Do Thrips Bite Humans? Dispelling Common Misconceptions

Thrips can infest your plants and destroy them. But do thrips bite humans as well? Why do they bite? Let’s find out

Thrips feed on plants, so why do some people complain that thrips bite them? If humans are not a food source, then why would an insect want to bite one? Moreover, what are the ways to protect your skin from thrip bites? Read on to learn more about the same.

Do Thrips Bite Humans


Do Thrips Bite Humans?

Yes, thrips do bite humans. While most thrips are known to feed on fungi and plants, studies have confirmed that thrips have ‘piercing-sucking’ mouthparts that can bite people.

Their mouths have the ability to pierce the outer layer of plant tissues to extract sap. However, this also allows them to bite on human skin.

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Why Do Thrips Bite You?

As discussed, thrips feed on plants and fungi. So, why do they bite humans? The main reason thrips bite some people is because the moist outer layer of skin feels just like a plant surface.

Apart from potential food, these tiny insects also bite you to suck moisture from your skin. They don’t really care whether it is you or plant sap as long as they are getting moisture from it.

In all, thrips don’t attack humans, and their bite is not known to cause any major disease either.

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Are Thrips Bites Dangerous?

Thrips bite is not dangerous for humans. Most people don’t even feel their bite.

However, if you have sensitive skin, you may experience the following symptoms after a thrips bite:

  • Redness on the bitten part
  • A rash around the area
  • A lesion or elevated mark on the area

The above symptoms are temporary, and you can quickly get over them. You can wash the bitten area with soap and apply a chemical-free moisturizer. You can also rub aloe vera on the bite.

You may experience pain, skin irritation, itching, inflammation, or swelling on the bitten area if you have a severe skin allergy. In such cases, it’s best to consult a medical professional immediately.

However, such cases are rare, and thrips bites aren’t usually dangerous.

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What Do Thrip Bites Feel Like?

How thrips bites feel depends on how sensitive your skin is. For instance, most people do not feel anything after thrips bites.

Some people with sensitive skin may experience itching. In the worst case, you might feel slight swelling or temporary pain resulting from the bite.

It is important to note that if you have a skin allergy, a thrips bite may feel like a sharp pain that gives way to swollen, inflamed, or irritated skin.

How Do You Know if You Have Been Bitten?

In most cases, a fresh bite from thrips may look like a small pink dot on human skin. After some time, it will look like a lesion, redness, or a scar.

It is not easy to recognize whether the rash is because of a thrips bite. A thrips bite looks very much like the bite of any other insect. If you live in an area where insects are not very common, you should check your garden for thrips.

How To Stop Thrips From Biting You

If thrips often visit your garden, chances are that you have been bitten by them. To protect your skin from bites, you can try some of these methods:

Wear Insect Repellent

An insect or bug-repellent spray containing DEET or permethrin will work the best to keep not only thrips but also mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and other insects away from your skin.

However, if you don’t want to use chemicals on your skin, you can try a bug repellant that contains natural oils such as orange and cinnamon, which are both effective against thrips.

Wear Long, Loose-Fitting Clothes

The simplest way to keep thrips away from your skin is to wear loose clothes when tending to your outdoor plants.

You will not only keep the thrips and bugs at bay but also keep your body cool on hot days.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are thrips biting me?

If you have a lot of thrips in your garden or park, there is a good chance that thrips may bite you. Check your skin for a small pink dot or redness, or rash.

If you see such marks or feel a bit of pain as if you have been bitten by a bug, check for thrips. It can also be a mosquito or any other bug, so you need to check to make sure.

Can thrips get on humans?

Yes, thrips can get on humans, but usually, it is because they are trying to such moisture from your skin. Their bite does not cause any serious disease in humans.

Can thrips infest your home?

Yes, thrips can infest your home. If your house has a large number of plants both indoors and outdoors, you might be prone to a thrip infestation.

You need to keep checking your potted plants for black or brown spots on the plant leaves.

What are thrips attracted to?

Thrips are usually attracted to fresh and natural plants. Most species of thrips are also attracted to bright-colored flowers. Research has shown that thrips are particularly attracted to the colors blue and yellow.

Do Thrips Bite Humans


Wrap Up

If you often see a pink rash or spot on your skin, check your plants for thrips. They are difficult to spot, but make sure to check leaves for black or brown marks.

If you live in an area where thrips are common, make sure to wear loose clothes and use a bug repellant when going to areas that have a lot of plants. Thank you for reading, have a thrip free time!



  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

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  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

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