Thrips

 
 

Thrips (aka thunderbugs, greek- thysanoptera) are a common pest found in mj grows, both indoors and out.
Both the plural and singular is thrips. If there is just one it is still called a thrips.

These insects can cause harmful unsightly damage to plants. They can also act as a vector (carrier) for plant viruses.
Some species of thrips feed on insects or animals but we are concerned with the varieties that eat plants.

The first indication of thrips is often leaf damage.

It can be difficult to distinguish between thrips damage and spider mite damage. Thrips damage tends to have more of a shiny silver appearance.

They cause damage by rasping holes in the plant and sucking the sap.

Both larvae and adults feed on leaves and buds.
Just to add insult to injury they leave faeces everywhere too.

The length of the thrips life cycle varies with temperature- if temperature is lower the life cycle slows down.
However in the right conditions the life cycle could be 10 days or less enabling them to reproduce and develop resistance to insecticides quickly.
A female adult thrips can lay up to 300 eggs.

Mostly they lay eggs by making a hole in the plant and laying the egg there. The egg hatches then goes through larva, prepupa and pupa stages (the number of stages depends on the species) before becoming adults.

Thrips are mostly found on the leaves and flowers but they can also be found in soil around the base of plants.

Most adult thrips have wings, with distinctive fringes. Their greek name thysanoptera means fringe wing.
Not all thrips can fly. The ones that can fly are not good flyers but they can easily drift around on air currents.

Thrips are small, usually the adults are less than 2mm. The adults and larvae can just about be seen with the naked eye. They can move quite quickly.

Random facts about thrips
-They only have one mandible, on the left hand side.
-Fidel Castro has alleged that the US had dropped thrips onto Cuban crops as a form of biological warefare.
-The word thrips is also greek and means wood louse.
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