How to treat thrips on indoor plants

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If your plants have been attacked by thrips the new growth looks curled and distorted. The leaves can also turn a silvery colour. Check this article for how to treat aphids.

Thrips are very tiny slender insects with fringed wings that can be identified as tiny black specks or dots on leaves. They are greyish to brown in colour and at most a single millimetre long. If you suspect thrips it's better to check your plants using a magnifying glass (yes, they are that tiny). You can read more here on how to identify if your plants have thrips.

How to get rid of thrips

  • Use yellow sticky traps in pots. Thrips are attracted to this colour (and blue).
  • Remove all damaged and infested leaves.
  • Wash the affected plant with a solution made of horticultural soap and water (1 part soap to 15 parts water). You can use this mixture to drench the soil too.
  • Use a shower or hose to wash plants and blasts any pests. Don't forget to go top and bottom of the leaves.
  • Insecticidal Sprays: if you have a heavy infestation you can go for the chemical treatment and apply it systemically as per packaging instructions.

How to prevent thrips:

  • A regular showering session for your indoor plants it's really beneficial as it helps blast away any unwanted visitors.
  • Check on your plants regularly.
  • Check any new plants and place them in 'quarantine' for few weeks before introducing them to your collection
  • Wipe leaves regularly

Photo Credit: Lyle Buss/Univeristy of Florida