natural methods before going this extreme path.

9. Plant care as preventive measure against thrips

Apart from the measures mentioned before, there are also some preventive actions you can take to keep away thrips from your plants.

First of all, it is important that you remove weeds and that you provide decent lighting for your plants.

By doing so, your plants can become strong in a natural manner and are less vulnerable to the infestation with thrips or other pests.

10. Fertilize your plants

It is also crucial to provide enough nutrients to your plants.

Only then will they be able to become resistant against thrips and will also produce much higher yields.

You can achieve this by just using organic fertilizer or you can just use some compost from your garden to provide additional nutrients in the soil.

11. Water your plants

Apart from providing enough nutrients, you also have to water your plants in a proper manner so that they get big and strong and can deter pests like thrips in a natural manner.

However, proper doesn’t mean excessive. Instead, make sure to only water your plants if they need it and also avoid waterlogging.

12. Some plant strains are more resistant than others

You should also note that not all plants and varieties are equally resistant against thrips.

In fact, some are much more vulnerable than others and you should therefore rely on resistant varieties from the garden center.

13. Get rid of your infested plants

If nothing helps, you will have no choice other than to get rid of your whole plant.

This can be true if infestation is just too serious and your whole plant is covered by thrips.

Hence, in the worst case, just dispose of your infested plants to avoid that thrips will also contaminate your still healthy ones.

What’s left to say?

First of all, thanks for reading this article! I really love to help you guys out.

If you liked this article and want to learn more about gardening in general, make sure to also check out my grower’s guides and companion plants for your gardening projects.

About the Author

My name is Andreas and I’m really passionate about our environment and also about growing plants. In fact, I have grown several different plants over many years. I love to see my plants grow and also always try new things to improve my overall conditions at home.

In my blog posts, I want to share my experiences with you so that you can become successful in growing various different plants and improving your home as well, even though you might still be a beginner right now.

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