Currently viewing the category: "Thrips"

Subject: thrips
October 25, 2013 8:39 pm
No info was provided on how we can get them out of our hair/head and to quit biting us.  I have already been to  emergency room for an infected bites and nothing I try has helped.  Many years ago (1984), we had an infestation in our home because of weeds on our acreage, and these tiny things blew threw the window screens.  It cost us over $300 in pest control, and in addition, we had to get rid of our carpeting, mattresses and sofas/chairs with fabric coverings.   Recently our Bexar county extension service identified my samples as “thrips” again.  Cattle need to be considered if pesticides are used on property where they eat/drink, as well as any other livestock.
Signature: Lonnie

Thrips photo from our archives

Thrips photo from our archives

Dear Lonnie,
We are sorry, but we haven’t any suggestions.  We do not really provide extermination advice.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide you with some assistance.

Thrips photograph from our archives

Thrips photograph from our archives

Subject: It’s not all in my head!
Location: Scalp
March 27, 2013 6:05 am
These insects came from my scalp. Two years ago I started with a small area on my scalp that felt like a bite. The area is now the crown of my head, made worse by using a duo derm patch, not knowing I had a sensitivity to adhesive. My hair grew under the scalp, and that is where these bugs came from.
Signature: Elaine

Possible Louse

Thrips perhaps

Dear Elaine,
We sympathize with your situation.  We hope you sought professional medical assistance and we would urge you to seek out a definitive identification from your local entomology department.  While this creature looks vaguely louselike, it doesn’t seem to match images of Parasitic Lice on BugGuide.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide something more conclusive.

Update:  March 27, 2013
Tenodera, one of our readers, submitted a comment indicating this resembles a Thrips, and we agree.  See BugGuide for a description of Thrips.  The mystery is why are Thrips livng on Elaine’s scalp.

Subject: Biting Bugs
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
August 8, 2012 12:38 pm
I live in Iowa and I was just outside(it rained earlier today) and I kept feeling little bites all over my hands and arms. At first I couldn’t see anything but if I looked very close I saw a TINY, no bigger than a dot of a pen, orange bug possibly a little blackish brown on it’s bottom with 6(?)legs crawling on me. And there wasn’t just one, they were everywhere and they all were bitting me. I didn’t sit in the grass or touch anything so I have no idea how they got on me or if they even came from the outside. Help!
Signature: Melissa

Possibly Thrips

Hi Melissa,
Based on your detailed description, we believe you might have had an encounter with insects from the order Thysanoptera, commonly called Thrips.  There is not enough detail in your photograph for any definitive identification, but the photograph does support our supposition.  According to BugGuide, Thrips are small:  “0.5-14 mm (typically 1-2 mm, NA species under 5 mm)” and they are described as:  “Some are wingless; where present, the wings are narrow with few or no veins and fringed with long hairs. Mouthparts asymmetrical (no right mandible), suitable for piercing and sucking. Antennae relatively short, 4- to 9-segmented; tarsi 1-2-segmented, with 1-2 claws and are bladder-like at the end.”  This is the BugGuide statement that supports our identification:  “Thrips can often be found on flowers, they are especially visible on light colored flowers like daisies. Be aware that though they are very tiny, they can give a slightly painful bite.”

Insect id
Location: Madrid (Spain)
October 1, 2011 7:24 pm
I’m trying to find what bug is this, but I cannot find nothing nowhere.
Thanks for the help.
Signature: blackberriem


Hi Maria,
We do not recognize your insect, and since we took the day off yesterday unexpectedly, we need to try to respond to as many requests as we can this morning.  We are posting your insect as unidentified and we hope to try to research this later, and perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide us with some assistance.

Eric Eaton confirms Thrips identification
Yes, it is a thrips, but not sure which family, let alone genus, species. …

Insect identification
Location: Southern Ca
May 14, 2011 1:24 pm
These little bugs walk/crawl but they also jump. Naked eye they look dark and can see two little antenna at the head. Sorry the pix are not as lit up as I would have liked. I live in the high desert of San Bernardino County in Southern Ca. I planted a Marijuana plant in my back yard with Promix potting soiless mix. These little critters are swarming around the mix. I put some dish liquid soap in with my nutrient solution when watering and it seemed to knock them down a lot but not gone. I have found them inside my home as well (this morning there were approx 7 of them in my bathroom sink). Can you tell me what they are and if they are harmful to Marijuna plants? And what is the best defense if they are? Thanks Bugman!!
Signature: Outlaw

Thrips, possibly

Dear Outlaw,
We believe you have Thrips.  Despite your awesome photomicroscopy, we still find the anatomy of this critter a bit confusing and we do not have the necessary experience to identify this insect with certainty, however, we feel that based on the information we do have, that Thrips seems like the likeliest candidate.  Perhaps someone more knowledgeable will be able to provide a definitive identification.  Here is a link to the Thrips order Thysanoptera on BugGuide.  BugGuide notes:  “The word thrips is singular and plural; there is no such word as “thrip” (in other words, “I saw a thrips” is an example of correct usage). The word thrips itself is said to be from a Greek word, meaning “wood louse” or woodworm, referring to their abundance in dead branches, where they feed on fungus.”  BugGuide offers this assistance with identification:  “Thrips are tiny insects, only a few mm in length at most. Thrips may or may not have wings. When wings are present, they are narrow with few or no veins and fringed with long hairs. Thrips have asymmetrical mouthparts (no right mandible) suitable for piercing and sucking. Antennae of thrips have four to nine segments and are relatively short. Tarsi of thrips have one or two segments with one or two claws and are bladder-like at the end.”

Update: January 11, 2011
Location Malaysia
Dear Daniel,
I managed to get better pictures of the thrips, they are identified as Western Flower Thrips. See attached files.
They are a major pest for greenhouse growers and very difficult to control.


Thanks for the update on your Western Flower Thrips.  Now we have to determine if the singular form of Thrips is Thrip.  This Earthlife page uses the singular Thrip.  Perhaps it is a moot point since a gardener would never have just one Thrip.


Update: May 15, 2011
Upon posting a new possible Thrips photo, we discovered this comment on Csiro:  “The word thrips, is grammatically a plural noun, as is the word sheep. Therefore a single thrips is still ‘a thrips’ (not a thrip), just as one sheep is ‘a sheep’ (not a ship!).”