Are Thrips Harmful to Humans?

One pest that can invade your garden and cause damage to it is thrips. These insects are quick to attack and do not take long to spread. Thrips will attack various plants, which means most of your garden can be at risk. Besides your plants, are thrips harmful to humans too?

No, thrips are not dangerous to humans, but they can bite. 

Many insects are known to transmit diseases to humans, but thrips are not one of them. Thrips can bite humans, but the result is nothing more than a rash and some itching. Therefore, most of the damage that thrips will cause is limited to your plants.

Can Thrips Infect Humans?

Thrips are small insects that you will often find in your garden. These insects can come by flying in themselves or they can end up on your plants as the wind blows them. If you have a thrip infestation then a gust of wind can actually blow them onto your skin.

If they do happen to land on you then you will often be bitten by thrips. However, thrips will not take your blood nor infect you. 

Can Thrips Bite You?

The only thing thrips can do to you is bite. Thrip bites are not dangerous, and they do not transfer any dangerous diseases to humans. 

Many people who have been bitten by thrips experience an itch or a blushing rash. In most cases, people do not even experience pain or swelling.

However, there have been edge cases when thrip bites have led to further pain, inflammation and swelling. This is usually the case when people are allergic to insect bites beforehand.

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However, usually, thrip bites do not require any treatment. In most cases, the bites only cause a bit of an itch. You can improve the irritation by washing the area with some soapy water. You can also apply an alow vera gel to the allow to soothe it.

You can recognize that you have been bitten by thrips as the area will have a small, pink dot. Redness is one of the common indications that it is a thrip bite. 

Are Thrips Dangerous?

Thrips are not dangerous to humans, but people who are allergic to insect bites can suffer greatly if they get bitten. It is not easy to spot thrips because they are so small.

You can figure out if you have thrips by shaking your plants over a white sheet of paper. By doing so, any thrips on the plant will fall against the white background. You can trap thrips by ensuring to use sticky paper, so when they fall, they get stuck. 

How You Can Avoid Thrip Bites

While thrip bites do not harm humans, it is not nice to get bitten and experience skin irritation. You can take a few measures against thrips to ensure they do not bite you. 

It is important to know that thrips can do more harm to your plants than to you. You must take measures against these insects regardless of if they bite you or not.

You should look out for a few symptoms in your plants, such as excessive dropping of leaves, discolouration, and stunted growth. By taking these measures, you can keep yourself and your plants safe:

Add Reflective Mulch

The first thing you can do to deal with thrips is to use reflective mulch in your garden. Reflective mulch will cause confusion for thrips and can hinder their ability to fly. Reflective mulch usually comes in rolls of aluminium foil.

Neem Oil

An effective way to kill harmful pests like thrips is to use neem oil. You only need a few drops of neem oil for a gallon of water. After you have mixed and created the solution, you can go ahead and use it on your plants.

It would be best to conduct a patch test to ensure it does not harm the plants before you do so. 

In addition, you must always apply the neem oil in the dark. Otherwise, there is a chance that the plants will burn in the sun.

Natural Predators 

There are some insects you can use to your advantage which love feeding on thrips. You can get your hands on insects such as ladybugs. These insects can be bought online or from a garden store.

Ladybugs feed on thrip eggs and larvae, which ensure that the thrip population in your garden does not expand.

The other option, of course, is to attract natural predators to your garden and let nature do its thing. This is both easy and free to do. Ladybugs love flat-topped flowers such as angelica and fennel.

Summary

One of the insects which can harm gardens is thrips. These are small insects that spread quickly and are fast attackers. While thrip damage to plants is well-known, many people wish to know if they are at risk of being harmed by thrips?

Fortunately, thrips are not harmful to humans; the most they can do is bite. Thrip bites are not dangerous and will not infect humans. The most you may experience is itchiness and irritation. 

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