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 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
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?