Top 10 Easy Ways to Eliminate Thrips in Your Home

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How To Get Rid Of Thrips Indoors: 10 Easy Ways

Facing an infestation of thrips on your precious houseplants? Here’s how to get rid of thrips indoors on plants like the Monstera, Hibiscus, and more.

Nothing worries a plant parent more than an infestation of harmful pests that can kill their beloved plants and spread quickly from one plant to another. 

Despite their tiny, almost invisible size, thrips can be a huge menace for your houseplants. If you are facing thrip infestations and are trying to figure out how to get rid of thrips in your house, this article will show you the right way.

How To Get Rid Of Thrips Indoors: 10 Easy Ways

 

How Do Thrips Get Indoors?

Although there are more than 6,000 different species of thrips, only some of them feed on houseplants. The two most common ways how thrips get indoors are:

Buying infected plants

If you recently brought any new plant to your home, it’s possible that the thrips had already infected it and used it to hitch a ride.

Keeping your houseplants outdoors

When you leave your plants outdoors to give them their daily dose of sunlight, they’re susceptible to attacks from thrips. 

For example, if you summered your plants and brought them in during winter, they could have brought thrips inside with them.

How To Get Rid of Thrips on Houseplants?

Unfortunately, thrips are very common pests, and your plants may easily fall victim to them. Most species of thrips are also immune to most insecticides

Let’s first talk about how to treat thrips on two host plant species that are very popular and particularly susceptible to thrips – Monstera and Hibiscus.

 

How to get rid of thrips on Monstera?

It must hurt to see thrips destroying the leaves of your beautiful Monstera plants. The following solutions should help you eliminate these annoying pests:

  1. Sticky traps: One of the simplest ways to get rid of thrips is to use sticky traps to draw them out and trap them in the glue. Use white, blue, or sticky yellow traps against thrips.
  2. Lint roller: Using a lint roller will allow you to capture the bugs much faster than trapping them with a glue trap. You simply need to hold the leaves and glide the lint roller over gently on them.  
  3. Insecticidal soap: Spraying an insecticidal soap over the infected leaves will kill the thrips and destroy the eggs they hatched.

How to get rid of thrips on Hibiscus?

Being a low-maintenance plant that offers vibrant and beautiful plants, hibiscuses are popular as outdoor plants and houseplants. 

However, hibiscuses are also vulnerable plants when it comes to thrips, and here’s how you can save them from thrip damage:

  1. Spinosad: One of the quickest ways to end a thrips infestation on a hibiscus plant is to treat it with Spinosad. Three treatments at a gap of 5-7 days are enough to end the infestation for good.
  2. Neem oil: If you prefer organic solutions rather than pesticides, use neem oil. Neem oil can also eliminate thrips, although it may need more treatments than Spinosad.
  3. Pruning: Regardless of your plant species, if the infestation has already covered the entire plant, you’ll be better off pruning the heavily damaged leaves. This will eliminate adult thrips and the nymphs (young thrips) while allowing the plant to heal faster.

How To Remove Thrips Naturally?

No one likes to spray chemical pesticides on their houseplants. Here are some more ways to get rid of thrips naturally, apart from the ones that we already mentioned:

  1. Spray water: A powerful spray of water from a garden hose can blast thrips off your plant. Spray the sides of the leaves and the stems about three times a day every two days until the thrips are gone.
  2. Essential oil spray: Cinnamon and orange essential oils possess insecticidal properties. Prepare a solution of 240 ml water and two drops of each oil. Spraying this solution on the stem, the soil, and both sides of the leaves every week should help eliminate the thrips.
  3. Natural predators: Releasing natural predators that feed on thrips can effectively get rid of those pests. Lacewings, pirate bugs, and ladybugs are a few you can easily find.
  4. Glue traps: As described above, placing glue traps on or around the infected plant can lure out the thrips and trap them. Although this doesn’t work on nymphs, the adult thrips can easily land on these traps and get stuck.
How To Get Rid Of Thrips Indoors: 10 Easy Ways

 

How To Prevent Thrips on Indoor Plants?

We’ve talked about how to kill thrips indoors. But let’s see how to prevent these pests from infesting your indoor plants in the first place. Follow these steps to prevent a thrips infestation:

  • Inspect new plants: Before you bring new plants home, inspect them carefully for pests. If you find any, either don’t take the plant or keep it quarantined away from your nearby plants.
  • Remove dead foliage: The female thrips often tend to breed on dead leaves, plant debris, and weeds. Removing these breeding grounds will be a good idea.
  • Cover soil with a reflective surface: Covering the soil around the plant with a reflective surface deters thrips from landing on the plant by disorienting them. In case you are expecting a thrips infestation, placing a piece of foil on the soil might help.

Besides these, also inspect your plants often to ensure they are free of thrips. Make sure to check the undersides of leaves, too, as thrips tend to lay their eggs there.

Frequently asked questions

How do you get rid of thrips forever?

Honestly, you can’t. Thrips may attack your plant again in the future after you clear an infestation. The only way to ensure thrips won’t attack your plants again is to take preventive measures.

How does cinnamon get rid of thrips?

Pests such as thrips aren’t a fan of the strong smell of cinnamon. Hence, using cinnamon can help drive them off your plants or keep them away. Moreover, research has shown that orange and cinnamon essential oil can also kill thrips.

How does dish soap get rid of thrips?

We aren’t sure how dish soap helps get rid of thrips or plant-eating pests in general, although it has indeed proven to be effective. Researchers believe that soap kills pests by destroying their cuticles or other protective layers and causing them to dry out.

 

Wrapping Up

Well, now you know how to treat thrips and keep your plants safe from them. While outdoor plants are especially vulnerable, your indoor houseplants may fall victim to thrips infestations, too, if you aren’t careful. 

When you notice any signs of thrips on your plants, work on getting rid of them immediately. You wouldn’t want to allow them time to breed and multiply, would you?

Reader Emails

74819

Letter 1 – Thrips

Subject: Unknown Beetle
Location: Mansfield, Texas
May 2, 2015 4:48 pm
Can you help ID these guys?  …  Pretty sure I brought them home on some Shasta Daisies I just bought. Are the y considered a pest or beneficial – Thanks so very much
Signature: Jeanine

Thrips
Thrips

Hi again Jeanine,
Based on images found on BugGuide, the small black and white insect in your previously submitted image of Kern’s Flower Scarabs is a species of Thrips in the genus
Aeolothrips.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Probably Thrips

Subject: Not bedbugs!
Location: West Lafayette, Indiana
June 12, 2014 9:06 pm
Hi,
I found at least 10-15 of these little guys crawling around on my sheets tonight within the span of an hour. They’re very very tiny, maybe a 10th of the size of the tip of a match. They’re orange/light brown and don’t seem to fly. While they don’t actually jump, they move quickly for their tiny size and what seems like a little jump. I can only find about one every few minutes that’s actually alive, but there are maybe 10 dead ones throughout my sheets too. Any ideas? My window is open 24/7. Could they be coming from outside? I haven’t had any bites or itchy bumps either. They seem to be harmless but are definitely creepy. Please let me know if you can figure these guys out!
Signature: Sarah K

Springtail
Probably Thrips

Hi Sarah,
While we cannot make out any detail in your image, based on the description you have provided, we are quite certain this is a harmless and benign Springtail.  They like moist conditions.

Update:  June 4, 2020
Based on a new comment, we agree that this might be a Thrips and some Thrips do bite.

Authors

  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com 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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Tags: Thrips

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9 Comments. Leave new

  • I live in Lafayette and I found these in my bed too this morning, however they do bite me! I literally just got bit while writing this. Please help I’m freaking out and seriously need to know what to do!!!

    Reply
  • I live in Knoxville,Tn and I too have found them in my bed and it’s like the have burrowed there self in my skin I have them mainly on my right arm and they do bite and itch like crazy but they bite you all over what are the how do I get rid of them please help and my dogs even are itching and they are yellow very tiny like the picture above and they they roll up when you touch them and pop like a flea what kind of bug is this not a bed bug and when on the bed the burrow thereselfs in the sheets and pillows

    Reply
  • Natasha Green
    July 30, 2019 1:51 pm

    Hi everyone! Yes these are still an issue and I get bitten quite often. Not as severe as a mosquito bite but it does itch. This has really bothered me bc all info I’ve read up on about springtails claims they’re harmless and don’t bite. Idk, so many insects seem to be evolving and coming with new hazards and threats to humans. I’ve considered capturing a few and taking them to Purdue University to see if they can be identified but I travel for work and haven’t had time. If you find out anymore info plz share and I’ll do the same.

    Reply
  • Thrips.

    Reply
  • Yes..I believe that they are adult and larvae aware thrips and can Cause a great deal of damage one’s health & mental psyche if not treated for the real culprit! You CAN do this!! Good luck!!!

    Reply
  • Omg finally a picture of something that looks like what is making me go insane ! I thought I had thrips after having fungus gnats on my house plants . I’ve looked and have tried everything!!! How have you guys been treating this ? I even been going to dermatologist. Pls help .

    Reply
  • I’d be diligent about making sure vacuuming is happening daily and that any house plants you have around aren’t infested with them. They can slip through the tiny openings in screens on your windows and doors,
    So they can come through those if they’re open. A nice dusting of DE could probably help keep their numbers down. Also make sure landscaping and such is kept up with. Make sure any plants or bushes and such aren’t touching the siding of the house and grass is trimmed and not overgrown. Thrips feed on vegetation and often enter a structure when residents bring in infested plants by mistake. The pests seek out water and may also travel indoors via damp laundry. So just be vigilant, but know there are treatments out there for them 🙂

    Reply

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