Thrips will eat leaves and suck sap. This causes the plants to suffer from discolouration, frayed leaves and stunted growth. As a gardener, you will be better equipped to handle thrips if you know which plants they attack so that you can protect them. So, what plants do thrips attack? And which will they avoid?
Unfortunately, thrips attack a variety of plants, including garden vegetables and flowers. They’re not particularly fussy.
Do Thrips Spread Easily?
Gardeners dread thrips because of their ability to move quickly. It is best to have the proper knowledge about any possible threats that may affect your garden.
One of the reasons why thrips are considered more dangerous than other insects is their ability to travel and cover long distances.
Thrip larvae have undeveloped wings, so they experience a limitation in mobility. On the other hand, adult thrips have fully developed wings that allow them to fly from one place to another.
However, you will not spot thrips easily in your garden despite their flying ability because they are small. But you can always look out for any damage they have caused to your plants.
You can easily notice thrip damage because of the silver streaks and patches which are left behind on the leaves. As the thrips feed on plants, sucking them, they cause white patches.
In addition, a proper infestation can also lead to damaged flowers and stunted growth. A bad infestation can cause a virus to spread to your plants. Tomato plants are particularly susceptible to getting the virus.
Now that you know that thrips spread easily, it is essential to take action as soon as you spot plant damage or the insect itself.
Do Thrips Attack All Plants?
Thrips can be damaging to your garden because they can attack your plants with full force. These insects like to consume young plants because they are soft and easy to eat. However, some species of thrips are found to munch on the roots of plants happily too.
As these insects are quite small, you cannot really see them with your eyes. It will help to shake your plants over a blank sheet of white paper so you see them if any thrips fall out.
Not all plants will be susceptible to thrip damage, although most are, unfortunately. It is helpful to learn which plants can fall prey to thrip damage so you can adopt better strategies to protect them.
Thrips attack plants during warm seasons and dry months. Plants which are found in dark areas with shade are likely to be attacked by thrips. Moreover, plants that have low-hanging leaves can also be attacked by thrips.
If your plants are healthy and you are looking after them well, it is less likely that thrips will attack them. Therefore, it is important to ensure that your plants are in the best possible health so insects like thrips cannot take over and attack them.
Do Thrips Spread to Other Plants?
Thrips can spread easily to other plants because of their excellent mobility. These insects can fly, although they are not perfect at it. But in addition, thrips can jump and move around. Thrips can fly, jump and crawl from one plant to another. Hence, this makes it difficult to control thrips.
Other than moving themselves, thrips also use other mediums to travel long distances. For instance, thrips can spread to other plants through water and wind. Therefore, if one of your plants has been infested by thrips, you must isolate it, so the infestation does not spread to other plants.
How to Stop Thrips from Spreading
Facing a thrip infestation in your garden can be alarming. Due to the fast-moving nature of these insects, it is important to take action, so the infestation does not spread in your garden.
If you hinder the thrip’s ability to fly, you will be essentially preventing them from spreading in your garden. You can add some reflective mulch which confuses the thrips and does not allow them to fly.
Another way to control the spread of thrips in your garden is by attracting predators which will feed on them. You can do so by encouraging them naturally or getting some that are commercially available at garden shops.
Sometimes the infestation is too big, and you are looking for things that give you quick results. Therefore, in this situation, you may wish to use insecticides.
Natural methods like natural predators may not be helpful if you have a lot of thrips to deal with. Using insecticides to eradicate thrips is a more effective bet but can be damaging to the wider environment.
Thrips are small insects that move pretty quickly from one plant to another. These insects feed on various garden vegetables, plants and flowers.
Thrips like to eat plants found in the shade and attack during the warmer, drier months. In addition, thrips like to eat young plants which are young and soft. Healthy plants are less susceptible to attacks by thrips.
Ryan is a keen gardener from the UK who’s spent years dealing with countless, common pests over the years so knows the ins and outs of how to deal with pests in the garden